Book Notes: Room Full of Mirrors

“Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix” by Charles R. Cross

My main takeway from this is: Jimi was an SF fan! I did not realize this, but “Purple Haze” was inspired not by LSD, but by Philip José Farmer’s Night of Light, and the “Axis: Bold as Love” album was intended, in Jimi’s words, as “Science fiction rock and roll.” He was an enthusiastic reader of SF and similar esoterica (particularly the then-new field of UFOs). I wish we could have seen where he went with those themes.

But the cost was great. As with the bio of Janis, towards the conclusion of the book you started to almost hope for the end, simply because the title subject wouldn’t be in pain anymore. The music industry devoured both Janis and Jimi, giving them everything they wanted while simultaneously destroying them. They were promoted to legends in death, but you can’t help wonder if there wasn’t some middle path.

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