‘The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix’ is a book that adds insight into the legendary guitarist and also equally adds to the mystery. Written by Monika Dannemann, Jimi’s last girlfriend (who was also rumored to be his fiance as some accounts say they were engaged), ‘Inner World’ is a side of the artist the audience rarely gets to see. Not quite a biography though the book does chronicle Hendrix’s ascent to musical stardom but more importantly his ascent into the beyond.
In true rock star fashion Jimi left behind a large amount of mystery and fans decades later are still trying to unearth more about this iconic figure. Known for his abstract dreamlike lyrics, without a book like this, written by a close loved one, it’s safe to say those lyrics would go on unexplained. Obviously we all know Jimi Hendrix as a guitar virtuoso but this book dives into Hendrix’s vast metaphysical and spiritual knowledge, something mostly left out from the public conscious specially due to his ‘wild man’ image. This side of the star is only hinted at in song titles and obscure lyrics in songs such as the previously unreleased ‘Valleys Of Neptune”.
Monika being a talented painter has continuously since Jimi’s untimely passing painted beautiful images of the star, and this book has all her finished paintings and the stories encompassing them. From paintings describing the song ‘Machine Gun’, a song strongly showing the star’s subversive side, to paintings dealing with Jimi’s beliefs on race and religion and his strong connection to his Native American roots and their true history. The reader is shown a very spiritual and caring individual, something far from a ‘wild man’. The photograph that is on the cover was from a set of pictures taken solely to help change this image, and have the public view Hendrix as he really was, they were eerily taken the day of his death.
Dannemann even gives her take on Jimi’s untimely death pointing to foul play and showing the reader a life of stress and deliberate agitation put on the star. As the highest paid musician on the planet at the time, and due to a tumultuous time in the country, she hints at the theory of all outspoken subversive figures with a large following being perceived as a threat to the government and public policy. Shady businessmen, managers, mafia, and the CIA all add to this recipe. And for those younger fans the legendary Woodstock (1969) performance of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ is put into perspective of just how ‘controversial’ such a version of that ‘sacred’ song that was.
Everything in the book is to be taken with a grain of salt as Monika never quite explains how Hendrix had such immense knowledge of the astral plane, past lives, Voodoo, planets and future events. One could think she may have later added what she later read on the concepts and theories Jimi vaguely spoke of to this book unconsciously. Perhaps she left out how he acquired this knowledge, perhaps he innately knew? He was never properly taught the guitar either, so maybe it’s just another portion of magic from the ‘Voodoo Child’.