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Burning Desire...Through The Lens Of Ed Caraeff review

Defining shots of rock’s ultimate icon

Subtitled The Jimi Hendrix Experience Through The Lens Of Ed Caraeff, Burning Desire illustrates perfectly how there’s always been so much more to the uniquely enduring appeal of Hendrix than his simply being history’s most influential guitarist. Hendrix looked fantastic, not just because he was lean, louche, seductively heavy-lidded and handsome, nor even that his wild, part Cherokee exoticism (uncompromisingly unprocessed hair, uncanny ability to make any garment, no matter how psychedelic, appear preposterously cool) seemed entirely tailored to define his time. Not only did Jimi throw the greatest stage-shapes, pretty much writing the book on how rock guitarists ought to behave as he went, he was also implausibly photogenic. Every photo, especially those by then opportunist newbie Caraeff (still a schoolboy when he took ‘those’ Monterey pics), describe an obviously nice guy, with an easy manner and humour crinkled, kindly eyes, who you couldn’t help but like.

From candid pool-hall shots, through the legendary, career-making Monterey conflagration, to a shambolic on-stage jam at Newport ‘69, here’s Hendrix unexpurgated. Caraeff adds contextualising reminiscences and, as experiences go, turning these pages is only a joy.