Jimi Hendrix - The Day I Was There

Experiencing Jimi Hendrix

I have just completed my book, Jimi Hendrix - The Day I Was There, which brings together over 500 memories of Hendrix from his pre fame days through to his very last. In compiling the book I was struck by how many people were able to share with me personal memories of encountering Jimi. This, of course, is because he rose to fame in an era before personal assistants and PRs became the norm, and because he was a black man performing in 1960s America when it was still not safe to be out on the streets in certain cities. One of the most personal and affecting tales in the book is from a lady from Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport is home to the magnificent Municipal Auditorium, which hosted the Louisiana Hayride radio shows which brought a young Elvis Presley to fame. When Jimi came to the Auditorium on 31 July 1968, Louisiana was still a segregated city. My contributor recalls she and her two friends hanging out with Jimi after the show and him having to stay back at his hotel when the party decided to get late night food because the only place to go was the local truck stop and Jimi’s fans were savvy enough to know that a late night truck stop wasn’t a good place for a black guy to visit.

There are other instances of Jimi meeting fans and taking time out to hang with them, and clear examples of him being racially abused - use of the N word, a slice of watermelon being thrown on stage. What emerges from the book more than anything else is a picture of just how hard life must have been for Hendrix. There were drugs, girls and glamour, but often he wanted to slip away and experience a little normality.

Much has been written about what direction Jimi might have gone in musically had he lived. One possibility is that, had he been able to escape the shackles of the management which worked him like a horse and undoubtedly contributed to his early demise, he might have walked away from the spotlight altogether and just shown a few people how to play the guitar the way he did.

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Got a music memory?

I'm a music writer with several books to my name. I specialise in oral histories of bands, telling their stories in the words of their fans and capturing people's gig memories for posterity. I'm interested in your pop and rock memories, even if it's an act I've written about before. Upcoming projects are fan memories of Jimi Hendrix (2018), Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (2019), the Faces, Cream and Neil Young, so if you've seen any of them, or if there's anyone else you're passionate about, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a line at iwasatthatgig@gmail.com

The Rolling Stones

Live memories of the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world in this beautiful hardback book. For a signed copy for just £15 plus shipping drop me a line at iwasatthatgig@gmail.com

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The Who - I Was There

'I've read just about every book ever published about The Who and this rates in the top 1%.' 'Accept no substitute.'

Published in early 2017, The Who - I Was There chronicles the exploits of one of Britain's best loved bands from their very early days as The Detours and The High Numbers, through the high octane years of the 1960s, and into the 1970s and their years as one of the first bands to sell out stadiums around the world. With over 400 first hand accounts from fans who saw Townshend, Daltrey, Entwistle and the irrepressible Keith Moon take the music world by storm and smash it to bits, this is a book that no Who fan will want to be without. Available now on Amazon or in HMV (UK only).

Pink Floyd - I Was There

'A nice easy read that can be picked up and put down at any time. 9/10.'

From the psychedelic days of the Summer of Love, with Syd Barrett at their helm and flowers in their hair, through to the Dark Side of the Moon era and the iconic Animals album with Algy the infamous runaway inflatable pig, this is the Pink Floyd story in the words of their fans. Featuring over 400 previously unpublished stories from people who were there, Pink Floyd - I Was There is the Pink Floyd story told in a way that it's never been told before.

Sometimes These Words Just Don't Have To Be Said

'It's like buying ten albums at once!'

The Wedding Present are indie legends who have been performing, on and off, for over 30 years. Led by chief songwriter David Gedge, they hold the record (jointly with Elvis Presley) of having twelve top 40 hits in a calendar year. Sometimes These Words Just Don't Have To Be Said is a handsome hardback book, running to almost 450 pages and packed with images, many from the band's own archive, that tells the Wedding Present story in the words of fans, band members and the group's many collaborators. Co-authored by Richard Houghton and David Gedge, the book is available on Amazon or from the Wedding Present website.

The Beatles - I Was There

'The most interesting Beatles book for me since Mark Lewisohn's Tune In.'

From their pre fame days on Merseyside through to their very last paid performance at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in August 1966, this is the Fab Four's story as you've never heard it before. Over 400 previously unheard stories of The Beatles live around the world, The Beatles - I Was There is the closest you'll ever get to hearing the screams and witnessing Beatlemania at first hand.

The Rolling Stones - I Was There

Still the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world (and don't let anyone tell you any different), read the memories of over 500 Stones fans who caught the boys back in the days when Mick Jagger still had holes in his jumper and Brian Jones was around to charm the girls and annoy their boyfriends. The Rolling Stones - I Was There starts at Ken Colyer's Jazz Club in London's West End in 1962 and ends on a summer's day in Hyde Park in 1969, just two days after Brian's death. Recapture the magic of the Sixties with this beautiful window on those not so innocent times with the original bad boys of rock.

Want A Signed Copy?

Signed copies of all the I Was There titles are available from the author. Just write to iwasatthatgig@gmail.com for more details

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