Jimi Hendrix was such an extraordinary guitarist, it is easy to forget that just as much passion, soul, and precision went into his lyrics. Inspired by Bob Dylan, Hendrix was a fearless lyrical innovator, willing to let his imagination guide him to uncharted landscapes within the pop music realm. From the existential euphoria of “I Don’t Live Today” to the elusive beauty of “Little Wing” to the psychedelic blues of “My Friend” to the otherworldly “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be),” his lyrics remain among the greatest in the pantheon of rock, infused with the same inventiveness, virtuosity, and courage that informed his guitar playing.
Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book (Backbeat Books, November 2012, $40) contains all the words to the Hendrix classics fans have rocked along to for years, as well as unpublished songs from “Valley of Neptune” and other previously undiscovered sources. Compiled by Jimi’s sister, Janie L. Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book is extraordinarily personal, and includes numerous examples of Jimi’s handwritten lyrics, often scribbled on hotel stationery, as well as photos of him that accompany every song.
Much of the material has never been seen before. “When I was a child, I was always fascinated by my brother Jimi's handwriting,” recalled Janie Hendrix, who compiled this collection. “It was an art form in and of itself. I remember the feeling of being captivated the first time I saw his handwritten lyrics, thinking how beautiful, how complicated both the writing and the words were on paper. Even now they offer such an insight into who my brother was and is.”
Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book will give fans a glimpse of the lyricist behind the songs, a songwriter whose words were just as searing as his solos.
Janie L. Hendrix, is president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC, the official Jimi Hendrix Family Company, and sister of the legendary guitarist. Her mission as head of the family company is to continue Jimi’s legacy and to preserve the integrity of his artistic contribution to musical history. She lives in Seattle. To hear Janie talk about Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Lyric Book, please visit www.jimihendrixlyricbook.com