Jimi Hendrix

A Brother's Story
with Adam Mitchell. Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. May 2012. c.304p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780312668815. $25.99. MUSIC
Rock legend Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 in 2012. Writing with Mitchell (coauthor, with Danny Seraphine, Street Player: My Chicago Story), Jimi's younger brother Leon Hendrix here presents an intimate look at his own and his brother's formative years. The Hendrix boys had a disruptive and tumultuous childhood; however, in the most memorable parts of the book, Leon portrays Jimi taking apart a radio to see where the music comes from, creating sounds by tying string between his bedposts, and learning to play the ukulele. Leon also recounts a few dizzying months, after his brother reached global fame, that he spent in the celebrity orbit of a rock star who just happened to be family. Leon relates his own struggles with drugs and recovery after Jimi's death in 1970 and the legal squabble surrounding his older brother's estate and musical legacy.
VERDICT Devoted Jimi Hendrix fans will want to read this, especially for the accounts of his youthful musical beginnings; those wanting a more complete biography should go with Charles R. Cross's Room Full of Mirrors. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.]
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