Jimi Hendrix: London


Bill Saunders

In September 1966, a young American named Jimmy James arrived in London from New York with $40 and a Fender Stratocaster guitar that had been stolen from Keith Richards. Four years later, having astonished the world with his music, he died in London under the name of Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix: London captures a unique moment in time: a period of wild invention, great artistry, and outlandish—and often self-destructive—lifestyles. London was the epicenter of a revolt in popular culture—music, fashion, and attitudes toward sex, drugs, and personal freedom—that thrilled half the world and shocked the other half. The book explores the private as well as the public man, capturing the contrast between the wild showman on stage and the unassuming guy at home, assessing the influence of his challenging upbringing and military service on his attitudes toward politics, spirituality, and family, and explaining how an African American with an extravagant haircut and an even more extravagant taste for clothes could feel so at home in a country that had never seen anything like him before.

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William Saunders began his writing career in the underground magazines that sprang up in London around the punk movement at the end of the 1970s. After an apprenticeship at the rough end of rock and roll, where he worked as a roadie, fly-poster, and t-shirt printer, Saunders graduated into mainstream journalism, where he has resided ever since.

ISBN: 978-0-9843165-1-9 • $14.95 print • $8.95 ebook

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