ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? by Noel Redding

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

The Inside Story of The Jimi Hendrix Experience
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A rock bio for accountants. ``Experienced'' with Redding, former bassist with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, means trounced and raped by the rock biz, not musically experienced. For ten years, Redding kept a detailed business diary that included his years with the Hendrix band (1967- 70) and schedules of every place the group played. In the 70's, deep into a downslide, he began this book, brought it quite a way along, then set it aside when publication seemed hopeless--Rolling Stone turned down the first draft because it lacked ``fan-type'' material. His housemate worked on the manuscript with him but finally gave up when the pages got too depressing to type. Now that it's done, was it worth it? Well, Hendrix fans will be better off with Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek's definitive Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy (p. 659) or the musicultural criticism of Charles Murray's Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and the Post-War Rock 'n' Roll Revolution (1990). Redding's is a truly dreary tale, thickened with drugs and legal troubles beyond belief. Once battered by post- Hendrix contractual cross fire, Redding becomes a monumental injustice collector, a put-upon St. Anthony bleeding from hundreds of bitter arrows as the posthumous ``$200 million'' Hendrix empire passes him by. How much did Redding's terrific drug-taking keep him focused on endless failures in court? He never says, but friends were estranged by his obsessive legal chatter. Most of the recording sessions described grow into huge, unproductive parties and drug orgies. Redding's descriptions of his early years as a struggling musician are lively, but he has nothing new to add about Hendrix's death, and most of the incidents Hendrix had on the road are already familiar. Mass hysteria, a long depression, and today a few smiles. (Fifty b&w photos.)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1991
ISBN: 1-872180-36-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Fourth Estate/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1991