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Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius Paperback – August 31, 2010
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New York Times Book Review, 10/17/10
“Hendrix’s career as a superstar has been well chronicled; the more interesting details of how he became one are told here…[Becoming Jimi Hendrix] makes a case for the preparation that every originator should go through: follow your passion obsessively, so that when you encounter the person or thing that will change your life, you’ll be ready.”
Steve Coates, New York Times, 10/15/10
“It’s a fascinating book for the story it tells, but I would pay the cover price just for its amazing photographs.”
Rolling Stone, 8/19/10
3 ½ out of 4 stars "Most important, the book shows how Greenwich Village was crucial to Hendrix's 1966 breakthrough: With Harlem unable to hold him, MacDougal Street provides the launching pad for Hendrix's psychedelic genius."
“A well-researched book loaded with great stories.”
JimPress, September 2010
“For a reader's first exploration into Hendrix's early years, Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber's well-researched book provides a solid start… What this book does well is bring a legend down to earth, if only so that readers can, 40 years after his untimely passing, better understand from whence he came.”
“A worthy addition to the growing shelf of books on the man who redefined the role of electric guitar in rock music.”
Curled Up with a Good Book, 12/21/10
“For hardcore Hendrix fans, it's worth reading.”
“A key acquisition of any rock music history holding.”
“Well researched and well written, and the authors do a tremendous job of bringing both the subject and the era back to life for a whole new generation. Highly recommended.”
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Top Customer Reviews
This great little book by Steven Roby (author of "Black Gold" a great book on unreleased Hendrix material), and Brad Schreiber is basically how Johnny Allen Hendrix became Jimi Hendrix. His youth in Seattle, playing in various local bands. The army-where he met and played with Billy Cox. Scuffling in Nashville, playing in the dives for very little money. Getting his first road experience with Hank Ballard's band, and getting fired (nothing unusual) for playing the music "incorrectly". Continuing to scuffle along as Jimmy James and the Vagabonds in New York, where he was discovered by Chas Chandler (bassist in THE ANIMALS), and whisked away to England on the promise of recording "Wild Thing". And then on to fame and fortune that's known to most fans of his music.
This succinct book is well written in an easy flowing style, with a number of quotes from people who knew Hendrix through all the various stages of his early years. The photographs help the reader formulate a better picture of Hendrix through these years, especially a picture of Hendrix at the age of four, wairing shorts and an embroidered sweater, and another shot of him in his uniform playing his guitar on the army base in 1961. The other photos show Hendrix on stage with Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, and Joey Dee and the Starlighters, among others.
For anyone who wants a clear, concise book on Hendrix' early years, this is the book to read.Read more ›
Bursting with detail on sessions and gigs with Wilson Pickett, Don Covay, Ike and Tina, and plenty on his rocky sojourn with Little Richard. Now, those "elitist" fans and writers can see that Richard's flamboyant orations on talk shows about when Hendrix was "my guitar player" were right on the money..we learn that JH played on poor *and* magnificent records, of the latter bunch, a Soul ballad extraordinaire, "I Don't Know What You've Got (But It's Got Me)", the most popular.
Other stop offs with Curtis Knight and Lonnie Youngblood also reveal Jimi was still "blues n' soulin'"-it as late as 1966!
Small complaint: Roby does not analyze the *musical* value of these pre-fame sides. Although his work is superior to others who have dived into this musical morass, he too simply says, the disc was released in May and made number 112, whatever....but was the thing any good? The Richard release mentioned above today is considered a Soul Classic. No evaluation of this and other Hendrix-related, early records.
Altogether....an essential. By the way, the many, many rare photos are worth the proverbial price of admittance.
This book covers the difficult years when Jimi struggled to survive in the music industry, before he became a global rock star and idol. This book travels through the detail on how Jimi was never accepted by mostly other black musicians, such as Little Richard, Ike Turner, King Curtis, Curtis Knight, Sam Moore, Sam and Dave, and many others who saw Jimi as a show boater and an odd duck. Jimi never fit in with these bands and went through a lengthy period of time where the bands admired him, then hired him and then fired him. Jimi was always a square peg in a round hole and it wasn't until he began charting his own course with his style of music that he began to find success.
One thing that I realized after reading this book was that Jimi Hendrix really paid his dues. He struggled through poverty, prejudice, and adversity, but kept focused on being his own man and finally persevered.
I thought this book was well written and entertaining, although there were sections of the book that were confusing. Some of the confusion came from the fact that Jimi was moving around from band to band so often he was hard to keep track of.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
**Review originally posted at https://midnighttosix.wordpress.com
So much has been written about Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise in 1966 until his mysterious death in 1970... Read more
Having been around when Jimi died I found this to be one of better books on him. If you are late to the show and looking for a Jimi as deity book , this is not it, and he wasn't. Read morePublished 9 months ago by P. Cappiello
Roby never lets me down... knows his subject and writes well.Published 12 months ago by Connie King
I found this to be poorly written and disappointing. Looking for another Hendrix bio to hopefully enjoy.Published 19 months ago by K. Stevens
very interesting book about one of the greatest! arrived soon after my order thank you!Published 21 months ago by John Lars Fatland
I have loved his music for years and am still hearing new things with each listen. That is surely the sign of great music. Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by P. robb
We always hear of the fame, glory, money, accomplishments, scandal, and ultimately the legend of stars such as Jimi Hendrix. Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Rick Vito
Not a bad book but I'm going to look for a better biography that will talk more about his later years.Published on January 31, 2013 by Bill Emerson