The name Jimi Hendrix makes you think of a lot of things: Woodstock, tie-dye, his iconoclastic rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner"—and, of course, that neat little trick with the lighter fluid at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, when Hendrix burned up a perfectly nice Stratocaster. But one thing the legendary guitarist will probably not remind you of is ... a children's book.
But why not? Just in time for the holiday shopping season, author Gary Golio has produced Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, a 32-page kids' book that evokes the life of the young Hendrix back in 1956, when he was poor, living in a Seattle boarding house and trying to recreate a world "colored with sounds" (and on a ukulele, no less).
Yeah, we know. A psychedelic rocker who died of a drug overdose is probably not on the A-list for some parents hoping to inspire their progeny. But Golio told NPR that the young Hendrix's story "reflects all the values we want to teach our children," such as persistence and having goals. Meanwhile, the book reflects one of marketing's most durable truisms: Celebs really never die; they just keep selling.