Becoming Jimi Hendrix
From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, the Untold Story of a Musical Genius
Publication Date: September 2010
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The first in-depth biography of the formative years of the greatest electric guitarist of all time, with 25 rare photos, complete sessionography, and tour itinerary
Steve Roby is the author of Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix, former editor of Experience Hendrix magazine, and teaches a course on Hendrix’s life and music.
Brad Schreiber is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, and literary consultant. His books include Stop the Show!, What Are You Laughing At, and Death in Paradise.
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.”
Mojo, November 2010“One of the most intelligent and revealing biographies of an unsurpassable giant.” San Francisco Chronicle, 10/04/10“A compelling account of an artist whose idiosyncrasies earned him both respect and scorn in the black music establishment and eternal superstardom in the rock arena…Roby and Schreiber provide an insightful account of an artist who perceived his craft differently from any guitarist before or since, and who finally aligned the rock world with that perception, but never fully reaped the rewards of his efforts.”
JimPress, September 2010 “If you read only one new Hendrix book this year, make it this one...You will still be drawn in and fascinated to hear how Jimi became the showman and musician that he did.” Internet Review of Books, 10/29/10“A must read for hard-core Hendrix fans.” Popmatters.com, 11/11/10“The first major fleshing out of the formative period during which Hendrix discovered not only who he was, but who he wasn’t…Roby and Schreiber document a remarkably busy and pivotal stretch in Hendrix’s career and life. Their digging through files, interviews and news clippings puts meat on the bones of his pre-fame chronology.”
“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.” Houston Press (“Get Lit” blog), 11/22/10“The authors contribute plenty of valuable and insightful stories about the music, moods, and outlook of perhaps rock's most inventive guitarist.” Waterbury Sunday Republican, 12/5/10
“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.”
Examiner.com, 2/9/11 “Well-written and chock full of the kind of new information and original interviews that make it a joy (and even a relief, given the regurgitated nature of so many recent books on Hendrix) to a Jimi-obsessive.”
“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.”
Midnight to Six blog, 12/25/11 “While everyone knows the Hendrix that was the leading guitar player during the psychedelic era, most are unfamiliar with how he got there, and that’s why this book is so valuable. The authors paint a very vivid picture of Hendrix’s years of poverty as he bounced around from gig to gig, backing some of the day’s top R&B stars (don’t miss the wild stories from his stint in Little Richard’s band!), while trying to find a way to get into the spotlight on his own merits… Becoming Jimi Hendrix is both 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.”