Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:45 PM
People tend to forget that Jimi Hendrix was a great lyricist, a poet in his own right besides being the greatest guitar player to walk the face of the earth. His sister Janie L. Hendrix, president and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, compiled Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book, a lavishly illustrated coffee table book the size of a vinyl box set. It contains the words (in alphabetical order) to all the songs of his studio albums and the best known posthumous ones, including unpublished ones 27 rough sketches for songs that would never saw the light of day.
Most of the songs are illustrated by reproductions of the original handwritten lyrics. Jimi did most of his writing on hotel stationary as he traversed the globe to perform his songs before audiences who never experienced something like his sonic explorations and poetic imagery.
With this book his words come alive: the tender love songs, the macho bravado, the war in Vietnam, and the prospects of space travel that were so dear to him. Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book is a work of love that is a must for all serious fans of the legendary guitarist, a meticulously assembled collection of his songs and more. This is a close as you're gonna get in appreciating the words of an artist whose legacy and influence continues to inspire legions of fans and fellow musicians.
Oh say can you see it's really such a mess,
every inch of earth is a fighting nest.
Giant pencil and lipstick-tube shaped things
continue to rain and cause screamin' pain.
And the arctic stains from silver blue to bloody red,
as our feet find the sand and the sea
is straight ahead,
straight up ahead
Jimi Hendix - 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book is published by Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard. 294 pages. Hardback cover.