When I Left Home

When I Left Home

My Story

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
A great blues guitarist chronicles his eventful life, from his modest upbringing in rural Louisiana to his rise to prominence in the Chicago blues scene to his becoming a lasting influence on Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and many others.

Perseus Publishing
According to Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy is the greatest blues guitarist of all time. An enormous influence on these musicians as well as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck, he is the living embodiment of Chicago blues.

Guy’s epic story stands at the absolute nexus of modern blues. He came to Chicago from rural Louisiana in the fifties?the very moment when urban blues were electrifying our culture. He was a regular session player at Chess Records. Willie Dixon was his mentor. He was a sideman in the bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. He and Junior Wells formed a band of their own. In the sixties, he became a recording star in his own right.

When I Left Home tells Guy’s picaresque story in his own unique voice, that of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.

The autobiography of blues legend Buddy Guy, coauthored by bestselling collaborator David Ritz

Book News
Chicago-style blues guitarist Buddy Guy, now 75 years old, was the son of sharecroppers in the Deep South. He taught himself how to play guitar and left for Chicago in 1957 at age 21. In his own voice, he describes milestones in his career such as playing alongside blues greats Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, the transition to electric blues, and concerts with the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead in the 1960s. The book includes a selected discography and b&w photos from personal collections. Coauthor David Ritz has helped other musicians write their autobiographies Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

A great blues guitarist chronicles his eventful life, from his modest upbringing in rural Louisiana to his rise to prominence in the Chicago blues scene to his becoming a lasting influence on famous musicians.

Publisher: Boston : Da Capo Press, 2012
Edition: First Da Capo Press edition
ISBN: 9780306819575
Branch Call Number: BIO Guy, B 2012
Characteristics: xiii, 280 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Ritz, David


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Nov 20, 2014

Buddy Guy’s autobiography, When I Left Home, reads like butter and honey melting over hot cornbread. It has the sensuality of acoustic blues from the front porch of a Louisiana sharecropper shack on a flat top guitar with only two strings. That’s how Buddy Guy began his blues career learning John Lee Hooker’s “Boogey Chillen”.

Indeed, Guy’s story is the story of the blues. From his earliest performance inspiration, Guitar Slim, through his mentors and partners, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Junior Wells, and the British rockers such as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton who trace their roots to the Chicago Blues. Guy’s story is firmly rooted in all the blues that came before him and nourishes all the blues that came after him.

Guy opens his autobiography through the food he learned on the farm and continues into his urban life in Chicago. “It’s not I think good food’s gonna let me live forever; it’s just that good food, like good blues, makes life better. It ain’t phony. It comes from nature. It nourishes and satisfies your hunger for something real.” And that’s exactly what this book does.

Aug 06, 2013

Quick, easy, engaging read, interesting even for those who would not consider themselves music aficionados. Nice that it's written in Buddy Guy's "voice". Found myself reading countless anecdotes out loud on my way through - and was not told to be quiet! Fascinating - especially how he got his first guitar, second guitar, third guitar.... Sad that he and so many other blues greats never got properly compensated for sharing their talent. A few bits made me a little queasy: the rampant cheating on the women, and the times some of the men had no compunction about punching a woman in the face or otherwise beating her up. Still, these were side notes in an otherwise very enjoyable memoir. Makes me want to visit Buddy's blues club, Legends. If I ever get to Chicago....

ChristchurchLib Apr 21, 2013

April 2013 Biography and Memoir newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=623168

Mar 01, 2013

If you like the Blues you will want to read this book. Buddy shares his life as a musician and all the legendary blues men and women he met and worked with during his lifetime with the reader. All the greats are here. Truly a gifted performer, Buddy Guy gives credit to all the people (most of them gone now) that had an influence on his music by sharing many amusing and at times hilarious anecdotes about life on the road as a Chicago based blues man. After you read his book you appreciate how humble Buddy truly is. He had lived an incredible life and we are fortunate enough to have him share some of it with us. There is not doubt in my mind this interesting book
could have been much longer.

Aug 10, 2012

Great read. Love it from beginning to end. Thanks Buddy!
Hope to see you again at Hamilton Place this spring 2013!!

rowanquincy Jul 04, 2012

Told his story starting as a sharecropper's son. Loved the detail in this book. A quick read.


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