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Publisher's Summary

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 on 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 words, those of a storyteller who remembers everything, including blues masters in their prime and the exploding, evolving culture of music that happened all around him.

Buddy Guy was born in 1936 in Lettsworth, Louisiana. He is considered among the best blues guitarists alive today. He lives in Chicago.

©2012 Buddy Guy with David Ritz (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

“Buddy has never failed to amaze me first as an artist and secondly as a beautiful guy…Long may he give us his gift.” (Keith Richards)
“Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others…[He] is by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive.” (Eric Clapton)
“Guy is a vibrant and hilarious storyteller. With a natural ease and honesty, he captures the spirit of the age, the culture of violence in the clubs, and the personalities of his colleagues...Highly recommended for any fan of Guy and those interested in the history of blues music.” ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about When I Left Home

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  • The Louligan
  • 2013-09-11

GREAT STORY - GREAT NARRATOR

As a music industry veteran of 44 years, I was a little wary of a musician trying to be an author. I'm a strong believer that people should "play their positions", I.e., stick with what you know. I can't tell you how many major NBA and NFL players have asked me to help them start a record label with NO experience, like I didn't put in decades and years of law school in order "to play my game". Championship rings and a spare $5 million does not make you into Barry Gordy or Jimmy Iovine or even ME! I would never presume to play one-on-one with Shaq - why did he think he could rap???

But blues great Buddy Guy successfully pulled off this change in careers. He had a co-writer and a very good one. This story is well told, honest, entertaining and educational. I started my career in recording about 10 years after Guy, at the height of his popularity. His depiction of the business at that time is on the money. Narrator Mirron Willis - one of my favorites - is the perfect narrator. His mellifluous engaging voice keeps the action moving while "keeping it real" with true-to-life depiction of not only the voices of black people but how we say things which can mean something different based on our intonation. This is the REAL story behind the "Cadillac Records" movie without the poor gratuitous casting of the wooden Beyoncé Knowles as Etta James, plus more about the Chicagoblues players like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Junior Wells, plus B.B. King and Ike Turner, who inspired white artists like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and John Mayer. Buddy Guy's life story is one of a phenomenal talent who retained his good heart and respect for others in an industry that will make a lesser being sell his soul to the devil.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Rick R.
  • 2012-08-05

Excellent History and Respect for The Blues

Would you listen to When I Left Home again? Why?

There's a lot of history here. It is told in a very personal way, fully accessible and very listenable. Great to get such perspective from Buddy Guy and those who were there during this era of Blues awareness.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No question, Buddy Guy although those he comes in contact with each have their own appeal.

Have you listened to any of Mirron Willis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I might. It took a bit to adjust to Willis's performance but once I got into his rhythm it was a joy ride

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It makes me want to venture to the areas of the country central to the book and walk the steps Buddy Guy walked alongside so many legends

Any additional comments?

It's a terrific compliment to Gregg Allman's book - great background on what was happening in the music industry told through the eyes of a couple of central figures.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Charles
  • 2012-05-31

A must for blues fans

This one is, indeed, a must for blues fans. Buddy Guy's story is compelling--from working in cotton as a child to being a world-wide acclaimed guitarist. The history he tells of other blues musicians over the decades, however, is priceless. After listening to this, you will probably be a greater fan of Buddy's and you will have loved all the stories he told along the way.

2 people found this helpful

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  • M. Vera
  • 2018-01-25

Buddy Guy is simply the best

Hearing Buddy's words about his life and the greats who helped him on his way (Muddy Waters, Howlin'Wolf, BB King) was simply fantastic. Just wish some of his music came with it. Oh well......just had to go to Amazon.

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  • John
  • 2012-06-11

The Unsung Hero of the Blues is Getting His Due

Would you consider the audio edition of When I Left Home to be better than the print version?

I'm not sure if the audio version is better than the printed version. Having seen Buddy Guy perform in many different settings, I imagine his voice different than the audio of the Narrator. That having been said, Mirron Willis does not detract from the story.

What other book might you compare When I Left Home to and why?

None

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mirron Willis?

I would listen to another book narrated by Mirron Willis. He did a fantastic job with the details of the voice that made each character in the narrative distinctly different.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This was indeed a book that I wanted to listen to all in one sitting if that was possible for me.

Any additional comments?

I think Buddy did a good job sharing his life with his audience. However, I found myself wanting more details or more of his life's tales. Especially more of the interpersonal experiences of the day to day, not just the life defining moments of his career.

Great book for a lover of the blues!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Ceasor
  • 2022-05-11

Earnest and straightforward

A very earnest look into the life of one of the pioneers of the blues. Offering you a glimpse of personalities like Muddy, Walter, BB, Junior and of course Buddy himself. In ways wonderful but tragic, it is amazing how these great talents continued to produce great music no matter how much they were exploited by the record companies

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  • Shirley L.
  • 2022-03-25

Very interesting. Almost every word held my undivided attention. Such a creative way to focus on one artist yet stir up my inter

Such a creative way in this journey of Buddy’s to stir up my interest in many of the other artists whose names were mentioned .

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  • Clifford
  • 2021-12-27

moving and honest

a fan of the blues I have never explored Buddy Guy's music. no matter. I feel the blues and his stories are honest, compelling, and moving. thanks Buddy I am grateful.

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  • Kurt
  • 2021-11-24

Thank you Buddy!!!

A great story about a great man. Thank you for making so many people happy with your music Buddy!!!!'

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  • Chris Nagel
  • 2021-08-29

Quite enjoyable

Mr Guy is as eloquent in telling stories as he is in the studio playing and singing. He will melt your face with that hot guitar he plays in concert and he will touch your heart with the stories tells in this book. A LEGEND indeed