Jimi Hendrix Biography Traces Guitarist's Early Years -- Exclusive Excerpt
Before Jimi Hendrix became an international superstar and tragically died at the age of 27, he was Jimmy, a young guitarist trying to find his place in music and the world at large. In the book 'Becoming Jimi Hendrix,' authors Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber detail Hendrix's early years, from his roots in Seattle, his stints as a Nashville sideman, his service in the 101st Airborne and his evolution in the '60s Greenwich Village scene.
Featuring a host of never-before-published photos, brand new interviews and even FBI files and court documents, 'Becoming Jimi Hendrix' reveals the complexity behind one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Check out an exclusive excerpt of the book below that details Hendrix's youth in the Seattle music scene.
By his late teens, Jimi was playing in local bands. First, it was the Velvetones and the Rocking Kings, followed by Thomas and the Tomcats. He practiced every spare moment he had, even if some of his strings were broken. When he didn't have his guitar with him, he pretended he did.
"One day I was walking down the hall," recalled his Garfield High School classmate Mike Tagawa, "and here was Hendrix coming in the other direction playing air guitar." Tagawa asked Jimi where his books were. "He gave me that nice warm smile of his and said, 'I don't need my books. I've got my guitar.'"
Jimi, introverted, fearful of his future, never able to bring friends over to his house, was bullied by some of boys, who saw him as peculiar and aloof. Once, friends saw Jimi chased across a football field by a boy he would not let hold his guitar. Eventually, Jimi was knocked to the turf, punched, and kicked. He suffered the blows, rather than releasing the guitar and risking damage to