Hendrix Book Cover Hendrix
Gillian G. Gaar, Jaan Uhelszki,
Voyageur Press (MN)

Coinciding with what would have been Jimi Hendrix's 75th year on this mortal coil, this (incredibly) is the first full-blown illustrated gift book exploring the life and career of the man most consider the greatest rock guitarist of all time. Hendrix enjoyed the international limelight for less than four years, but his innovative and imaginative interpretations of blues and rock continue to inspire guitarists and music lovers across ages and genre. Inside, Seattle-based music journalist Gillian Gaar examines the guitarist’s upbringing, his service as an Army paratrooper, his role as a sideman on the chitlin’ circuit, his exile in the UK, and his eventual reemergence in the US and the fame that followed until his untimely death in 1970. Featuring design as lavish as Hendrix’s music and carefully curated photography, posters, picture sleeves, and other assorted memorabilia, this is the ultimate Hendrix book experience.

Many great shots of Hendrix. Great for me as I saw him live many times. Notably at Sussex University in the 60’s not long after Chas Chandler had brought him across from New York and once at Bath Festival and Isle of Wight Festival in the early 70’s.

Even so I learnt things I didn’t know about Jimi like backing all those soul and Tamla Motown bands. Also that not only was he in the army but he played guitar in an army band, now that really blows my mind.I love how accurate the meeting of Jimmi and Chas was, Chas says, “I thought immediately he was the best guitarist I’d ever seen,” he later recalled. “You just sat there and thought to yourself, ‘This is ridiculous—why hasn’t anybody signed this guy up?’”

I met Chas later when he was working with my brother and he had a lot of stories to tell, but often when speaking of Jimi it was with sadness or a sense of regret.

If you’re a Hendrix fan or love the history of Rock then the visual and written history portrayed here is second to none.

Kevin Bergin