The Jimi Hendrix FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Voodoo Child by Gary J. Jucha: Book Review

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The FAQ series from Backbeat books are designed with the serious fan in mind. As the title of the new Jimi Hendrix FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Voodoo Child by Gary J. Jucha indicates, the book contains a lot of lesser known material about Hendrix. Having been very impressed by previous titles such as the Neil Young FAQ by Glen Boyd, and the Beach Boys FAQ by Jon Stebbins, I had high expectations for this one. Jucha does not disappoint, as his Hendrix FAQ has been meticulously researched and brings to light all sorts of interesting facts about the short life of one of the greatest guitar players ever.

Just out of curiosity, I checked out how many Jimi Hendrix titles Amazon carries. The number was an astounding 2,896. As Jucha acknowledges in his book, one of the best is Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix (2006) by Charles R. Cross. As a biography, it is excellent. What sets this book apart from Cross' is the depth of musical analysis Jucha engages in. Cross certainly discusses Hendrix's music, but Jucha really gets into it. I am a big fan, but there are a number of sessions and songs in this book that I was previously unfamiliar with. I found myself in complete agreement with the author many times. And interestingly enough, I found myself disagreeing with him a few times as well.

In the case of Hendrix, things get enormously complex when trying to deal with all of the music he made outside of the three classic albums released in his lifetime. Those were Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968). Each was hailed as a classic upon release and continue to sell to this day. The posthumous releases are another story. There has been an incredible amount of material released since Hendrix's death in 1970. Jucha's work in sorting through this mess is where the book impressed me the most.

For those of us who are already familiar with the life of Hendrix, but are deeply interested in his music, there is no better resource than the Jimi Hendrix FAQ.