When I Left Home

  • by Buddy Guy, David Ritz
  • Narrated by Mirron Willis
  • 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.

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- Rick R.


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.
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.