Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story

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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.

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About the author

LEON HENDRIX lives in Los Angeles and is pursuing his art and music full-time in the Leon Hendrix Band. In addition to touring across North America and Europe, he is also the owner of Rockin Artwork LLC, a company that licenses Jimi Hendrix's likeness and image.

ADAM MITCHELL is also the author of Street Player: My Chicago Story with legendary drummer Danny Seraphine. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
May 8, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781250012371
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / Genres & Styles / Rock
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Becoming Jimi Hendrix traces “Jimmy’s” early musical roots, from a harrowing, hand-to-mouth upbringing in a poverty-stricken, broken Seattle home to his early discovery of the blues to his stint as a reluctant recruit of the 101st Airborne who was magnetically drawn to the rhythm and blues scene in Nashville. As a sideman, Hendrix played with the likes of Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, the Isley Brothers, and Sam & Dave—but none knew what to make of his spotlight-stealing rock guitar experimentation, the likes of which had never been heard before. From 1962 to 1966, on the rough and tumble club circuit, Hendrix learned to please a crowd, deal with racism, and navigate shady music industry characters, all while evolving his own astonishing style. Finally, in New York’s Greenwich Village, two key women helped him survive, and his discovery in a tiny basement club in 1966 led to Hendrix instantly being heralded as a major act in Europe before he returned to America, appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival, and entered the pantheon of rock’s greatest musicians. Becoming Jimi Hendrix is based on over one hundred interviews with those who knew Hendrix best during his lean years, more than half of whom have never spoken about him on the record. Utilizing court transcripts, FBI files, private letters, unpublished photos, and U.S. Army documents, this is the story of a young musician who overcame enormous odds, a past that drove him to outbursts of violence, and terrible professional and personal decisions that complicated his life before his untimely demise.
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