Becoming Jimi Hendrix – by Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber (Da Capo Press)

So much has been written about Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise in 1966 until his mysterious death in 1970 that another book covering that era isn’t needed. Becoming Jimi Hendrix’s authors Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber wisely focus their sights on Hendrix’s formative years from 1962-1966. 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 his way into the spotlight. I really enjoyed how the author’s charted how Hendrix incorporated bits and pieces of technique and showmanship from musicians he encountered in his travels to create a playing style that still amazes and inspires to this day. Becoming Jimi Hendrix is both well researched and well written, bringing both the subject and the era back to life for a whole new generation. Highly recommended.