More than forty years after his death, Jimi Hendrix--recently named the greatest guitarist of all time by "Rolling Stone" magazine--continues to inspire fans of rock music. Many have written about Hendrix's life and music, but "Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story" provides a revealing and unprecedented look at this visionary icon: an intimate biography written by Jimi's younger brother, Leon.
Leon Hendrix takes us back to the days before Jimi's amazing rise to fame in the 1960s, beginning with their tough childhood in Seattle, when their fascination with science fiction and UFOs helped them escape a difficult family life. (Jimi insisted his family call him "Buster," after "Flash Gordon" actor Buster Crabbe.) The author reveals Jimi's early fascination with sound, from his experiments with plucking wires attached to bedposts to the time when he got in trouble for taking apart the family radio ("I was looking for the music," he explained) to Jimi's purchasing his first guitar--a Sears, Roebuck and Co. acoustic, from a neighbor.
Leon recounts Jimi's early days performing on the "Chitlin' Circuit," when Jimi would call from the road to play early versions of tracks for the classic album "Are You Experienced," and illuminates the biographical roots of Jimi's most well-known rock & roll songs. Readers learn about the heady days of sex and drugs that came with Jimi's skyrocketing fame in the sixties and how Leon felt Jimi's management isolated him from the rest of the family. The author speaks of his own heartbreak, learning of his brother's sudden death while incarcerated in Washington State's Monroe Reformatory.
Commemorating what would have been Jimi's seventieth birthday, Leon Hendrix's poignant and captivating account sheds new light on a music legend.
|Publisher:||St Martins Pr|
|Publish Date:||May 2012|
|Number of Pages:||276|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.1|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.5 x 9.5 x 1.0|
|Rainier Vista Projects||p. 5|
|Vagabond Gypsy Boys||p. 21|
|Foster Care||p. 43|
|Finding the Music||p. 55|
|Joining Bands||p. 71|
|From the Rocking Kings to the Army||p. 89|
|Life Without Buster||p. 105|
|Seattle Street Hustling||p. 125|
|September 6,1968||p. 145|
|California Dreaming||p. 159|
|Still Dreaming||p. 177|
|In and Out of the Army||p. 189|
|The Darkest Days||p. 201|
|Freedom and the Aftermath||p. 215|
|Rock-and-Roll Swindle||p. 233|
|Losing Dad||p. 249|
Rock legend Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 in 2012. Writing with Mitchell (coauthor, with Danny Seraphine, Street Player: My Chicago Story), Jimi's younger brother Leon Hendrix here presents an intimate look at his own and his brother's formative years. The Hendrix boys had a disruptive and tumultuous childhood; however, in the most memorable parts of the book, Leon portrays Jimi taking apart a radio to see where the music comes from, creating sounds by tying string between his bedposts, and learning to play the ukulele.
Leon also recounts a few dizzying months, after his brother reached global fame, that he spent in the celebrity orbit of a rock star who just happened to be family. Leon relates his own struggles with drugs and recovery after Jimi's death in 1970 and the legal squabble surrounding his older brother's estate and musical legacy.
Verdict: Devoted Jimi Hendrix fans will want to read this, especially for the accounts of his youthful musical beginnings; those wanting a more complete biography should go with Charles R. Cross's Room Full of Mirrors.
[See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.] - Jim Collins, Morristown-Morris Twp. Lib., NJ
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