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Room Full Of Mirrors: A Biography Of Jimi Hendrix

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  6,299 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
Room Full of Mirrors On the 35th anniversary of his death comes the definitive biography of rock 'n' roll legend Jimi Hendrix. Drawing on never-before-seen documents and more than 300 interviews, a "New York Times" bestselling author unlocks the vast mystery of one of rock's most enduring legends. Full description
Hardcover, First Edition (U.K.), 400 pages
Published August 15th 2005 by Sceptre/Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jun 08, 2008 Npaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up riding other people’s horses in the vacant lot next to Jimi’s dad’s house. I heard all the neighborhood stories and met all the people at parties who claimed to have seen Jimi play back in the day or who say they went to school with him (it’s amazing how many people say they graduated with Jimi when he never graduated from high school. Not to mention the fact that Jimi never lived in this particular house with his dad and didn’t even attend the same schools as these people). I met Cros ...more
Adam Crossley
Nov 05, 2014 Adam Crossley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll proudly stick my hand up and admit to being a bit obsessed with Jimi Hendrix. He was just such a amazing spirit. He descended, blew up what everyone thought a guitar could do and then vanished into the mist.

In the mean time he did a lot of drugs and lived a life that is almost unfathomable. This book details the messy chaos that swirled around him in a fun and easy read.

I found it difficult to put down, but again, I'm a huge Hendrix fan. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everybody, but
Nov 11, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was extremely amazing.

It begins with Jimi's life as a young child, and builds up to his life as an adult.

It's obvious that Cross REALLY did his research because all of his connections who he interviewed were extremely personal, and each of them had a close relationship with Jimi.

The most interesting parts for me entailed the people that Jimi met along the road to stardom, and how Cross just captured his life so well.

There were also some parts that even made me chuckle out loud becaus
Feb 17, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Room Full of Mirrors is a really compelling and inspiring biography of one of the most fascinating musicians to ever live. Charles R. Cross describes the life of one of the greatest rock and roll artists to live. The struggles of living the rock and roll life, and surviving on sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Not only does it describe the life of Jimi Hendix, but it also describes the hippie movement of the 60's, and growing up as a black child in the 40's and the prejudice against african american ...more
Sep 01, 2008 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, biography
This is a wonderfully researched and deeply moving look at the amazing, incredible Jimi. From poverty to greatness, he lived in two divergent ends of the spectrum during his prolific, sadly short life. He gave so much, bringing blues and rock to new heights. He was truly a legend. This book shows Jimi as a real man, with faults and insecurities. A man who accomplished greatness in his short, tumultuous life. This biography gives a deeper insight and appreciation of all aspects of Jimi's life. It ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written, informative biography of Jimi Hendrix. We had just watched "Woodstock" again which left me wanting to know about the life of a very talented guitar player. The book did not disappoint. Jimi came from a troubled home which set the tone for the rest of his young life. His parent's relationship with one another and his mother (whom he loved) leaving the home and leaving Jimi and his brother's care to the father (who was a role model of the wrong ilk) provided the rocky foundation fo ...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
This is an unbiased, well researched and documented biography of the greatest guitarist in rock and roll history. We all have heard stories about Jimi Hendrix, but this bio puts everything into perspective. From his youth being dirt poor and tossed around to aunts and foster parents and friends to becoming the highest paid musician in the world after years of playing the guitar obsessively and on the Chittlin' Circuit, JH was quite the success story. Unfortunately he couldn't escape the room ful ...more
Prince Wachiraphong
Very revealing! Being such an awesome musician as he is, it is no surprise there are countless books and articles discussing Jimi Hendrix's musical legacy. But that also means we rarely strumble upon a book or an article which touch on his personal side, especially when he rarely give any details about it in interviews, as though the topic was too painful for him to touch.

This book is one of those rare gems which made an admirable attempt to elaborate various aspects of Jimi's bleak and intense
Aug 28, 2008 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like a long article from "Uncut" rather than a book. Lots of details, some period colour, and some anecdotes I hadn't heard before : but very little scene-setting, history, analysis, and also not much show of enthusiasm for the subject.

As a comparison, Charles Shaar Murray's Hendrix bio Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop is more breathless but works hard to place Hendrix in a context of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Miles Davis, Segovia.

