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Starting At Zero: His Own Story Paperback – October 7, 2014
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Hendrix’s revolutionary music remains potent and compelling more than four decades after his early death, and new material continues to surface, adding dimension to his profound legacy. Documentary filmmaker Neal and record producer Douglas have astutely and seamlessly assembled Hendrix’s long-scattered writings into a confiding, funny, and wrenching memoir of a life lived on the edge and passionately devoted to music and freedom. Here is Hendrix unmediated in his caustic wit, anger over prejudice, and belief in the freeing power of the imagination. Hendrix remembers his lonely Seattle childhood and his Indian grandmother’s poverty-stricken reservation. He hated school, the army, and as a self-taught, hungry, itinerant sideman, the militaristic rule of Little Richard. To his amazement, he found liberation in England. In thoughtful and expressive letters, lyrics, interviews, and reflections, Hendrix illuminates his dreams, love of science fiction and fairy tales, the stories behind his songs and now-legendary performances, and the surreal highs and lows of touring and stardom. Always ahead of the curve, Hendrix wryly pondered death: When I die, just keep on playing the records. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“What pervades every page [is] a man thoroughly alive.” ―Mojo
“A confiding, funny, and wrenching memoir of a life lived on the edge and passionately devoted to music and freedom. Here is Hendrix unmediated . . . [Illuminates] the stories behind his songs and now-legendary performances, and the surreal highs and lows of touring and stardom.” ―Booklist
“[A] revelation of the restless, curious, creative, self-contradictory mind of a musical genius as he grappled with fame, fellow musicians, inspiration, doubt and life under the competing spotlights of adulation and criticism. A must-read for fans and scholars of classic rock.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Remarkable . . . The reading experience feels intimate and immediate . . . This is an essential primary source.” ―Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
I know Jimi Hendrix as being a massive fan since 1982 and as I read this book I could see where Jimi said something at one interview here and another there yet this book strings them as one sentence, even taken words spoken years apart and made into one sentence. This is horrible, sure you get a feel what Jimi was thinking by stringing together thoughts but people change and what he said in 1967 and in 1970 are on 2 different levels and to jam them together as one "new" and complete sentence is just silly and misleading! Or Jimi would talk on a certain subject say record making, he'd talk in a 1968 interview in Miami then they'd lift what he also said in a 1969 interview from New York. it's just rubbish to try to make a auto-biography like this! Its a fun read but take it as a grain of salt, MASSIVE editing together words and phrases and sentences to make up a dialog is a joke! Alan Douglas was a joke! He had NO respect for Jimi's material ever, not when it came to recordings as he made 2 albums and added in new players and background singers, he re-mixed competed songs for a new release in 1995, we all know that, the guy was a joke and this book was his last effort, it was supposed to go along with a movie too, Lord knows butchered that would have been!
As for cashing in -- an accusation posed by other reviewers -- Peter Neal's association with began in 1967 when he made the movie Experience. As with this film, I sense that the book too was a labor of love.
A lot of this is from interviews, but where are you gonna find those interviews nowadays? Hendrix talks in depth about his childhood,his family, his early music career and the many people he worked with as well as his stint in the army and run ins with the law. There are copies of lots of postcards and letters to his father, from the time he left home until he died. Apparently, he was very close to his father and kept in touch, if only by mail.There are also a few Q & A type interviews that are pretty good (some are kinda funny). .
Hendrix was never into explaining his playing or his music too much. Perhaps because he couldn't. But who else can? As a fan of Hendrix for many years, I found this book enjoyable and informative. One small complaint is that there are no photos. Some excellent drawings but no photos. I've always liked pics of him playing live. That's not much to complain about though. Most celeb
bios these days are not much more than photos.
I'm sure I'll read it from time to time, like all good books, put it on the shelf and don't let it get away.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some things I like about the book is that it's writen in first-person-perspective.Read more