Synopses & Reviews
On the 35th anniversary of his death comes the definitive biography of rock 'n' roll legend Jimi Hendrix by the New York Times
bestselling author Charles R. Cross.
Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's tragic death in 1970, Room Full of Mirrors is the definitive biography of rock'n roll's greatest guitarist. Meticulously researched and based on more than 300 interviews with those who knew him best more than half of whom have never spoken about him before this landmark book recounts the entire arc of Hendrix's life, from his troubled childhood in Seattle's projects and the early loss of his mother to his struggles against racial prejudice as a young musician and his rapid ascent to the top amidst the swinging London scene, and finally to the apex of his career headlining Woodstock in 1969, with his death occurring a year later.
This is a book as colorful and large as the decade of the sixties. It is the story of an outrageous life with legendary tales of sex, drugs, and excess but it also reveals a man who struggled to accept his role as an idol and who privately craved the kind of normal family life he never had. Using never-before-seen documents and private letters, Room Full of Mirrors unlocks the vast mystery of one of rock's most enduring legends.
"Cross (Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain) turns his thoughtful eye toward another Seattle music icon, Jimi Hendrix (1942 1970). With a storyteller's eye, he captures Hendrix's difficult, poverty-stricken childhood with alcoholic and largely absent parents, rendering it as tragic yet not without its happy, tender moments. After a stint as an army paratrooper, Hendrix knocked around playing guitar in blues clubs in the 1960s, winding up in New York and eventually London, where he established himself as a guitar god, even earning the adulation of the Beatles, before exploding onto the U.S. scene with a 1967 appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. While replete with tales of rock star excess, Cross's narrative, based on more than 300 interviews, describes Hendrix as thoughtful and craving some semblance of order to his life, even as it became steeped in drug use. Of Hendrix's death at age 27, viewed by many as a possible suicide, Cross makes the best case yet for it being accidental, portraying Hendrix as exhausted, unable to sleep and likely taking nine sleeping pills without much thought. There are a number of Hendrix bios already available, but Cross's surpasses them all, both in terms of research and execution." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Kurt Cobain's biographer takes on the great rock guitarist's legacy and misses the mark....One ultimately understands that Hendrix was crushed by the burden of celebrity, but the sources of that celebrity remain vague. Hendrix's story is finally lost in a purple haze." Kirkus Reviews
"[Cross] tackl[es] Hendrix with authority and objectivity to spin a tale that's as compelling as it is illuminating....Not only does this read like the definitive take on Hendrix but it also positions Cross as the next great rock biographer. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"[O]ne of the best [Hendrix] biographies to date....Cross distinguishes this effort with information gleaned from interviews with primary sources....Admirably comprehensive and well referenced, this is the Hendrix biography to acquire if you can acquire only one." Booklist
Now in paperback, the national bestselling biography of American musical icon Jimi Hendrix
It has been more than thirty-five years since Jimi Hendrix died, but his music and spirit are still very much alive for his fans everywhere. Charles R. Cross vividly recounts the life of Hendrix, from his difficult childhood and adolescence in Seattle through his incredible rise to celebrity in London's swinging sixties. It is the story of an outrageous life--with legendary tales of sex, drugs, and excess--while it also reveals a man who struggled to accept his role as idol and who privately craved the kind of normal family life he never had. Using never-before-seen documents and private letters, and based on hundreds of interviews with those who knew Hendrix--many of whom had never before agreed to be interviewed--Room Full of Mirrors unlocks the vast mystery of one of music's most enduring legends.
About the Author
Charles R. Cross, author of the New York Times bestseller Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain, was editor of The Rocket, the Northwest's highly regarded music and entertainment magazine and the first publication ever to do a cover story on Nirvana. He is the author of three other books: Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell; Backstreets: Springsteen, the Man and His Music; and Nevermind: The Classic Album. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Spy, among many other publications. He lives in Seattle.