This is the definitive biography of the legendary guitarist whom eminent figures like Muddy Waters and B. B. King held in high esteem, and who created the prototype for Clapton, Hendrix, Page, and everyone who followed.
Bloomfield was one of the first popular music superstars of the 1960s to earn his reputation almost entirely on his instrumental prowess. He was a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which inspired a generation of white blues players; he played with Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s, when his guitar was a central component of Dylan s new rock sound on Like a Rolling Stone and at his earthshaking 1965 Newport Folk Festival performance. He then founded the Electric Flag, recorded"Super Session"with Al Kooper, backed Janis Joplin, and released at least twenty other albums, despite debilitating substance abuse. He died of a mysterious drug overdose in 1981.
A very limited edition of a book of this title was first published in 1983, but it has here been so thoroughly revised and expanded that it is essentially a brand-new publication. Based on extensive interviews with Bloomfield himself and with those who knew him best, and including an extensive discography and Bloomfield s memorable 1968 "Rolling Stone"interview, "Michael Bloomfield "is an intimate portrait of one of the pioneers of rock guitar.
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Ed Wardhas been the rock & roll historian for Terry Gross and"Fresh Air"since that show s inception, and has contributed over 500 stories to it. He is also a founding director of the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference; wrote one-third of"Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll," in 1986; was the Central European cultural correspondent for the"Wall Street Journal"for seven years; and was on one of the early staffs at"Rolling Stone." He lives in Austin, Texas.Billy F. Gibbonsis the guitarist and lead vocalist of ZZ Top. He lives in Los Angeles."Review:
"A brilliant biography of the ethereal Chicago blues guitar giant who shook the walls down in the '60s and '70s with his soaring art. There is a mother lode of fresh rock 'n' roll history in these pages. The discography alone is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended!" Douglas Brinkley, author of "Rightful Heritage "and "The Wilderness Warrior""
"In this chronicle of a life found and lost, Ed Ward writes with deep empathy, and also with a hard-boiled patience that burns off all sentiment. It is the perfect tone for a story Ward never tries to make bigger than it is, so that finally it makes terrible and final sense." Greil Marcus, author of "The History of Rock 'n' Roll" "in Ten Songs" and "Mystery Train""
"Michael Bloomfield was brilliant, troubled, flawed, charming, and dauntingly influential, and Ed Ward adeptly balances his strengths and weaknesses, creating a picture of a man who was all too in tune with a complicated time." Elijah Wald, author of "Dylan Goes Electric! "and "Escaping the Delta""
"With all due respect to Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, and so many others who are in the pantheon of blues greats, in this white Jew's opinion, Michael Bloomfield was simply the best blues guitarist I've ever heard." Rob Reiner, filmmaker and actor"
"Michael Bloomfield was such a unique and mercurial character is was like handling hot coals in your mind. You should get to know him because the people that knew him, loved him. His guitar playing was beautiful. His heart and soul were as big as it gets. This remembrance brings to life the amazing story of a young Jewish kid from Chicago's North Side whose unique style of improvisational guitar led the world into the modern age of blues and rock. Hey, folks, he was historic." Nick Gravenites, singer and songwriter"
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