YOUTH & LITERACY BOOK REVIEW
‘Being Jimi wasn’t always that great’
by Terri Schlichenmeyer Special to the Tri-State Defender
stepped onto the pretend stage, the imag- inary crowd went wild. Make-believe spotlights shined on your fingers, mov- ing quickly as you picked a song on your air guitar – your “specialty” – and you were famous. In your own head, anyway. If only, right? If only you could be like
Jimi. But as you’ll see in the new book “Becoming Jimi Hendrix” by Steven Roby & Brad Schreiber, being Jimi was- n’t always that great. Born while his (presumed) biological
The cheers and chantswere just for you. When the music started and you
father, Al, was in the military, James Marshall Hendrix was originally named Johnny, after hismother’s pimp. Follow- ing an ultimately-failed reconciliation with his wife, Al divorced her and, in 1951, collected his two eldest sons and left. Lifewas a constant struggle tomake ends meet: Jimi took responsibility for his brother, and the two regularly scrounged or stole meals. As a child, Jimi loved guitars and was
but not even a steady girlfriend kept him out of trouble. Caught in a “crimewave”, he was given the choice between jail and military service. Choosing the latter, Jimi left his hometown of Seattle and eventu- ally landed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. There, his life changed. The military wasn’t a good fit for Jimi
and he lasted barely a year, but living in Kentucky brought him closer
Nashville and the south, home of R&B and other up-and-comingmusicians. Jimi gained a reputation for being a good gui- tarist, but he couldn’t keep a job.Hewas, it seemed, unreliable and couldn’t resist any chance to improvise. And yet,whileworkingwith big-name
groups and unknowns, Jimi honed his skills. He learned to play the guitar up-
so desperate for one of his own that, in elementary school, he carried a broom with him, and pretended. He made in- struments from scraps and wire until he finally got his first real guitar, an acoustic one, for the small price of five dollars.He slept with it across his chest, just like he would with other guitars in the future. Though he was shy, girls loved Jimi,
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cation of the Mem- phis City Schools District will accept written bids for ADA Deferred Mainte- nance
Zones 2 & 3 and 2&3/TRO-JB.
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portingMemphis City Schools.
ders, Director Memphis
“Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London, The Untold Story of aMusical Genius” by Steven Roby & Brad Schreiber c. 2010 Da Capo Press $17.95 / $22.00 Canada 288 pages
phy on Jimi Hendrix, look elsewhere. “Becoming JimiHendrix” almost strictly lives up to its title,methodically explain- ing Hendrix’s path from poverty to “mu- sical genius”, including an extensive section on concerts, discography, and other minutiae. That means that there aren’t a lot of anecdotes that don’t ex- plain his career. But those few anecdotes, I thought,
side down, backwards, with his teeth, or behind his back. By the time he died at age 27, he was hailed as the greatest gui- tarist in rock history. If you’re looking for a chatty biogra-
Find the Tri-State Defender at the following locations.
were the most intriguing parts of this book. Authors Steven Roby & Brad Schreiber tease readerswith brief snippets of Jimi’s personal life. Then they hint about the true circumstances of his death. Forty years have passed since that
death, and if you’re a music fan or love the guitar, you just can’t miss this book. For you, “Becoming Jimi Hendrix” is one to pick.
illusion |iˈloō zh ən| noun a false idea or belief : he had no illu- sions about the trouble shewas in. • a deceptive appearance or im- pression : the illusion of family togetherness | the tension be- tween illusion and reality. • a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses : Zollner’s illusion makes parallel lines seem to di- verge by placing them on a zigzag-striped background. PHRASES be under the illusion that be- lieve mistakenly that : the world is under the illusion that the original painting still hangs in theWinter Palace. be under no illusion (or illu- sions) be fully aware of the true state of affairs. DERIVATIVES illusional |- zh ənl| adjective ORIGINMiddle English (in the sense [deceiving, deception] ): via
iteracy Project Word Up!
Old French fromLatin illusio(n-), fromilludere ‘tomock,’ fromin- ‘against’+ ludere ‘play.’
Thesaurus illusion noun 1 he had destroyed her illusions delusion, misapprehension, mis- conception, false impression; fantasy, fancy, dream, chimera; fool’s paradise, self-deception. 2 the lighting increases the illu- sion of depth appearance, im- pression, semblance; misperception, false appearance; rare simulacrum. 3 it’s just an illusion mirage, hal- lucination, apparition, figment of the imagination, trick of the light, trompe l’oeil; deception, trick, smoke and mirrors. 4 Copperfield’s amazing illu- sions (magic) trick, conjuring trick; (illusions) magic, conjur- ing, sleight of hand, legerde- main.
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