Charles Shaar Murray Biographical Information
Q Magazine dubbed CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY 'the rock critic's rock critic', whilst the Independent On Sunday lauded him as a 'front-line cultural warrior' and 'the original gunslinger.' His book Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Postwar Pop (UK: Faber & Faber 1989, revised 2001; US - as Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And The Postwar Rock'n'Roll Revolution - St Martins Press 1990) won a Ralph Gleason Music Book Award. Ten years later, his biography of John Lee Hooker - Boogie Man: The Adventures Of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century (UK: Viking; US: St Martins Press) was nominated and short-listed for the same award.
Charles Shaar Murray's debut novel, The Hellhound Sample, is published by Headpress.
- 'The artistry of this book matches that of its subject.' - Nick Tosches
- 'Murray's exploration of Hendrix's rtole as a black rocker in a practically all-white musical world is as telling an examination of rock and race, and the tensions behind the sixties peace-and-brotherhood façade, as popular music writing has ever seen. Crosstown Traffic is an important book and, in its range and clarity of thought, an exemplary one.' - Robert Palmer
- 'Murray goes so far inside the myth that it disappears.' - Greil Marcus
- 'Mouthwatering stuff for any Jimi Hendrix fan.' - Dave Marsh
- 'A magisterial study' - Time Out
- 'A pure delight … hilarious, touching and enlightening.' - Daily Telegraph
- 'Brilliantly told.' - Ed Ward, Mojo
- 'Finely-honed critical expertise … sparkling perspective … an unerring ear for the humour and poignancy in any given situation.' - Gavin Martin, Uncut
Charles Shaar Murray on a Mississippi rail track. Photo by Allison McGourty
Video of Charles reading Chapter One of his novel, The Hellhound Sample, in which James Moon meets Robert Johnson. Here»