I ended up reading it a few more times after, but it had been quite some time, at least a dozen years since I last picked it up, so the following write-up is based on my re-reading of it for the purposes of this review.
Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight
Published in , Setting the Record Straight endeavors to tell the true story of Jimi Hendrix' remarkable and short life and career via thorough research and firsthand accounts from the people who were knew him. In order to do this, the authors not only drew from primary sources such as articles, interviews, and other books, but also new testimony from people who were there and who knew and dealt with Jimi. These included co-manager Chas Chandler, associates of his late co-manager and man of mystery Michael Jeffrey, controversial producer Alan Douglas, bandmates Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchel, Billy Cox, and Buddy Miles, various record company executives and studio personnel who worked with him, and fellow musicians including Paul McCartney, as well as his wife Linda, who was friends with Jimi and took numerous photographs of him.
Unlike the interesting new book, Starting At Zero, which I've recently reviewed and which is pieced together from various Hendrix quotes in order to present as close to an autobiography as we'll ever have, Setting the Record Straight is a straightforward biography of the man, but one that focuses entirely on the years when he was famous, There is a very brisk and brief summation of his birth, childhood, and early years on the southern chitlin' circuit where he cut his teeth as a musician before we find Jimmy as he was then known struggling and literally starving trying to make a go of it as a musician in New York City's Greenwich Village during and Eventually, the hard work paid off and the Experience, comprising Hendrix, Mitchell, and Redding became one of the most successful and acclaimed UK bands of the decade alongside the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Kinks, Cream, and Traffic.
However, after his phenomenal and meteoric success in and , Hendrix began to get bogged down by a variety of factors, all of which the authors describe in objective detail: relentless touring, sycophantic hangers-on, succumbing to the trappings of fame most notably, Hendrix' escalating drug use , and the ruthless management style of Michael Jeffrey. Jimi became unfocused, spending unbelievable amounts of time and money on studio sessions that produced very little finished music in the wake of his epic masterpiece, Electric Ladyland.
Experiencing the Hendrix archive with John McDermott - The Maine Edge
The purchase and construction of his own recording studio in New York City, Electric Lady Studios, would take up the remainder of his short life and he would only get to utilize it, still in an unfinished state, for less than a year before his tragic and accidental death in September McDermott does an excellent job telling the story of Jimi Hendrix in an engaging, interesting, and exciting manner without sacrificing any detail or information. Even when the subject matter turns to the complicated machinations behind Jeffrey's schemes, from tax shelters to the myriad labyrinth of contracts he constructed to bind Hendrix to him, it's done in a way that is easy to follow; this gives the reader a better understanding of just how tied to his management Jimi somewhat unwittingly was.
However, the point is made throughout the book that Jimi was far from the uninformed dupe who never saw it coming that he's been portrayed as since his death.
In fact, it is revealed that he was far shrewder and aware of what was going on with his career than many knew. However, he also had a cavalier attitude toward certain business dealings that came back to haunt him and had very real professional and personal ramifications.
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I have one negative criticism. This is a superb book.
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Well written, beautifully annotated and superbly illustrated. The cover however promises much less than the content delivers.
The jacket has a sort of velveteen texture and the image is a psychedelic, paint by numbers job. If you have even a passing interest in the context of pop music, you need this book. Great stuff. One of the best looking books around, a must-have for Hendrix fans old and new.
Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight
On a more poignant note, Jimi has been eternally silent for forty seven years now. Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight.
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Seller Inventory BBS Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory n. Book Description Grand Central Publishing. Book Description Little, Brown and Company, New Book. Shipped from UK.
Established seller since Seller Inventory LQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Items related to Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight. John E McDermott. Publisher: Grand Central Publishing , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Here's the first complete, definitive account of the career, music, and legacy of Jimi Hendrix, based entirely on first-person recollections and new, exclusive interviews with musicians and key figures in the Hendrix inner circle.