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Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix Hardcover – August 3, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Cross (Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain) turns his thoughtful eye toward another Seattle music icon, Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970). With a storyteller's eye, he captures Hendrix's difficult, poverty-stricken childhood with alcoholic and largely absent parents, rendering it as tragic yet not without its happy, tender moments. After a stint as an army paratrooper, Hendrix knocked around playing guitar in blues clubs in the 1960s, winding up in New York and eventually London, where he established himself as a guitar god, even earning the adulation of the Beatles, before exploding onto the U.S. scene with a 1967 appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. While replete with tales of rock star excess, Cross's narrative, based on more than 300 interviews, describes Hendrix as thoughtful and craving some semblance of order to his life, even as it became steeped in drug use. Of Hendrix's death at age 27, viewed by many as a possible suicide, Cross makes the best case yet for it being accidental, portraying Hendrix as exhausted, unable to sleep and likely taking nine sleeping pills without much thought. There are a number of Hendrix bios already available, but Cross's surpasses them all, both in terms of research and execution. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vet rock scribe Cross delivers one of the best biographies to date of the late guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Although there is no shortage of bios--or posthumously released recordings--of Hendrix, Cross distinguishes this effort with information gleaned from interviews with primary sources, including Hendrix's surviving family members. Cross is able to provide a fresher and more detailed portrait than appeared in Al Hendrix's (Jimi's deceased father) autobiography, including updates on the intra-family squabbles caused by Al's will. A fuller picture of Hendrix's formative years and the odd dynamic that infused the relationship of Al and Jimi's mother, Lucille, consequently emerges. Theirs was a troubled relationship, rife with adultery and the suspicion, frequently voiced by Al, that not all of the couple's children were biologically his. In addition to the family dirt, Cross covers all the usual Hendrix bases and then some. Was Jimi bisexual? Quite possibly. Did the DAR call for the Monkees to kick the fledgling Jimi Hendrix Experience off their 1967 tour? No; that was a publicity stunt by manager Chas Chandler. Did Hendrix enjoy his seminal involvement with the Plaster Casters? You bet. Admirably comprehensive and well referenced, this is the Hendrix biography to acquire if you can acquire only one. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"Room Full Of Mirrors". I thoroughly enjoyed the read. What an amazing talent and character Jimi Hendrix was. I highly recommend the book.