Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix by Charles R. CrossNow 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 Londons 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 musics most enduring legends.
Born in , in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar as a teenager and grew up to become a rock legend who excited audiences in the s with his innovative electric guitar playing. One of his most memorable performances was at Woodstock in , where he performed "The Star Spangled Banner. He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives or acquaintances. His mother, Lucille, was only 17 years old when Hendrix was born. She had a stormy relationship with his father, Al, and eventually left the family after the couple had two more children together, sons Leon and Joseph. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in In many ways, music became a sanctuary for Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most original electric guitarists of all time, combining blues, hard rock, modern jazz, and soul into his own unmistakable sound.
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Sign in. When his mother became sick from alcoholism, Hendrix was sent to live with relatives in Berkeley, California. When his father returned from Europe in he took back Hendrix, divorced his wife, and renamed him James Marshall Hendrix. When Jimi was 13 his father taught him to play an acoustic guitar. In Jimi dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U. Army, but soon became disenchanted with military service. After he broke his ankle during a training parachute jump, he was honorably discharged.
In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion. Occasionally, he recorded as a sessionman the Isley Brothers ' single "Testify" is the only one of these early tracks that offers even a glimpse of his future genius. But the stars didn't appreciate his show-stealing showmanship, and Hendrix was straitjacketed by sideman roles that didn't allow him to develop as a soloist. The logical step was for Hendrix to go out on his own, which he did in New York in the mid-'60s, playing with various musicians in local clubs, and joining white blues-rock singer John Hammond, Jr. The first lineup of the Animals was about to split, and Chandler , looking to move into management, convinced Hendrix to move to London and record as a solo act in England.
His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Born in Seattle, Washington , Hendrix began playing guitar at age In , he enlisted in the US Army and trained as a paratrooper in the st Airborne Division , but he was discharged the following year. He moved to Clarksville, Tennessee soon after and began playing gigs on the Chitlin' Circuit , earning a place in the Isley Brothers ' backing band and later with Little Richard , with whom he continued to work through mid He played with Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late after being discovered by Linda Keith , who interested bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals in becoming his first manager. He achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in , and his third and final studio album Electric Ladyland reached number one in the US in ; it was Hendrix's most commercially successful release and his only number-one album.