Blue Notes

Damn Right He's Got the Blues: Buddy Guy's Life Story

When I Left Home: My Story Buddy Guy with David Ritz Da Capo Press, 320 pp, $26

Once the young kid in a stable of blues giants, Buddy Guy is now an elder statesman of the genre. And in this memoir, the story of his life is also the tale of the music itself of the past 50-plus years.

Born in 1936 in Lettworth, Louisiana, Guy spent much of his early years picking cotton with his family in accommodations that had no electricity until he was 13. But music was a passion, and his first attempt at making a crude guitar involved stringing wire from window screens over two tin cans with rubber bands.

Eventually, Guy's father would buy him a used guitar -- with only two strings - for $4.35. But he played it and cared for it like it was worth a million.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero