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Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  191 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
This volume traces the sources of Jimi Hendrix's talent, showing how his knowledge of black musical traditions enabled him to cross racial barriers and achieve legendary status as both musician and performer. In the 30 years since his death his influence has not diminished.
Unknown Binding, Revised edition, 326 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by Not Avail (first published 1989)
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Neil Kernohan
Jul 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is by far a better book about Jimi Hendrix than most other biographies and hagiographies on the market. Murray is a superb rock critic and writer and here he examines in some depth the musical and cultural influences on Hendrix the artist - jazz, soul and blues - as well as the cultural and technological revolutions that helped shape the 1960s as the most significant decade in the history of popular music. In a series of well argued and very informative chapters he explains how Hendrix went ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
An attempt to place Jimi in a proper historical context—ie taking into account the history of Black American music including John Coltrane, Robert Johnson, Charlie Christian, Louis Armstrong, etc—as opposed to Jimi's usual placement in the pantheon context of 'rock guitarists' (most of whom are 'white' & trace their lineage to Elvis & Buddy Holly, maybe to BB King or Chuck Berry—but no further back than that).

This book is the beginning of a conversation that should be deepened. It's a go
Carole Tyrrell
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
It’s been over 20 years since I acquired my autographed copy of this and I have written my review on this edition.
This was a fascinating read as it told me so much I didn’t know about Jimi Hendrix. He appeared to have a guitar permanently welded to his body and even slept with it.
Murray describes in detail Hendrix’s pre-fame years on the ‘chittlin circuit’ which was a circuit of exclusively black clubs where a lot of black musicians started out. They paid their dues in this way and Hendrix was
Aug 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Air twitchers
I was familiar with Mr Shaar Murray from his numerous "talking head" type appearances on music-related shows with titles like the "Top 100 Rock Albums of all Time" or "We Love Seventies Disco" or "Did You Know, Your Dad Spent The Entire Sixties Out Of His Head Chasing Skirt and Listening to Santana?". I had a very negative view of Mr Murray, in fact I thought he was a pretentious, narcissistic, er, bloke.
I couldn't have been more wrong. This guy is a brilliant writer, a true music enthusiast an
Graham Tennyson
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a reread for me, actually read the new, updated, Kindle version! When I was but a lad a close friend was upset because I read and was influenced by NME (MM and Sounds) critics. My defence was that I was interested in critics I trusted and Charles Shaar Murray was at the head of that list. Now I'm old and curmudgeonly I still believe a good critic adds to our cultural life. This book is about Hendrix, but it is about so much more - if you are interested in Blues, Blues Rock, Soul and Jazz ...more
Rog Harrison
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I bought this book to read on a train journey and was not sure what to expect. It is not a biography of Hendrix, though it does give some details of his life, but rather seeks to explain the influences on Hendrix and also the influence Hendrix has had on modern music. It's a fascinating read even if my tastes and the author's tastes are sometimes quite different. At the end the author conducts a what might have been ten page interview with Hendrix as if he had not died in 1970 which gives him th ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Crosstown Traffic explores the Jimi Hendrix mythos from an Englishman's perspective. This book contains less details on Hendrix life and more on who he played with when, how his music developed and why. Once again a fun read but recommend readers check out other Hendrix biographies for more insight into the man.
James Rozoff
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A unique take on the Jimi Hendrix story. If you read only one book on Jimi Hendrix, this is probably not the one you'll want to pick up. But if you have read one and are looking to pick up another, this should be the one. This book is not complete as far of details, but it gives you good understanding of the world Jimi was born into as well as the one he eventually found himself.
Neil Clarke
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just done! One of the best music books I've ever read. CSM writes like a dream and is so knowledgeable of the history of Hendrix, his place in music; all the genres he touched upon; what he was influenced by; what he was an influence on.
Simply a stunning read.
Bas Vossen
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(One of) the most comprehensive and informative books on Jimi Hendrix. In the back are sections with music the author thinks we all have to listen to, in order to understand more about the blues, funk, rock et cetera.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Really didn't like this book, mainly because I found that the author drifted from topic to topic and danced around what he claimed to be writing about
didn't take much for me to love this. a powerful insight into one of the greatest guitar heroes that ever lived.
This book was well written, however is not a biography. If you are looking for a good book on some of Hendrix's influences, this would be the one.
Jun 20, 2016 added it
based on Jimi but meanders all over with insights on the sixties in general
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