Worth it for the opening anecdote
Scott Brook
Mar 01, 2017 Scott Brook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having been a huge fan of Jimi and his music over the years, I had read a few books on his career and downfall. However, I had to admit that I did not know very much about his personal life and his early years. Room Full of Mirrors exposed for me the young Hendrix and all the hardships he endured at such a young age. It's amazing that he made it through his childhood, to be honest. Extremely poor and extremely neglected by his parents, Jimi was a success if for any other reason, enduring these t ...more
Apr 03, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really need a better Hendrix biography to read. Can someone get on that?

This book suffered from what a lot of biographies do.
It was written by someone who does not necessarily appreciate the subject, nor is he a good journalist.
There is little to no detailed discussion of music, and there is no analysis at all, which is, right or wrong, one of the main aspects of a major musician's life I want to read about.

There are many goofy factual errors, names mis-spelled, that sort of thing, and the a
karen reyes
Jan 19, 2008 karen reyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It is a true account of Jimi's life, from the beginning to the very end. This book examines his passion for music; he slept with his guitar in his early years. The author takes you on a journey of Jimi Hendrix the musician, the son, the lover the partier and the brother. He seemed like a really good guy, and was truly talented. He weaved through different bands before becoming "Jimi Hendrix", eventually resenting the mainstream perception of who he was as an artist. He got tired ...more
Jun 28, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally speaking I really enjoyed this book....I am a hater of biographies but because I am a massive Hendrix fan I decided to give this a go.

The amount of facts in this book is incredible and I can only imagine the amount of work the author went to, to gather up all that detail. But this maybe a potential problem for some, the author laid out the facts about Hendrix without dramatising it too much. For me this wasn't an issue since I knew all of Hendrix's songs I enjoyed getting the facts beh
Apr 25, 2008 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a STELLAR biography. It is both incredibly well written and so thoroughly researched.

Sometimes biographies can be stilted and dry, but this book has been a real page-turner and I've learned SO much from it, not just about Jimi, but about the state of America (especially for African Americans) in the 1960s, the political/civil rights/socioeconomic issues of the times, the British "explosion" on the music scene, local music scenes of the times in general - Seattle, Memphis, Harlem, Lond
Jun 06, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay,okay this is the best Hendrix biography, well researched and well-written, with a feeling for the man and his music.

However, this book is so damned sad it gave me the willies for weeks on end. The thought of Jimi suffering the way he did HIS WHOLE LIFE was just too much for me to take. Such a towering talent and a man who so many loved so dearly and a man whose music reverberates through our culture so thoroughly and whose music I have unceasingly listened to for 44 years - his troubles as
Rich Jonny's Son
May 31, 2010 Rich Jonny's Son rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ir-reading
Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix (Paperback) by Charles R. Cross is all about Jimi Hendrix's life. His life a child to an adult. his main internal conflict is drugs. his main external conflict is he's dead.

while reading this book i made a text-to-self connection. based on how i play guitar and so did Jimi. he also wasn't much of an athelete and neither am i

i would give this book 5 out of five stars. this book is about the number one greatest guitar player of all time so this boo
Jan 21, 2011 billy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best part of this book like all biographies is the beginning. It’s interesting to know what has happened to Jimi Hendrix in his early years. It’s good to know where he came from and the struggles he had to go through to reach stardom. It’s interesting to read about Jimi playing at small clubs in queens to going to London and playing while Eric Clapton (the best guitarist in history) was in-between set breaks. I liked this book because I like Jimi Hendrix. I enjoyed reading about a great musi ...more
Meticulous research makes for a clear look at this man who became a legend in his own brief time. Cross does not employ flashy prose to bring this flashy artist to life but is able to put us there in each phase of his life so that we understand (his take on) Jimi and the prevailing atmosphere in which he found himself. Written at the perfect moment (2005) when passions and legal wrangling had mostly subsided yet many of the protagonist were still around to be interviewed, Cross is the perfect wr ...more
Dec 15, 2008 Elionora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an amazing biography, it was definitely very well detailed and inspiring. It gave you insight on his early life and a more personal depth that can only paint Jimi Hendrix as a tragic and relateable artist. Charles R. Crosses uses interviews and research in a very beautiful account of a life that has marked the hearts of many fans across the world.
Aug 09, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down the best biography I have ever read. Sometimes I find a biography taxing because at certain points, it is just a blast of dates and minor details. Charles Cross does a fantastic job of making an interesting read the whole way through. I learned oodles of information on Hendrix that I hadn't known before. Very informative. I rate this a 5!
Feb 18, 2011 Jacki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I never thought Jimi Hendrix was "sexy" but after reading this book, I have changed my mind! Jimi was portrayed as a genuine person, caring, intuitive, and creative. I loved this book and was afraid after reading the Claption bio, it would be similar. No way! I found myself revisiting my Jimi hits to hear his voice again. Well written and a true American tragedy!
Joe Brunory
May 22, 2010 Joe Brunory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a close look at the best guitarist we have ever seen and how he couldn'
t shake the state of poverty he grew up with. Hendrix's unwillingness to take a vacation, to stop earning and spending money burnt him out. A genius on the guitar, chock full of talent, that original poor state of mind stole a full life for himself and his audience.
Ashley Teagle
Mar 27, 2017 Ashley Teagle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I called myself a fan of Jimi Hendrix before listening to this book but I realized as I got into it that I didn't really know much about Hendrix's background at all. This book made me feel like I got a very complete picture of Jimi--both the good and the bad.

