The evening of May 10, 1970, found a young Watt M. Casey Jr. standing awestruck, only a few feet from Jimi Hendrix as the legendary guitarist tore into his unique arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the stage of San Antonio’s Hemisphere Arena during the Texas leg of his Cry of Love Tour. Bemoaning the fact that he had no camera to document the amazing experience or the visionary musicians creating it, Watt promised himself that he would make up for his oversight in the weeks and years to come. Little did he realize at the time that Hendrix had less than five months to live.
Casey made good on his resolution, and My Guitar Is a Camera provides the evidence. With a foreword by Steve Miller, this rich visual history of the vibrant live music scene in Austin and beyond during the 1970s and early 1980s allows Casey’s lens to reveal both the stage, awash in spotlights and crowd noise, and the more intimate backstage moments, where entertainers hold forth to interviewers and friends. As Outlaw Country’s cosmic cowboys mixed with East Coast rockers, Chicago bluesmen, and West Coast hippies, Watt Casey roamed at will, capturing the people, places, and happenings that blended to foster Austin’s emerging reputation as “Live Music Capital of the World.”
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