Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, on November 27, 1942. His mother named him John Allen Hendrix and raised him alone while his father, Al Hendrix, was off fighting in World War II. When his mother became sick from alcoholism, Hendrix was sent to live with relatives in Berkeley, California. When his father returned from Europe in 1945 he took back Hendrix, divorced his wife, and renamed him James Marshall Hendrix. When Jimi was 13 his father taught him to play an acoustic guitar. In 1959 Jimi dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army, but soon became disenchanted with military service. After he broke his ankle during a training parachute jump, he was honorably discharged. He then went to work as a sideman on the rhythm-and-blues circuit, honing his craft but making little or no money. Jimi got restless being a sideman and moved to New York City hoping to get a break in the music business. Through his friend Curtis Knight, Jimi discovered the music scene in Greenwich Village, which left indelible impressions on him. It was here that he began taking drugs, among them marijuana, pep pills and cocaine. In 1966, while Jimi was performing with his own band called James & the Blue Flames at Cafe Wha?, John Hammond Jr. approached Jimi about the Flames playing backup for him at Cafe Au Go Go. Jimi agreed and during the show's finale, Hammond let Jimi cut loose on Bo Diddley's "I'm the Man." Linda Keith, girlfriend of The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, was one of Jimi's biggest fans and it was she who told friend Chase Chandler, a band manager, about Jimi. When Chandler heard Jimi play, he asked him to come to London to form his own band, and while there Chandler made the simple change in Jimi's name by formally dropping James and replacing it with Jimi. Having settled in England with a new band called the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which consisted of Jimi as guitarist and lead singer, bass player Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, Jimi took the country by storm with the release of his first single "Hey, Joe." In the summer of 1967 Jimi performed back in the USA at the Monterey Pop Festival, a mix-up backstage forced Jimi to follow The Who onstage, where after a superb performance Jimi tore up the house by trashing his guitar in a wild frenzy. Afterwards, Jimi's career skyrocketed with the release of the Experience's first two albums, "Are You Experienced?" and "Axis: Bold as Love," which catapulted him to the top of the charts. However, tensions, possibly connected with Jimi's drug use and the constant presence of hangers-on in the studio and elsewhere, began to fracture some of his relationships, including Chas Chandler, who quit as manager in February 1968. In September 1968 the Experience released their most successful album, "Electric Ladyland." However, in early 1969 bassist Redding left the Experience and was replaced by Billy Cox, an old army buddy who Jimi had jammed with. Jimi began experimenting with different musicians. For the Woodstock music festival Jimi put together an outfit called the Gypsies, Sun and Rainbows, with Mitchell and Cox as well as a second guitarist and two percussionists. Their one and only performance in August 1969 at Woodstock took place near Bethel, New York, where Hendrix and his band were to be the closing headline act. Because of the delay getting there and the logistical problems, Jimi performed on the morning of the fourth and final day. Only 25,000 people of the original 400,000 stayed to watch Jimi and his band as the closing music number, where Jimi's searing rendering of "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the anthem for counterculture. After Woodstock, Jimi formed a new band with Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums with the May 1970 release of the album "The Band of Gypsys." Jimi's last album, "Cry of Love", featured Cox on bass and former Experience drummer Mitchell on drums. However, Jimi's drug problem finally caught up with him. On the night of September 17, 1970, while living in London, Jimi took some sleeping pills, which were prescribed for his live-in girlfriend Monika Danneman. Sometime after midnight, Jimi threw up from an apparent allergic reaction to the pills and then passed out. Danneman, thinking him to be all right, went out to get cigarettes for them. When she returned, she found him lying where he collapsed, having inhaled his own vomit, and and she couldn't wake him. Danneman called an ambulance, which took him to a nearby hospital, but Jimi Hendrix was pronounced dead a short while later without regaining consciousness. He was 27 years old. Jimi Hendrix's life was short, but his impact on the rock guitar is still being heard which set the course for a new era of rock music.IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay
Guitar solos and heavy riffs
Played guitar left handed
Would often smash his guitar and/or light it on fire after a show
Brightly colored Outfits
Afro and thin moustache
Played a right handed guitar with His left hand
Is generally considered to have been rock's most innovative electric guitarist.
Usually played an upside-down Fender Stratocaster, restrung for left hand.
Was said to put LSD litmus ("blotter acid") under his bandana while he was playing on stage.
The footage of him playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the film Woodstock (1970) is one of the most studied pieces of musical film ever.
Guitar impresario Les Paul supposedly called Hendrix "a left-handed, mother f---ing genius". Neil Young said Hendrix was "absolutely the best guitar player that ever lived; there was no one even in the same building as that guy".
Musician Al Kooper received one of Hendrix's black Stratocasters from him as a gift; after de-converting the left-handed setup, Kooper used the guitar years later, to record the "Crime Story: Pilot (#1.1)" (1986) soundtrack.
Had actually lost over 60% of his hearing by the time of his death; during mixing sessions Hendrix often found himself the only person who could stand the playback volumes he needed, over the studio speakers.
As an Army paratrooper, Hendrix followed up a jump by trying to recreate the sound of the air rushing by, with his guitar and amplifier, back at the barracks.
