When I Left Home
Buddy Guy and David Ritz
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Buy *When I Left Home: My Story* by Buddy Guy and David Ritz online

When I Left Home: My Story
Buddy Guy and David Ritz
Da Capo Press
320 pages
May 2012
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Zane Ewton's take on When I Left Home.

If you could ask anyone from Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck to the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, they would all tell you that Buddy Guy was the man. They listened to his music and stole his guitar licks and were champions for one of the truly great blues icons who ever lived.

Here in his autobiography, the Louisiana-born musician talks about his life as the son of a sharecropper. He grew up in a wooden shack raised on pillars that had no water, no electricity, a wood-burning stove, and windows without glass. But George Buddy Guy was a resilient little kid. When the family scraped together $4.35 to buy guitar from a family acquaintance, his life was forever altered. When electricity came to Buddy's neighborhood and he heard John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen" record on his little home phonograph, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Here Guy reminisces about that moment.

In 1949, about when I turned thirteen, 'Boogie Chillen' was the biggest hit in he country among black folk--it was by far the biggest hit in the Guy household. Wasn't anything more than one guy playing his electric guitar by himself. Notes were simple. Words were simple. Words didn't even rhyme. But the groove got to me.
The beauty of the book is that it's written in the particular and colorful way in which Guy talks. Its pages are filled with tales about overcoming obstacles and beating all the odds. Guy is funny and able to laugh at himself and turn the misery around him into something humorous and uplifting.

If you're a fan of Buddy Guy or just want to hear the story of the history of the blues from one of the men who created the style, pick this up.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2012

Also by David Ritz:

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