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Publisher's Summary

For many, the name Jimi Hendrix conjures up a larger-than-life image of the man who set fire to guitars, women's hearts, and the status quo. In this groundbreaking account, music journalist Charles R. Cross takes a far deeper look. Beyond Hendrix's legendary onstage and offstage magnetism, and his excessive lifestyle, was a man who struggled to accept his role as an idol and privately craved the kind of normal family life he never had.

Based on more than 300 interviews and never-before-seen private documents, this audiobook recounts the entire arc of Hendrix's life, from his troubled childhood and struggle with racial prejudice to his rapid ascent in swinging London, his headlining at Woodstock in 1969, and his death a year later. As colorful and large as the decade of the 60s, this biography gives the real Hendrix the immortality he deserves.

©2005 Charles R. Cross; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc

Critic Reviews

"Cross' detailed, engrossing book makes the memory of Hendrix even stronger." (New York Times)
"One of the best biographies to date....Admirably comprehensive and well referenced, this is the Hendrix biography to acquire if you can acquire only one." (Booklist)
"An excellent portrait, probably unbeatable both for its moving depiction of his youth and thrilling rise to fame and for its myth-busting finality." (Los Angeles Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Fremont, NE, United States
  • 02-04-10

Great Book - Interesting and Sad Story

Mr. Cross has done a great job of telling the story of Jimi's life. He avoids glamorizing Jimi's life and is honest about his shortcomings and those of his family.

The hardships Jimi went through in his youth, both those outside of his control and those he brought on himself, were unbelievable. Given what he went through, it's amazing that he accomplished what he did.

The story of Jimi's meteoric rise to fame in London is truly fascinating. I also didn't know that Jimi had played for Little Richard and the Isley brothers before breaking out on his own.

The stories of the recording of "Are You Experienced" and Jimi's follow-up albums was fantastic. The story of how "The Wind Cries Mary" was taught to the band and recorded in 20 minutes (with overdubbed guitar solo as well) was truly remarkable.

On the darker side, the substance abuse that is detailed in this book also makes your head spin. Given the things noted in this book, it's amazing Jimi lived as long as he did.

This seems to be a well-researched, balanced look at Jimi's life. The author also does a good job separating fact from fiction (especially in Jimi's death), while at the same time acknowledging when there is not enough evidence to do so.

Nicely done! I learned a LOT about Jimi's life and short time in the spotlight.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • shaheed
  • lorain, OH, United States
  • 08-01-10

Bravo!!!!! Must buy

This author has much to be proud of. He was objective and in depth in his story telling.As a black man, I am guilty of dismissing Hendrix as being "not black enough" because he played rock and not the more popular African American genres of music. I was in error! Hendrix was a wonderful spirit! Thank You to the parties that contributed to this book. I listened to the entire book in a week. I was moved. A+++++++.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kris
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, USA
  • 07-04-07

WOW

Wish I had this book when I did a report on Jimi in the 7th grade (19 years ago). Feels like I got to know him. Get it, you'll love it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Listen

As a long-time Hendrix fan, I learned a lot from this book that I did not know before. The narrator reads it dynamically, holding my attention all the way through. I could not "put it down." I feel like I know Jimi the person much better, and enjoy listening to his music and can now hear both the early excitement and growth and his later frustration revealed through his playing. It was great to go back and watch Hendrix at Woodstock and at the Isle of Wight with a knowledge of the "behind the scenes" backstory of these events. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pie
  • Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 05-26-07

Jimi de-mythified

Reads like a documentary, the author does not embellish unnecessarily. Wow as to the story. Who knew? I didn't.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A bio so hot it scorches your ears

I'd heard about this Jimi Hendrix bio for a long time and toyed with buying it. Finally, I saw the Monterey Pop Festival on video and decided I had to know more about this incendiary guitar god.

The opening chapter finds Hendrix and Experience bassist Noel Redding getting tossed from an English pub. The reason for their ejection is hilarious--but also telling, because for most of his life Hendrix was a boy with no stable home who never fit the mold society tried to place him in.

Where he fit was in music. Charles R. Cross's immensely readable biography spends a lot time setting up Hendrix's fractured home life, his troubled parents Lucille and Al and Hendrix's peregrinations as he moved around trying to make a living with his guitar.

The story picks up a head of steam as Hendrix finally breaks away from background musician status (he backed Little Richard at one point) to fledgling headliner in London. The Beatles, Clapton and the Who's Pete Townsend all take notice.

The rise to fame, the recording of seminal albums and the landmark performances at Monterey and Woodstock pass by quickly. Hendrix's years of fame were brief. But he packed a lot into that period--including foxy ladies, drug pushers and hangers-on.

The drug taking that eventually ends Hendrix's life at the age of 27 doesn't play a dominant role in the narrative until later. This is nice because you get to spend time with a talented artist who even dead and gone and reduced to the printed words in a biography smolders with sex appeal and creative vibrancy.

I don't remember much about reader Lloyd James' performance--I was too distracted by Jimi--except that I liked it a lot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book. Great narrator.

Excellent book and narration. A great story, but I am a biased Hendrix fan. Very interesting retrospective of Hendrix's life, and the author is very knowledgable with the facts and history. I enjoyed every moment of this book.
I also highly recommend "Heavier Than Heaven" the biography of Kurt Cobain, also written by Cross with the same narrator. The two books are on the same level.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Denison, TX, United States
  • 09-06-10

The Full Jimi

This book give the full story, birth to death, of Jimi Hendrix. I thought I knew much of his story, but it seems I knew so little: the hardship of his childhood, the lack of monuments to his life, his violence, and tremendous work ethic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

In depth

Detailed, well thought and appreciated. The legend continues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • 10-28-09

I really enjoyed this!

This was good, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to any fans of Hendrix or classic rock guitarists in general.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful