New Book, 'Starting at Zero: His Own Story,' Is Pure Jimi Hendrix — in His Own Words

Bloomsbury recently published a unique book about — in fact, by — guitar legend legend Jimi Hendrix.

The book, Starting at Zero: His Own Story, features an introduction by Peter Neal, who made Experience, the first-ever film about Hendrix.

Also known as Hear My Music Talking, it was the only one released during Hendrix's lifetime, and is arguably best known for its memorable footage of the guitar legend playing a 12-string guitar.

From the publisher:

It took just four years in the spotlight for Jimi Hendrix to become an international cultural icon.

The sheer impact and originality of his music and his unique mastery of the guitar placed him forever amongst musical giants.

But what of the man behind the public image? Modest and intensely private by nature, Hendrix was shrouded in intrigue from the moment he first came into the public eye, and the mystery has only grown with time.

Much has been written about him by experts, fans and critics, some of it true and some of it not. He did, however, leave his own account of himself, locked away like a Chinese puzzle in his many interviews, lyrics, writings, poems, diaries, and even stage raps. Starting at Zero brings all these elements together in narrative form.

The result is an intimate, funny, and poetic memoir—one that tells, for the first time, Hendrix’s own story as only he could tell it.

"For anyone interested in Jimi Hendrix this is essential reading," said Roger Mayer. "It’s Jimi’s voice and I recognize a lot of what he’s saying. It’s not like the books that tell you what he did on every day of the week, and it’s not someone’s opinion either. All those other books give very little insight into the person he was but this allows us a very real glimpse of Jimi, or as much as any outsider is likely to get. It’s the nearest we’re going to get to a posthumous autobiography."

Alan Douglas also played a major role in the creation of Starting at Zero. For 20 years, he was responsible for initiating and producing all of the music, films and promotional material relating to the Hendrix Estate.

He’d assumed control in 1974, at a time when Hendrix's legacy was coming under threat from the onset of punk and increasingly poor album releases — the last of which bore the title Loose Ends.

For more about the book, visit and

Starting at Zero: His Own Story (Bloomsbury USA), $26, October 2013

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.