Jimi Hendrix was one of the most influential musicians in music history.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most exciting and creative guitar players ever. He mixed Blues and Rock & Roll together to create some of the most unique music ever played. Jimi had only four years of fame, but unlike others, has become even bigger in the 20 years after his death.
Jimi’s parents, Al Hendrix and Lucille Jeter got married in Seattle, Washington on March 31, 1942. Soon after Johnny (Jimi) Allen Hendrix was born in Seattle on November 27, 1942. Al and Lucille got divorced in December, 1951, because of Al’s drinking problems. Al was granted custody of Jimi and his two brothers, Leon and Joseph. Shortly thereafter, Lucille Hendrix died of tuberculosis. Jimi did not attend her funeral because his father would not allow it and he had no way to get there. Unfortunately financial problems caused the brothers to be separated. Joseph was adopted and Leon was in and out of foster homes.
As a young boy, Jimi loved to listen to his fathers Jazz and Classic Blues records. In Jimi’s teenage years, he listened to Rock & Roll and R & B songs on the radio. Al quickly encouraged Jimi’s love for music by buying him a $5 acoustic guitar. With practice, Jimi was soon playing songs off the radio and playing in local bands.
In 1960, Jimi quit high school. After a few problems with the law, he joined the Army. He became a paratrooper, but was discharged after seven months because he broke his ankle.
Starting in October of 1962, Jimi went off to pursue his musical career. Jimi was a pick-up guitarist for artists Little Richard, The Isley Brothers and Sam Cooke.
In 1966, Hendrix formed a band and elected to sing for the first time. They had a regular spot in Greenwich Village, New York City. One night Chas Chandler, the bass player for the Animals, saw Jimi and his band perform. After the performance, Chandler was overwhelmed, he asked Hendrix if he would go to London with him. That was the turning point of his career.
On September 24, 1966, Jimi arrived in London. There he held auditions for a bass player and drummer. After auditions, Jimi chose Noel Redding on bass guitar and Mitch Mitchell on drums.
The JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE was formed on October 6, 1966. Three weeks later they recorded their first single, Hey Joe. It was released to the public at the end of the year. By February, Hey Joe was the number 4 song on the singles list. Jimi Hendrix was one of the hottest musicians in Britain. Soon there after, Jimi wrote and recorded Purple Haze and The Wind Cries Mary, both of which were huge hits. Then in May of 1967, Jimi released his first album, Are You Experienced?, which was in second place on the charts the whole summer. Also in May, they started studio recordings of Jimi’s next album Axis : Bold As Love.
at the Monterey Pop Festival in California on June 18, 1967. Some consider this Jimi’s best live performance. He ran through and played all of their hits before the grand finale, when he torched his guitar before smashing it on stage. Now not only was Jimi popular in Britain, but in America as well.
On December 1, 1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their new album, Axis: Bold As Love. In just a few weeks Axis : Bold As Love was in the top twenty and rising.
On January 21, 1968, Jimi started recording his first song, All Along The Watchtower ,for his next album, Electric Ladyland. Jimi worked on Electric Ladyland the entire summer of 1968 and completed in on August 27, 1968.
The Spring of 1969 was a rough one. Jimi was arrested at Toronto International Airport for possession of heroin and had to pay $10,000 bail. Soon there after, The Jimi Hendrix Experience disbanded. Noel Redding left for England and was replaced by Jimi’s old army buddy, Billy Cox. Mitch Mitchell left also, but soon returned when Jimi formed his new band, Band of Gypsies .
Jimi and his new band went to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969. The apex of this performance was his playing of the Star Spangled Banner. This song was a meaningful, and compelling statement during the height of civil rights and the Vietnam War.
Jimi took some time off from planning albums to tour Europe. A week into the tour, bass player, Billy Cox got sick and was taken back to London to recover.
On Thursday, the 17 of September, Hendrix stayed in London with his girlfriend, Monica Dannemann. That night, Jimi took some sleeping pills with the idea that he would sleep through the next day. Then go back to the U.S. after that weekend. Friday morning, his girl friend awoke and saw that he had vomited during the night, but was breathing okay. Saw no reason to be alarmed. Later, when she tried to wake him again; he was still unconscious and she quickly called the ambulance. Jimi was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead at 11:25 A.M. on September 18, 1970. Right after Jimi’s death the press reported that Jimi had died of a drug overdose. Later, the coroner reported an “open verdict”, which means that they were unable to decide the exact cause of death. They later discovered that the cause of death had been from the sleeping pills and narcotics ,but only indirectly. The drugs made him vomit and he suffocated on his vomit.
Over the course of his life, Jimi has made many accomplishments. He was named Pop Musician of the Year by Melody Maker magazine in 1967 and 1968. Rolling Stone declared him Musician of the Year in 1968. He was presented the key to the city of Seattle in 1968. Also named artist of the year according to Playboy magazine. In 1969, he was elected to Down Beat magazine’s Readers’ poll Hall of Fame. In 1970, he was Rock Guitarist of the Year by Guitar Player Magazine.
Jimi Hendrix music has made a great impact on many current musicians and musicians to come he was always experimenting and looking for sounds nobody else had. In the few years of Jimi’s fame he has made a huge impact on music. Jimi Hendrix is truly one of the most influential musicians in the history of music. Jimi Hendrix came on to the music scene unheard of and came off a legend.
The day before he died he was writing up the lyrics for a new song they were:
SOURCE 1:Mitchell, Mitch, Jimi Hendrix: Inside the Experience (1990)
SOURCE 2:Murray, Charles S., Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution (1991).
SOURCE 3:Evens, Samuel, Classic Rock and Roll Musicians (1988).