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Jimi Hendrix


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About the Author

Sharon Lawrence is a journalist and author. She was a music journalist in the sixties when she met Hendrix and went on to become a consultant in the music business working with some of the biggest acts of the day.


A veteran journalist and friend of the late Jimi Hendrix, Lawrence offers a sympathetic memoir of the musician that unlike past biographies doesn't dwell on Hendrix's creative marvel or lament his early demise. Instead, Lawrence focuses on Hendrix's troubled childhood and the rock star excesses, which included drugged-out hangers-on, social parasites, and preying businessmen. The book starts slowly, yet Lawrence's firsthand experiences with Hendrix (as well as Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton) provide an insider's view of the late 1960s and early 1970s rock landscape. Best of all are the memories of Hendrix the numerology nut (he was a nine), serving as a witness in his much-publicized Canadian drug trial, and recalling his admission that he had "never been in love," all of which reveal the human side of a musical messiah. Thus, Lawrence's presence when Hendrix died reads less like the passing of a god than the sad loss of a friend. Recommended for any library with standard Hendrix biographies like David Henderson's 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix.-Robert Morast, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, SD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Former UPI reporter and Hendrix confidante Lawrence (So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star) recalls the guitar player's brilliance in this sympathetic biography. She skims over his early years-his abandonment by his mother, his high school rock bands, his brief time as a paratrooper-but slows down once Hendrix gets to playing his guitar in earnest. After knocking around as a session player and winding up in New York, Hendrix signed with former Animals bassist Chas Chandler and went to England in 1965, where he blew away the likes of the Beatles, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. He triumphantly returned to the U.S. for 1967's famous Monterey Pop festival, where he became an overnight superstar. But bound by bad deals he signed without counsel, under an intense media glare, exhausted by the road, busted for possession and trapped in a downward spiral of drugs, lawsuits and paranoia, Hendrix burned out. The year before his death, Lawrence writes, she watched Hendrix become a "Shakespearean protagonist... while a growing brood of greedy villains circled like vultures." On September 18, 1970, Hendrix overdosed on pills, which Lawrence believes was a deliberate act to "confront fate." While much has been written about Hendrix's meteoric career over the years, Lawrence's close ties to the musician and her well-written narrative make this book a welcome addition to the Hendrix canon. Agent, Martha Kaplan. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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