Date: December 24th 2020
Original title: Mick Wall – Two riders were approaching: the life and death of Jimi Hendrix
They say that when you’re about to die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.
In Jimi’s particular case, I want to believe this book here, as it sits, passed through his mind in that particular moment. Complete, with the cover spinning around like a record at the very end. Just how Mr. Mick Wall gained access to that very reel of film is beyond me. Then again, what Jimi himself created and where he himself got it from is beyond me. Hell, it’s beyond many of his contemporaries, musicians, fans, critics, worshippers…
You just don’t get it, man!
Nor should you! It’s not meant for you to get it. I’m not even hundred percent sure Jimi got it, no matter how hard he tried.
Mr. Mick Wall, with all his immense experience (pun very much intended), surpassed himself with this here biography. Mostly because, well, the book surpasses the simple story of a nobody becoming a somebody. Rags to riches. The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. No! Not this time!
Mr. Wall paints a portrait. A psychedelic one. Using a pallet of colours as bountiful as could be found inside of Jimi’s amp. A mix of uppers and downers throughout, with a crescendo of near cosmic eternity.
Yet he almost lost it, somewhere down the middle, when the thing settles down into a peaceful river flow we’re already used to reading. Though the author admits he was forced to put writing it aside for a while there. But all is forgiven, as by that time Jimi is at a climax and things do seem to take a nice and quiet perspective just before exploding into zillion little pieces. And we’re back to the “land of confusion”.
“Two riders were approaching…“ reads like a novel. A fictitious one, which you can hardly believe actually happened. Mr. Wall’s style of writing hands you a story hard to let go. Gripping, keeping you on the edge of your seat, no matter if the whole world already knows how it ends. It’s in the way it is written. “The business” is no secret to the author, nor is the music itself. It all blends together in a way the whole era must have blended in the “purple haze” of whatever (or whoever) was passed around in those days.
Mr. Wall writes out of love. Basically, in a way no other biographer has. At least not about Jimi. As if he was there. And not just physically. The book itself belongs to the era. Had it been out in the late 1960’s it would’ve still been a smash hit. Even if written about a made-up character.
At a loss for words, I can but bow down to the talent. “Two riders were approaching…“ is an absolute must! For music devotees, Jimi Hendrix enthusiasts, hippies gone old, as well as bookworms everywhere. Jimi’s got a biography he deserved!