'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child


About The Book

David Henderson's biography of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child of the Aquarian Age -- first published in hardcover in 1978 -- was described by Greil Marcus of Rolling Stone as "[t]he strongest and most ambitious biography yet written about any rock and roll performer." The paperback edition was retitled 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix, and in this smaller format, extensive interviews from the original edition were omitted. Nonetheless, all previous editions sold more than 300,000 copies and created a new standard for writing about popular artists, especially musicians.

Henderson's biography helped to rescue Hendrix from an unfair, erroneous association with drug decadence and recognized him as a true musical genius. The Hendrix legacy still thrives, and Henderson has more to reveal and further insight to offer about the man who remains regarded as the greatest rock and roll guitarist of all time. 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child is the newly revised, updated, and expanded edition of the definitive, most beloved biography of the man behind the legend. It melds the original text, which featured Hendrix's voice in complete interviews, with new material -- to the extent that Hendrix could easily be described as the coauthor of this work.

Henderson now offers information that was initially difficult to obtain in the years immediately following Hendrix's death. With the passage of time, originally reluctant informants have come forward, and many of the coverups and legal battles have been resolved. All of this has shed new light on Hendrix's life, as well as on the circumstances surrounding his mysterious death. This edition includes more of Hendrix's personal writings, and goes more in depth about his romantic life and the music -- its creation, problems, and triumphs -- as scholarship and recognition of his importance have deepened over time. While revealing essential information about his untimely death, i reads like a grand adventure novel but so includes salient cultural, political, and historical background. David Henderson wrote this biography as the result of a promise he'd made to Jimi at Ungano's nightclub in Manhattan in 1969 to write something solely about him. The rock legend had read and liked Henderson's piece in Crawdaddy -- one of Hendrix's favorite magazines -- on his concert with Sly Stone at the Fillmore East. Little did either man know that they would forever be connected by this timeless and important biography.

About The Author

Photo Credit:

The poet and writer David Henderson was a founding member of the Umbra Poets, an influential collective of poets and writers who were central to the Black Arts Movement. His books include De Mayor of Harlem and Neo-California. He has been widely published in anthologies and magazines, including The Def Jam Poetry Reader, The Paris Review, and Essence. He has read from his poetry for the permanent archives of the Library of Congress. Born in Harlem and raised in Harlem and the Bronx, Henderson now lives in downtown New York City.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 2008)
  • Length: 464 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416534341

Raves and Reviews

"The New Journalism began on the Lower East Side in the mid-sixties when poets and fiction writers became reporters for The East Village Other, mother of the Underground Press. David Henderson was one of the pioneers of the style. He combines his gifts as a poet and a reporter in 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, and the result is a rewarding and unique reading experience. It is part thriller and part lament for some tragic lives who enlivened an exciting decade."
-- Ishmael Reed

"A harrowing and exhilarating story...Making sense of Hendrix's life, career, and art with such moment-to-moment intensity, one comes away convinced that we caught no more than a glimpse of Hendrix while he was here to see in the flesh..."
-- Rolling Stone

"Henderson hasn't just given us Hendrix complete. He has also written a fascinating study of the development of rock."
-- The Phoenix (Boston)

"The most thorough and consistently excellent biography of any rock music figure."
-- San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle

"No one who wants to assemble a coherent version of Jimi's story can afford to be without this book -- it is not only the best version, it is the only complete one."
-- Dave Marsh, author of Born to Run

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