Crosstown Traffic

Jimi Hendrix and Post-war Pop

Charles Shaar Murray

Crosstown Traffic by Charles Shaar Murray (Paperback ISBN 9780857867742) book cover

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The best and most ambitious book about Jimi Hendrix, being reissued with a revised introduction on the 70th anniversary of Hendrix’s birth.

Jimi Hendrix ‘transgressed many boundaries; both arbitrary musical definitions separating blues and soul or jazz and rock, and also those fundamental divides between the archaic and the avant-garde, between individualist and collectivist philosophies,between blacks and whites, between America and Britain, between passive acquiescence and furious resistance,between lust for life and obsession with death.’ Charles Shaar MurrayCrosstown Traffic charts the routes Hendrix took to arrive at his ‘unique musical formulation’. The result is a bravura study of his art and life that has become established as the definitive work on ‘the most eloquent instrumentalist ever to work in rock.’Winner of the Ralph Gleason Music Book Award on first publication, this brilliant and ambitious book, hailed as ‘the most compelling and literate essay on rock since Greil Marcus’ Mystery Train, is being reissued with an updated introduction.

“The artistry of this book matches that of its subject.”
Nick Tosches

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“We’ve seen several biographies of Jimi Hendrix but Crosstown Traffic’s thrust is considerably more ambitious … Murray’s exploration of Hendrix’s role as a black rocker in a practically all-white pop-music elite is as telling an examination of rock and race, and of tensions and prejudices behind the sixties peace-and-brotherhood facade, as popular music writing has seen. Crosstown Traffic is an important book and, in its range and clarity of thought, an exemplary one.”
Robert Palmer

“Mouthwatering stuff for any serious Jimi Hendrix fan … Murray is certainly the first writer to fully portray the ways in which Hendrix shaped the future in which we now live, from hard rock to funk to jazz. Crosstown Traffic also stands as the best layman’s history ot the electric guitar I’ve ever come across.”
Dave Marsh

“Murray goes so far inside the myth that it dissolves. What is left is a man pursuing hiw own destiny, piece by piece, day by day.”
Greil Marcus

Charles Shaar Murray

Charles Shaar Murray is an award-winning author, journalist, musician and cultural infidel: ‘the rock critic’s rock critic’ (Q Magazine), ‘front-line cultural warrior’ and ‘original gunslinger’ (Independent on Sunday). He first appeared in print in 1970 in the notorious ‘Schoolkids’ issue of OZ magazine. By 1972¸he was working for NME, subsequently becoming Associate Editor. Crosstown Traffic, his acclaimed study of Jimi Hendrix, won the prestigious Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award in 1990: a decade later, Boogie Man was shortlisted for the same award. The first two decades of ‘his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse’, to use his own description, were collected in Shots from the Hip. In 2010 he received a Record Of The Day for his contributions to music journalism and a novel, The Hellhound Sample, appeared in 2011. He is currently at work on a ‘somewhat unconventional’ book about The Clash.