I knew very little about Jimi's home life and one criticism I have of this book is that I felt I didn't get such a balanced portrait of Jimi's parents. I can live with that because the book was really about Jimi anyway, but it would have be
Jul 03, 2010 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written account of how Jimi Hendrix evolved into the master guitarist known all over the world. He grew up in Seattle in a brokene home, desperately poor. He receives his first guitar at age 9 or 10 and from that point on he never stops learning his instrument, eventually becoming what many considered the best guitarist in the world. His rise to stardom was classic. He spent years on the road playing with different bands and barely making a living. Musicians appreciated his genius but it ...more
Mar 08, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the Birthday of Jimi Hendrix a few years ago I decided to read all the books on his life I could get my hands on in his honor. The result was fascinating. Each one though telling virtually the same story colored the events of Hendrix life with each author's viewpoint as though his life were happening in multiple dimensions at the same time with each one ever so slightly skewing the truth and shining a light on a complicated albeit short existence of a man driven by music carried in his heart ...more
Norberto Gomez
Feb 05, 2009 Norberto Gomez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jimi Hendrix: the greatest guitarist who ever lived. I'm pretty sure the book never states that outright, but I don't think many people reading the book would dispute the statement. The book follows Jimi's life from his birth (his original given name was Johnny Allen Hendrix) to his early death of what is most commonly believed (and what the book describes) to be asphyxiation on his own vomit from being to out of it from alcohol and sleeping pills to wake himself up. You'll find out all sorts of ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Jimi Hendrix really did live in the reflection of others: what everyone wanted (or needed) him to be became crushing to his soul even as he became a legend. Fair and balanced look at this little understood icon.
Hope Mueller
Comprehensive, maybe overly so. The book is a dry, academic delivery of the life and death of Jimi Hendrix. Jimi's life was interesting enough to carry the through, but the simple factual nature of the material lost me in the final third of the book. I was too far in to abandon the story because of the prose. Undoubtedly accurate.

I found myself listening to Hendrix and late 60's tunes all day while reading this book. And I started to link the Seattle grunge sound, of the late 90's, to Jimi's so
Jun 24, 2017 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it 3.5 stars. The author was very detailed and you can tell he did a lot of research, which I can appreciate. In my opinion though it was almost too detailed which I'm sure is what many people enjoyed about the book. However for me I felt like some details were not needed and made the book dull/dragging at sections. I've read other musician biographies that I just couldn't put down but this was hard to pick back up at some points.
Shin Tsujimura
The legacy of Jimi Hendrix quickly came to an end when he died at the age of 27 on September 18, 1970. This book takes you back to the very start of his life, how his career sprang into action, and what went on behind the scene.
Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle by his 17 year old mother, on November 17, 1942. When he was 15, he got his first acoustic guitar. He was self taught by taking advice from experienced players, listening to records and nonstop practice. He'd been getting in trouble all h
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hendrix bio 1 15 Aug 12, 2012 06:40PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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Charles R. Cross

This is Charles R. Cross, a rock music journalist and author based in Seattle. He is the founder of Backstreets magazine, a periodical for fans of Bruce Springsteen, editor of "Springsteen: the Man and His Music," a compilation of Backstreets articles, and is also author of a biography o
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“He was only five-foot-ten, but people frequently mistook him for being over six feet, at least in part because his gigantic Afro made him appear larger than life. His thin, angular frame, which was shaped like an inverted triangle, furthered this illusion; he had narrow hips, a small waist, but impossibly wide shoulders and arms. His fingers were abnormally long and sinuous, and like the rest of him, they were a rich caramel color. His bandmates jokingly called him “The Bat” because of his preference for covering his windows and sleeping during the day, but the nickname also fit his penchant for wearing capes, which furthered his superhero appearance.” 1 likes
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