Toured with The Monkees in 1967 as their opening act, in the weeks before his Monterey performance; disliking their music at first, Hendrix was surprised that the Monkees would invite him. (They all but demanded his presence on tour from their managers.) He and the group hit it off well, though, and found each other to be genuine, impressive, and good company. (Some jamming did happen offstage, but none was recorded.) Hendrix's act proved far less a match with the Monkees' fans, though, and performances sometimes unraveled among relentless cries for the headliners. Hendrix asked to leave the tour, to begin his own after Monterey; he left on good terms, but a story was concocted by the Monkees' press corps that Hendrix was out because of protests from the Daughters of the American Revolution, about his wild stage act--an inside joke, and some extra publicity for Hendrix.
Was one-quarter Cherokee, through his grandmother.
Hendrix played left-handed, much to the chagrin of his father, who believed that playing left-handed was a sign of the Devil! As Jimi's brother witnessed, Jimi played right-handed when his dad was present. After the elder Hendrix left the room, Jimi would use his famous left hand. Jimi wrote with his right hand, however.
Hendrix was capable of playing guitars with his right and left hands. He also was able to play right-handed guitars without restringing. This unusual skill often served Jimi well: On many occasions he "auditioned" guitars in music stores -- where left-handed axes are not usually plentiful.
Though Hendrix did indeed play right-handed Fender Stratocasters upside down (with the strings restrung for lefty position), he did own at least one left-handed Stratocaster. Hendrix also owned a left-handed 'Flying V' guitar, which he played periodically.
One of the early electric guitars Hendrix played was the now-discontinued Fender MusicMaster, which Jimi used while backing The Isley Brothers in the early '60s. He also used the Fender Jazzmaster, an essential instrument for the punk music movement of the late '70s and early '80s.
Played in the Ike Turner Review under the name "Jimmy James".
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience) in 1992.
Played his next to last performance at the infamous Isle of Wight festival in August 1970.
Hendrix and Pete Townshend of The Who got into a heated argument over who was going to follow whom at the Monterey Pop Festival. Neither artist wanted to follow the other, so John Phillips flipped a coin to decide who was going to go on. Townshend won, so Hendrix had to follow The Who, and he answered their usual end-of-show instrument smashing by setting his guitar on fire during the last song.
For years many people thought that Hendrix's final performance was at the Isle of Wight Festival in England. However, Hendrix's final performance was at a festival in Germany that was marred by bad weather and violence, especially by the German Hell's Angels.
Wrote "Voodoo Child", which would later be the entrance theme for pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.
He was a huge fan of Bob Dylan, often to the annoyance of friends and girlfriends as he would play Dylan's records again and again. Many say they can hear the influence of Dylan in Hendrix's lyrics. Hendrix often played "Like A Rolling Stone" at shows, but one of the legendary guitarist's best known songs was his cover of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." (Dylan today performs the song as a Hendrix tribute.)
He was voted the 6th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artist of all time by Rolling Stone. He was also voted the greatest guitarist of all time in a 2003 poll by Rolling Stone, a claim few would dispute.
Name was legally changed from "Johnny Allen Hendrix" to "James Marshall Hendrix" on September 11, 1946. He was 3 years old at the time.
Was the first musician inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. He had both Tsalagi (Cherokee) and Nahua (Aztec) ancestors, as well as African American ancestors.
When Jimi first moved to England he would often stay with his manager, Chas Chandler, in his hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. He often busked in the Heaton area of Newcastle near Chillingham Road, not far from where Chandler grew up and went to school.
He was discovered and managed by Chas Chandler, the Newcastle-born bass player for the 1960s group The Animals, who had a hit with "House of the Rising Sun", he later went on to manage the rock group Slade in the '70s.
His father was African-American and his mother was of Cherokee, Aztec and Irish heritage.
David Gilmour of Pink Floyd lists him as a major influence. When Gilmour saw Hendrix playing in a London nightclub in 1966, he said that nobody who saw that performance left the club not thinking that Hendrix would go all the way to the top.
Ranked #51 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
In spite of his legendary status, he only had one #1 hit with "All Along the Watchtower".
Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture. (16 November 2005).
Though the guitar chord - 7th + sharpened 9th - became known as "The Hendrix Chord" through its heavy use on his "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze," the 7#9 was actually used several months earlier by George Harrison on "Taxman" from The Beatles' 1966 album "Revolver".
Lived in London and New York City.
Stepbrother of Janie Hendrix.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6627 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Died at 27 years old, making him a member of the "27 Club"; The 27 Club is a group of prominent musicians who died at the age of 27. Other members include The Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, singer Janis Joplin, The Doors frontman Jon Morrison, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
Was expelled from High School for poor grades and attendance, though he later received an honorary diploma.
Although the Fender Stratocaster is the guitar most associated with Hendrix, he played a variety during his career including the Gibson SG, Gibson Les Paul and Gibson Flying V.
Was arrested for stealing cars in his youth and given the choice of jail or two years in the Army.
Was discharged from the Army for sub par service including sleeping on duty and poor marksmanship.
Jimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdinck had a mutual respect for each other's work. So when a guitarist didn't turn up for an Engelbert Humperdink concert, Jimi offered to step in. Engelbert thought it might damage Jimi's image, so Jimi played behind a curtain, he also restrained himself from doing any trademark licks and played in the orchestral style of an Engelbert Humperdink song.
Buried in Greenwood Cemetary in Renton, Washington.
I will be dead in five years' time, but while I am here, I will travel many highways and I will, of necessity, die at a time when my message of love, peace, and freedom can be shared with people all over the world.
Once you're dead, you're made for life.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
I can't express myself in any conversation... But when I'm up on stage, it's all the world. It's my whole life.
I'd like to get something together, like with Handel, and Bach, and Muddy Waters, flamenco type of thing ... If I could get that sound, I'd be happy.
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