A Touch Of Hendrix - 537 page manuscript

The unpublished 1988 manuscript, A Touch of Hendrix, remains the only comprehensive account of the Vietnam backdrop to Jimi’s career. With pride we report that more than 100 publishers of the anti-equality unfree elitist media closed ranks to obstruct the publication of A Touch of Hendrix, because this book makes the case for equality between people being a requirement for society's survival, so dominator publishers and editors everywhere conceal the story with glee. But against this Goliath I won a little coup: in the 28-page booklets that I wrote for the official Hendrix CD series on MCA Records (1993-1995), if you look at the credits page at the back of the booklets you’ll see that A Touch of Hendrix is listed at the top of them all in the bibliography. Those CD booklets have been read by millions of people in many countries, and today A Touch of Hendrix is one of the world’s most well known unpublished books.

Although that manuscript was blocked from publication, it has nonetheless been available since 1988 for anyone to read at the Library of Congress, where it is registered for copyright in Washington, D.C. Later on in the 1990s my other writings about Jimi became well known to a subculture of millions of people, and several ideas in my 1988 manuscript began to appear in books by other writers, despite the fact that A Touch of Hendrix is still unpublished!

In 1989, a book by British writer Charles Murray was published. (In 1988, several British publishers requested to see A Touch of Hendrix, and I sent the manuscript to England.) My letters of inquiry to publishers for A Touch of Hendrix in 1988 describe the story as “Jimi’s transit through landmark events of the 1960s...a trajectory of intersections.” Crosstown Traffic (!) became the title, eighteen months later, of Charles Murray’s book about Jimi’s music. This book was published by St. Martins Press. How do we account for the similarities between my book and that of Murray? Here are several sections from my 1988 manuscript juxtaposed with excerpts of Murray’s later book:

1988 – excerpt of A Touch of Hendrix by Michael Fairchild:

White army officials were sending most of the black soldiers to the frontlines in Vietnam (the frontline was re-named “Soulville” because of its disproportionate numbers of black soldiers) to kill another nonwhite race...Machine Gun [Hendrix song] was testament to a rage that gave birth to the Black Panthers...Harlem was a cauldron of the sentiments that inspired Machine Gun. Jimi intuitively channeled these feelings back into the ghetto...The racist draft system was a form of genocide against minority males. One fifth of U.S. combat troops in Vietnam were black. A staggering 50 percent of frontline infantry in Soulville was comprised of drafted blacks...Soldiers who fought and died in Vietnam were “had” in the worst way; fired up with slick, sentimental propaganda, they were sent off to battle for the salaries of business executives and crony politicians.

1989 – excerpt of Crosstown Traffic by Charles Murray:

Hendrix knew the score as far as the position of the black GI was concerned; in ‘Nam they represented 2 per cent of the officers and were assigned 28 per cent of the combat missions. When he dedicated Machine Gun to “all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam,” he was neither jiving his audience nor indulging in cheap irony. Hendrix knew exactly who was paying the price of the politicians’ games.

1988 – excerpt of A Touch of Hendrix by Michael Fairchild:

Americans had no cause to interpret “freedom” as a euphemism. For many Americans the meaning of freedom is the ability to maintain wealth without interference. “Freedom” becomes license to take advantage of others for one’s own self interests, without requirement to share with less lucky people. This “freedom” allows discrimination against anyone who is unsuited to the priorities of the ruling classes. Under capitalism, “freedom” has meant manipulated information in the interests of profiteers. The interests of mankind and the environment become non-priority. The establishment’s “freedom” is the freedom to exploit...People are discriminated against and forced into poverty by “freedom” to withhold employment from certain groups...capitalists wage war for the freedom to profit at the expense of others...Those who prospered from the Vietnam war had to portray North Vietnam’s struggle for sovereignty and equality as a threat to “freedom.” The real freedom that the profiteers cared about was the freedom to concentrate wealth among a privileged few at the expense of an impoverished majority...Malcolm Tent [main character] championed freedom of expression...he demanded freedom from inequality.

1989 – excerpt of Crosstown Traffic by Charles Murray:

“Freedom” is still treasured, but it is interpreted almost exclusively in terms of freedom to as opposed to freedom from. P.J. O’Rourke, for example, is perhaps the most articulate and vociferous spokesman for the oldest of all Western freedoms: that of the well-off white male to do just about anything he wants, anywhere in the world. The notion of freedom from (poverty, racism, illness, pollution, homelessness, unemployment, war) is once again suspect; after all, no one except a fool or a troublemaker would question the essential rightness of a social system under which they have personally profited. At their most inspired, the political and theoretical branches of hippie transcended the cliches of both left and right-wing political discourse by demanding both freedom from and freedom to, but once the economic pressure was on, the two freedoms proved distinctly unequal.

The above excerpts of Crosstown Traffic come from Chapter 1 in that book, twenty pages titled “The We Decade.” How incongruous this chapter is with the rest of Murray’s book. It chronicles the Hendrix trajectory through historical intersections of the 1960s, but reads like a section tacked onto the book as an afterthought, as if a publisher or editor decided to stick this up front, it’ll seem like the first thing written for the book. What a coincidence that “The We Decade” reads like a condensed outline of A Touch of Hendrix.

British publishers and editors who saw A Touch of Hendrix in 1988 didn’t forget what they’d run across...

The paragraphs above are from the Introduction to the book Rock Prophecy, published in "1999". The 537-page manuscript of A Touch Of Hendrix was copyrighted in "1988" and remains unpublished. The link below opens a section of that manuscript from a chapter titled "Fountain of Tears" - about the Hendrix/Kent State connection.

A Touch Of Hendrix is an historical novel about Jimi Hendrix, peace rallies, pop festivals, race riots, and Vietnam. The story follows the experiences of Mick Kinney, a child of the sixties who had the misfortune of being adopted into a large clan of redneck racists gung ho in support of the Vietnam war. The family is headed by the abusive Claudia Kinney and her docile husband Henry, with their brood of boring working class kids. Mick repeatedly seeks solace from the nightmare by visiting his neighbors, an older red haired girl named Jill Mason (whom he calls "Red Hed"), and the Tent family, including the teenage hippies, Malcolm Tent and Millie Tent, and their gradeschool brother, Lane Tent.

From Malcolm and Millie, Mick learns about the world of "freex" - members of the counterculture who come to adore Jimi Hendrix. The explosive turmoil of the '60s unfolds around them as the freex travel from Jimi's concerts through the rock festivals and anti-war demonstrations, where they battle the "p.i.g.s." (people in greedy selfishness) who support the war and the industries profiting from the butchering of drafted boys.

By the spring of 1970 the nation is at the brink of civil war as Jimi's music consoles student audiences reeling from deadly trooper attacks on campuses: