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By Sharon Lawrence
Published by Sidgwick & Jackson, 2005
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox


Jimi Hendrix - The Man, The Magic, The Truth available at

Jimi Hendrix at

Write Dope on Pnuk part 24 

Everyone has a mental-icon of JIMI, something more than a picture that is shaded by opinion of his life and works. This book comes from someone who first met Jimi in 1968, while working as a journalist, their paths crossing at various points, but also from someone who didn't want to write about him. When she finally settled on documenting his life, it was against a background that afforded her access to the various background figures about him. She could talk to industry insiders about the rock 'n' roll process, about the terrible contracts he was saddled with, the grind of touring.

What sets this book apart though is that his death is two-thirds in and so his legacy, artistic and financial, can be pursued up to the recent past. With a family which included half- and step-siblings, the tortuous net of relations that ended up controlling and licensing Jimi, the product is somewhat strange.

The back story of the abject poverty of his early life, his fight to become a musician, that is inspiring. The terrible management is a warning. The eventual empire in his name, that has produced some shoddy products, can be read as how so many legacies have fallen into dogmatic credo and self-serving avarice. It makes me appreciate the exhibition at the Marquee a few years ago all the more.


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