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Charles Shaar Murray

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 Charles Shaar Murray and heavy friends. L-R: Jimmy Page, CSM, Jeff Beck

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.

Critical acclaim

Crosstown Traffic

  • '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

Boogie Man

  • '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

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Charles Shaar Murray on a Mississippi rail track. Photo by Allison McGourty


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Video of Charles reading Chapter One of his novel, The Hellhound Sample, in which James Moon meets Robert Johnson. Here»

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The Hellhound Sample by Charles Shaar Murray. Fiction. A potent mix of secrets, nightmares and lies, spanning decades and continents. James 'Blue' Moon, the greatest living bluesman, has one last chance to escape the hellhound on his trail ... if the cancer doesn't get him first. More about this item»

charles shaar murray  , jeff beck  , jimmy page  , the hellhound sample  , john lee hooker  ,
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