Jimi Hendrix Interviews and Reviews Documented in New Book
Jimi Hendrix may be one of the most exhaustively chronicled performers in rock music history, but a new book aims for a fresh angle on the legendary guitarist, whose life has been mythologized to the point where it often overshadows his music.
Titled ‘Jimi Hendrix: Interviews and Reviews 1967-71,’ the book — which was released last week — is exactly what the title implies, a collection of archival interviews and reviews from 1967 until 1971 that amount to a fascinating chronology of the guitarist’s musical and personal development. Drawing from interviews Hendrix gave to Melody Maker, New Musical Express, Detroit Free Press and more, the book traces Hendrix’ development from a fast-rising opening act to a veteran artist who had seemingly grown disenchanted with certain aspects of his career.
The most interesting thing about the book from a historical standpoint is that it contains Hendrix’ entire, unabridged final interview from Sept. 11, 1970. He died just a week later, and that last public chat reveals him as a little lost, at loose ends musically and not knowing what he’s going to do next. Interestingly, the collection of interviews overall show Hendrix as somewhat self-effacing and unsure of his own talent — especially his abilities as a singer and songwriter.
Also included is a scathing review Rolling Stone gave to a shoddy collection of early works that had been rushed to market to capitalize on Hendrix’ commercial success — which would sadly point the way to the future, since the guitarist’s legacy has been tarnished by uncounted numbers of poor quality bootlegs and early demos making their way to the marketplace in a manner he almost certainly would not have approved.The book ends, appropriately enough, with the guitarist’s obituary from the London Times.
Comprising work by such noted rock scribes as Chris Welch, Charles Shaar Murray and Keith Altham, and edited by Ian Douglas, ‘Jimi Hendrix: Interviews and Reviews 1967-71′ is available in a digital-only version via Amazon for just $3.25.