Home > Arts, History, Music > Charles R. Cross: Writing about a Legend

Charles R. Cross: Writing about a Legend

I used to live in a room full of mirrors
All I could see was me
Then I take my spirit and I smash my mirrors
And now the whole world is here for me to see. [1]

Borrowing Jimi’s powerful words to title the book, on the 35th anniversary of his death came the definitive biography of rock ‘n’ roll legend, 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.

The author is a well-known veteran of the music trenches, having written the Kurt Kobain overview Heavier Than Heaven. There are maybe a half-dozen bands that, when you go to your local bookstore to see what’s available, you can find virtually entire shelves dedicated to. These artists include The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Elvis, and Jimi Hendrix. So, to tackle the guitarist and try to present him in a new light is a difficult undertaking.

Cross begins with the legend’s birth and not only touches on the obvious – the drugs, the albums, the women, and the tours – but reaches way inside to tell us about his military service; his association with a number of musicians, including Miles Davis, and his rivalry with Mick Jagger; the Woodstock phenomenon; and the continuing estate battle that continues to this day (various members of his family each contend that the fallen hero’s legacy belongs to him/her alone).

If you’re a Hendrix admirer – and who isn’t? – then you probably already have in your home library, dozens of books written about him. But this time, the writer has found a new way to present the information; and through what is seemingly a massive amount of research and time spent in poring over archives and contacting principals, he has created a novel look at one of the world’s most wonderful players. I believe, it is an excellent book about a brilliant musician, and a highly recommended piece.

References:

Quotes:

  • [1]. Song written by Jimi Hendrix and played by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Published in First Rays of the New Rising Sun posthumus album.
Categories: Arts, History, Music
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