Greg Prato’s latest project is a look at the legendary body of work Jimi Hendrix created as seen through the eyes and out of the mouths of a coterie of guitar players all influenced by the late, great, left-handed icon. Prato once again follows his tried-and-true formula of delivering up an oral narrative based on transcribed interviews.
He assembles a list of players including Steve Vai, Alex Lifeson and Adrian, all players of merit worth listening to. However, there are guitarists here whose insights about Hendrix probably don’t resonate very loudly with hardcore Jimi fans. Do comments from Caspar Brotzmann, Cheeetah Chrome, Reverend Horton Heat, Curt Kirkwood, Paul Leary, East Bay Ray and Richard Lloyd really belong in this type of book? Probably not. Why not track down those musicians who truly meant something in Hendrix’s life? Where are the interviews with Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and artists of that stature?
Prato has even relied on previously-published interviews he conducted for other books, which seems a bit redundant.
There are some worthwhile moments here, but it seems the author is capable of so much more. Similar to his recent oral narrative on John Bonham, there is no prose here, no background on who Hendrix was or why he was important.
Prato needs to dig a bit deeper and not take the easy way out. He is capable of writing very good books, but he needs to challenge himself a bit more.