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Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix
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Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  7,351 ratings  ·  257 reviews
Now in paperback, the national bestselling biography of American musical icon Jimi Hendrix It has been more than thirty-five years since Jimi Hendrix died, but his music and spirit are still very much alive for his fans everywhere. Charles R. Cross vividly recounts the life of Hendrix, from his difficult childhood and adolescence in Seattle through his incredible rise to c ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  7,351 ratings  ·  257 reviews


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Adam Crossley
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
npaw
Jun 08, 2008 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
Cwn_annwn_13
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading. 4 out 5 stars.

I read a different Hendrix biography when I was a teenager in the 80s and have always loved and listened to his music but as far as his life its been a while. New things I learned or had my memory refreshed on. His Parents were not good people and unfit Parents. Hendrix was one of these people that had no business drinking and caused problems for everyone including himself when he was drunk. He had black fans but overall was rejected in Harlem and the black a
...more
Sarah
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Carol Storm
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, compassionate, well-researched, this biography of Jimi Hendrix belongs on the shelf of any fan of classic rock.

Charles R. Cross captures all the different sides of Jimi, arguably the most complex of the great Sixties rock stars. Blues man, mystic, science fiction visionary, flamboyant showman, Jimi Hendrix comes alive in these pages like never before. Moreover, the heart-wrenching chapters on Jimi's childhood in Seattle add new insight to his tragic end.

I would recommend this book t
...more
Todd Martin
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Room Full of Mirrors is a well researched and fair account of the life of Jimi Hendrix. Although clearly a fan, Cross doesn't shy away from the negative side of Hendrix, which included drug use (surprise?) and violence.

More than 40 years after his death, Hendrix is still considered one of the most innovative, talented and influential guitar players of all time. It's remarkable to think that the entirety of his solo career spanned only 4.5 years.
Monica
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, music
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
Scott Brook
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Kusaimamekirai
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh Jimi.
It’s probably not well known but growing up in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix was a painfully shy kid with abusive and alcoholic parents. It’s something he never really shook despite the flamboyant outfits, guitar pyrotechnics, groupies piled up outside his door, and reckless drug use. When he had moments of quiet, admittedly a rare time from his career taking off in London in his early 20’s to his death at 27, he would be at times part introspective part despondent. He had created
...more
Prince
Apr 11, 2012 added it
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
...more
Adam
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Anfrbr
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so awesome.
Alison
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jason
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Tom
Aug 28, 2008 rated it liked it
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
...more
Bob Colwick
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, music
A great biography of Hendrix, it delves into some areas of Jimi's life (including him being a fanboy of Bob Dylan) and presents the legendary musician as a human as opposed to the psychadelic shaman that is the default setting of most articles/books written about him. Highly recommended for fans of music, guitarists, the sixties, and pop culture.
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.
karen reyes
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Steve
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rhonda
Apr 25, 2008 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
...more
John
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
billy
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Lemar
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Rich Jonny's Son
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jeremy
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jacki
Feb 18, 2011 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!
Elionora
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Joe Brunory
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 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
...more
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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
...more
“One of these days, I'm going to astral project myself up into the skies," he boasted. "I'll be going to the stars and the moon. I want to fly and see what's up there.
"I want to go up to the sky," he said, looking at his aunt, "from star to star.”
4 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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