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Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story Paperback – August 13, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250031435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250031433
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 “Memoirs about rock stars written by family members, friends, ex-wives and quickie backstage assignations are a wildly divergent lot that alternately take the narrative tracks of score-settling, axe-grinding, deification or exploitation. Fortunately, this effort by Jimi Hendrix's younger brother is a mostly sweet remembrance of the rock legend, heavy on tales of their youthful adventures (and misadventures) as Leon and the brother everyone called "Buster" (after Flash Gordon serial actor Buster Crabbe and Jimi's love of science fiction) grew up under less than ideal circumstances….While other Hendrix books have concentrated on his roles as musical genius, troubled soul and visionary dead far too soon, this one celebrates the sweet, shy, protective older brother -- who just happened to wear crazy clothes and set his guitar on fire.”
Houston Press

"Although several books have been written about the artist, this one has a different perspective since it is Jimi’s life as seen through the eyes of his younger brother, Leon. This highly readable book reveals the origin and meaning of many of the classic Hendrix tunes, which Jimi often played for his brother over the phone while he composed and was on the road. The complicated family dynamic, the culture of sex and drugs that came with Jimi’s fame is also chronicled. This biography is being released just months before what would have been Jimi’s 70th birthday."
Tucson Citizen

“While the rest of the world knew the great guitarist as Jimi, Leon Hendrix knew him as ‘Buster,’ his big brother and protector. While Leon clearly idolized his older brother, he tells a balanced and honest story of his parents’ broken marriage and substance abuse, and the peripatetic life he and Jimi led with their father. With the help of Mitchell (co-author of Street Player), Leon, in an informal yet intimate tone, chronicles his own life as much as his brother’s, presenting the divergent paths they took: Jimi channeling his energies into making music while Leon lived a hustler’s life filled with drugs and crime. Mixed in with the Hendrix family melodrama are some great vignettes (Jimi trying to make music with a one-string ukulele or wires and rubber bands)—that truly give a glimpse of the real Jimi behind the on-stage antics and flamboyant clothing. Leon also has some unique insights into Jimi’s music, especially when he opines on the inspiration for some of his brother’s powerful lyrics (he felt “Machine Gun” betrayed Jimi’s “fear and paranoia”).”
Publishers Weekly

“His little brother Leon gives us ‘Buster,’ the Jimi Hendrix only his family knew. Keeping it real all the way, Leon Hendrix gives us an entirely new, life-size portrait of Jimi."
—Joel Selvin, author of the classic Summer of Love and co-author of Sammy Hagar’s New York Times #1 bestseller Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock

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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I also am rooting for Leon to gain a much deserved residual as he is Jimi's brother.
CyberTiger
I have been a huge Jimi Hendrix fan many years and have read many books about his life, this book has new insight and one of the best I have read about Jimi .
sunshine lady
It was very open and honest, with many heartwarming stories about their close relationship.
Denise Romano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By CyberTiger on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd like to thank Leon for sharing his life with "Buster" (Jimi) and his father, Al. This book is refreshing because it's directly from the horse's mouth and not a compilation of interviews of people who "knew" Jimi.

I found Leon's book honest and painted a good picture of what life was like for him and Jimi growing up with a struggling father who was trying to make ends meet. It was interesting to learn of the roots that Jimi (Buster)came from.

I also am rooting for Leon to gain a much deserved residual as he is Jimi's brother. Unfortunately Jimi's "step-sister" is the one that's cashing in on Jimi's name, if anyone should, it should be Leon.

I recommend this book for the hard-core Jimi fan.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Newman on July 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this book. Someone complained about the title, that it was really about Leon. Well, it was about Jimi and Leon, and more. The book gave a context to Jimi's early life.

Someone might ask what more can be written about Jimi Hendrix that hasn't already been written. The fact that we are still talking about him with great fervency testifies to Jimi's utter uniqueness and the fact that he touched hearts in a way nobody ever did or has done since. Though I didn't really appreciate Jimi's music until several years after his death there is no other musician that has touched me so deeply. I love the guy though I've never met him and regard his passing as leaving a void that can't be filled. Though I've heard all his songs hundreds of times they have more power in repetitiveness than most of what is newly produced today.
Leon Hendrix chronicles the early years of his and Jimi's lives up to Jimi's death. He then goes on to tell of his own misfortunes with an even handed honesty and how he adapted to or overcame them. This does not feel like a separate story but grows out of what went before, and I think he pulls it off competently.

For those of us who love Jimi, we are eager even after all these years to find another piece to the puzzle that was his life. While Leon provides nothing here that is shockingly revelatory, he does fill in a lot of gaps, smooths rough edges and helps us see something that we easily forget in our rootless society; that people have beginnings and contexts that make them what they are. Without understanding those contexts you can't really understand the person. There was a lot of manipulated imagery surrounding Jimi that made people think they knew him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G Marshall on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading Leon's account of their family & Jimi's early life, I really got a perspective of where Jimi came from. He truly went from rags to riches, just a shame Jimi's actually family did not get to enjoy it all (beyond his Dad). Seriously what judge allowed this? The money should have gone to actual blood relatives like Aunt Delores and others who could have really used it. If Leon was not to be trusted because of addictions, at least a trust could have been set up for his kids & others who Jimi would have wanted to help. So sad he got cut off mid-air from his spectacular blast into his true dreams.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MissLamberts on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a great story and how long in coming. Leon Hendrix I guess was supposed to just shut up and go away and die in obscurity. But thank God, he bravely stuck it out to where he could get this book out. It is extremely well written, and I read it in one day.

I saw his brother play three times and lived on the street in London that he died on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but that's not the real Hendrix story. This is, Leon's story is the gospel on James Marshall Hendrix.

It's not about the world-wide fame, or the sexy antics on stage. It's about the adult-sized blues these two boys felt as they were raised without a mother, it's about their heretofore unknown brother and two sisters given up to foster care. It's about Jimi's unique childhood void of racial hatred. It's about the Message to Love.

Thank you, Leon, for your story. And thank you for getting back with God and getting clean and sober. Thank you for picking up a guitar and learning to play quite well at an age when most people wouldn't dare try. Blessings to you and your whole extended family.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Desert Angel on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is what the title says it is and what the title of my review says it is. It is the story of Leon's life as the brother of James Marshall "Buster" Hendrix. It is a deeply poignant story as only Leon could tell because he lived it.

I am very grateful that Leon finally made it to the place in his life where he could write such a book. I hope it was helpful to him in attaining closure with some of the drama that had occured in his life. It probably was not easy to relive a lot of it.

Leon does a terrific job detailing vignettes about two boys growing up in Seattle in the 1950s. He recalls some of the early rustlings in his big brother Buster's psyche that would shape what he would become in the future including recollections of UFO sightings and the concept of music as color. I enjoyed reading about the time he joined Jimi for a brief time on tour, living in Beverly Hills, going to the Whiskey and the Rainbow Room, shopping for hip clothes on Melrose and all. Leon also recalls where he was, how he felt and what he was doing when he received the news about Jimi's death with such emotion and passion that you can't help but feel gripped by the tragedy. As he discusses what happened after Jimi's death when his manager dies in a plane crash, you can't help but keep turning pages to see what happens next. Leon shares intimate details with the reader about his personal demons, addiction and street life in such a way that you want to reach out and help him somehow. It becomes clear how he was ostracized from the family fortune as he touched on the 'old school' mannerisms of his father and the clutching possessiveness of his father's second wife.
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