JIMI HENDRIX AND THE MAKING OF "ARE YOU EXPERIENCED"
Music journalist Egan (Animal Tracks) has done ample legwork in talking to the people who knew Hendrix during the production of his era-defining album, but their memories of picayune details are a bit hazy and the book sometimes devolves into a pedantic he said–she said debate over who failed to show up for a rehearsal or what tracks were recorded during a particular session. Seemingly, the only thing everyone agrees on is that the original Seattle rocker was polite, quiet and shy. Egan unearths amusing stories about the genesis of certain songs: Hendrix's love of science fiction spawned the lyrics for "Purple Haze," while the famous "let me stand next to your fire" chorus from "Fire" was far less prurient than one might have imagined—Hendrix supposedly came up with the line while warming himself at the fireplace in bandmate Noel Redding's mum's house. Though the book gets bogged down in tech-speak, such as "circuit configurations" and "treble boosters," Egan effectively reports on Hendrix's ability (as well as that of his band members) to master a previously unrehearsed song in a take or two, and wonderfully describes the fecund rock scene in London, when the likes of the Who, the Beatles and the Stones would come out to watch the quiet American guitar wiz ply his trade. (Sept.)