Editor: Steven Roby
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Formats: Book (hardcover, 362 p.), eBook
Release date: October 2012
Steven Roby, noted Hendrix historian and author of Becoming Jimi Hendrix (2010) and Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix (2002), now entices fans with a new volume that “assembles the most important Hendrix interviews” from print, radio and TV sources, even previously unpublished court transcripts. Over 50 interviews are included and presented in chronological order, beginning in December 1966 and concluding with “The Last Hendrix Interview” conducted in London on September 11, 1970 (a week prior to his death), by Keith Altham from the Record Mirror.
While many of these interviews, particularly those from mainstream U.S. publications, have been readily available, Roby has translated reviews from the foreign press, transcribed BBC radio interviews, and dug through counter culture newspapers in order to deliver the most significant extant sources. As editor, he also provides context for each interview, weaving together a story line that’s especially helpful for readers not as familiar with the arc of Hendrix’s career.
Roby concludes the book with a compilation of quotes by and about Hendrix, followed by an appendix with an extensive 1995 interview he conducted with Eric Burdon, who first “crossed paths with Hendrix in 1965” while Hendrix was touring with Little Richard. Burdon reminisces about Hendrix’s “psychedelic sacrifices,” their final jam session together, and events directly before and after Hendrix’ death.
For Hendrix fans as well as those studying 1960s rock music, race relations, drugs and the counter culture, this new book ties together many different threads. But most of all, Roby attempts to let Hendrix tell the story in his own words—“what was on the man’s mind and what he had to endure as one of the highest-paid rock acts of the late 1960s.” And what ultimately led to his death.
Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss