Two books evoke the chaotic and dazzling journey of the guitarist, who would have turned 80 in November. They appear in September and October. Presentation.
He would have been 80 in November: Jimi Hendrix, a legendary guitarist who literally set his instrument on fire on stage, is setting comics ablaze with two books scheduled for September and October. The American, who died in 1970, member of the famous “club of 27” (stars who died at this age including Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse…) is celebrated in Jimi Hendrix en BD (Petit à Petit editions, released on September 28) and in Kiss the sky (Glénat, October 19, volume 1).
“Jimi Hendrix was a fan of comics and he drew, some of his drawings are even in the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle”, birthplace of Hendrix, tells AFP Yazid Manou, a Frenchman who has become an international reference for the history of the gifted left-hander. This expert also signs the 42 pages of texts inserted between the plates of Jimi Hendrix en BD. Yazid Manou offers a lighting, sometimes tasty like the subterfuges of Jimi Hendrix to shorten his passage under the flags.
“As soon as I can restore certain truths, I do so, by speaking at conferences, there is a writing that will remain”, rolls out the specialist. Regarding the death of the rock icon, surrounded by crazy rumors, Yazid Manou sticks to the facts: Jimi Hendrix was found suffocated in his vomit on September 18, 1970 in an apartment in London, shared with his partner at the time. . The autopsy indicates the absence of heroin and concludes with a massive taking of sleeping pills.
«Jimi Hendrix en BD» is open to the general public, fun and didactic. About thirty cartoonists pass the baton to illustrate the chapters of the dazzling life of the interpreter of Hey Joe or Voodoo Child.
Yazid Manou is also thanked in the credits of Kiss the sky of the Jean-Michel Dupont/Mezzo duo, already authors of Love in vain on the life of Robert Johnson, legendary bluesman. This comic is aimed at a more mature audience, able to appreciate the pictorial references and the presence of a narrator whose identity will not be revealed until the second volume.
“Comics, this form that is both restrictive and free, suits Hendrix very well, there have already been albums about him, but there the level is rising.», Comments Olivier Nuc, author of the book Jimi Hendrix in 2000. “Hendrix, a great lover of illustrations as we said in his day, would have loved it, comics would have made him laugh more than the ultra-serious bios”continues our colleague from Figaro. Jimi Hendrix en BD et Kiss the sky (words of Purple Haze) are based on a chronological framework that opens on the chaotic youth of the future musician.
“The youth of Hendrix, it also says a lot: he is of Indian extraction with a Cherokee grandmother and his father is black, the descendant of two of the most oppressed populations in the history of the United States. He embodies all this bubbling”, analyzes Olivier Nuc. The rest of the journey, before fame, is just as exciting, especially the race for small fees or his personality too strong for conformist groups.
The dark sides are not avoided, like the parasites that surround him at the end (dealers, prostitutes) or his bloodshed with certain conquests. These works also show the unconditional admiration of his contemporaries. As Eric Clapton. Or Mike Bloomfield, guitar expert, musician of Bob Dylan, who did not touch his instrument for a year after seeing him play.
Where is Jimi Hendrix today? Everywhere, tattooed on the shoulder of Flea, bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, on the T-shirt of American basketball player Brittney Griner, convicted and imprisoned in Russia, in portrait in the streets of Essaouira in Morocco or in the pages of sisters book d’Amelie Nothomb. A live performance from April 1969 at the Los Angeles Forum will even be added to his discography on November 18.