Beneath teh Underdog

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by olps, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. olps


    Nov 12, 2001
    I just picked up the autobiography of Charles Mingus, Beneath The Underdog. On one of the first few pages it says that some names have been changed, and some facts/events are fictitious; here's the question, how does one tell which events are true or not? Thanks.
  2. Heh... there are several parts in the book that will make you wonder as you read on.

    Even if it isn't 100% accurate and I am not saying it isn't but it is still a fascinating look inside the man's head.
  3. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Right now I'm reading Gene Santoro's Mingus bio, "Myself When I Am Real". Santoro includes many quotations from people who knew Mingus well throughout his life (his wives/sisters, Buddy Collette, Britt Woodman) and the verdict is that Chazz embellished/fabricated quite a bit to juice up the story.

    In particular, Santoro says, Mingus' claim of having been a pimp in "Underdog" isn't supported by those who knew him. "Beneath The Underdog" is definitely one of the most memorable and provocative books I've read, but the Santoro book provides a more in-depth account of the details of Mingus' remarkable life.
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Beneath The Underdog is a truly unique piece of literature. It's definitely not a traditional autobiography. I remember having the same reaction when I first read it 25 years ago. Just re-read it last summer...

    It's like a stream of consciousness riffing by Mingus on the theme of his life. Sometimes it verges on the hallucinatory. Full of anger, boasting, magic. A book to suit the man.