At 83, the self-taught guitarist and self-taught writer (so much for formal education) remembers Segovia from 6 to 27. Twenty years of waif dom begin as the Andalusian child is farmed out to an obliging aunt and uncle--kindhearted guardians but aghast at Andresito's preoccupation with ""tiki-tik-tik plucking."" The incorrigible truant is soon a teen-aged traveling musician, playing his transcriptions of Chopin and Schumann for dozing pensioners in private clubs and changing neighborhoods as the pesetas dwindle or, infrequently, roll in. Down and out, mostly, in Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Valencia, and Madrid. But through the poverty and humiliations (vivid, but no self-pity) always: the guitar. And women. Segovia's passionate crusade to establish his instrument's legitimacy in the concert world lets up only long enough to introduce a succession of comely and over-duennaed inamoratas. Expect no scandales, however: ""To expose bedroom intimacies would be as inelegant as it would be unfair."" Equally refreshing--the unabashed pride Segovia derives from his one-man revolution and his exuberant, yet ironic sense of himself. Sly and graceful, bejeweled with marvelously natural, apt images and candid surrenders to strong feelings, Segovia's short chapters capture the moodiness and the bustle of creative adolescence. A model of translation preserves intimacy and spontaneity and borrows just enough of the original Spanish (poems and lyrics offered in both languages) to hint at Segovia's word-music. This first volume of memoirs ends with the still-struggling youth sailing for South America. Maestro, encore!