Power Chord

The Man Behind the Nose

Title: Power Chord: One Man’s Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes
By: Thomas Scott McKenzie
Publisher: It Books imprint of HarperCollins

Powerchord-199x3001Thomas Scott McKenzie longed to do something outrageous, something courageous — to live like the hard-rocking guitar hero that he’d always dreamed of being. So he embarked on an epic quest, to track down the legendary guitar heroes of the golden age of heavy metal — men like Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, Warren DeMartini of Ratt, Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Ace Frehley of KISS — with the hope that a piece of their passion might ignite something inside of him and change his life for the better.

Now, in Power Chord: One Man’s Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes, McKenzie shares his epic quest to understand the men he worships — the larger than life guitar heroes that captivate millions of fans — and reveals his exciting cross country adventures to rock them all.

As a young man, growing up on a horse farm in Bourbon County, Kentucky, McKenzie thought he saw God… and the deity was dressed in all black with knee-high silver boots, a patent leather breastplate, and full face makeup, clutching a custom Les Paul guitar. Posters of Ace Frehley, the lead guitarist for KISS, plastered the walls of McKenzie’s bedroom. Listening to Frehley’s outrageous guitar solos made him feel transcendent, inspired, and witness to a higher power.

As maturity settled in, and the KISS posters were replaced with wedding snapshots and adult-appropriate artwork, McKenzie still longed to be the transcendent rock god he’d worshiped in his youth. A guitar collection was about as close as he’d come, though, to achieving rock legend status. Although he counted some serious instruments in his collection, he couldn’t play a lick. Until he decided to go all out, and embark on an adventure to come to terms with the instrument that captivated him.

In Power Chord, McKenzie connects with all levels of industry greats — from Phil Collen of Def Leppard to Glenn Tipton from Judas Priest to Warren DeMartini from Ratt to Brad Gillis of Night Ranger. Along the way, McKenzie gets a guitar lesson from Oz Fox of Stryper, a rocking tour of Evansville guitar stores with Bruce Kulick of KISS (that ended with a feast at Cracker Barrel), passes out after interviewing Kip Winger at the Rocklahoma music festival, and learns “alien music secrets” from virtuoso Steve Vai at a yoga and holistic healing center in the Berkshires.

Culminating in an unforgettable on-stage performance at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go alongside Ace Frehley and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, and others), Power Chord is an unpredictable adventure through the inner (and outer) circles of ear-splitting rockers.

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What They’re Saying about Power Chord

The Associated Press says the book is “an interesting travelogue of sorts that hits all the right notes” and is “a fun read, regardless of whether you’re a metal head like the author.”


The Cleveland Sound says, “McKenzie writes with the same passion that compelled his journey… It’s his willingness to get as intimately personal about himself as with his subjects that will endear his story to readers.”