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BOOK REVIEW: JIMI HENDRIX – Starting At Zero. His Own Story

| 19 April 2014 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: JIMI HENDRIX – Starting At Zero. His Own Story
Bloomsbury Books
Nov 2013, $27.99 rrp
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Jimi Hendrix - Starting At Zero book cover

45 years after his tragic passing, Jimi Hendrix’s life has been analysed and documented every which way but loose on the big and small screen, and in a zillion magazines and books. What is there left to say?

Assembled by Hendrix’s long-time producer and friend Alan Douglas and documentary film maker Peter Neal, who also knew the man after shooting the short documentary Experience on the guitarist in 1968, Starting At Zero collects Hendrix’s own words from interviews, letters and postcards, and diary entries.

They paint a chronological picture of a shy man trying to find his place in virgin territory, while also giving some sense of the turbulent political and social times, though all too often the interviews descend into stoned ramblings and hippy nonsense.

The narrative tends to be a little disjointed, being as the segments come from so many different sources, but what stands out the most is his obvious exhaustion and depression in the last year of his life, when he was overworked and partying far more than was healthy.

What would have perhaps helped Starting At Zero veer away from floating around with no meaning, would been an autonomous, guiding voice to provide interpretation to the context of his sometimes rambling commentary.

With so many examples of him saying in interviews how tired and over-worked he was, it becomes terribly sad to keep reading, realising that the people who should have been nurturing and caring for him were working him into an early grave.


Category: Book Reviews

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