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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Jimi Hendrix

Born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1942,  Jimi Hendrix was primarily of African American descent, with Irish and Cherokee ancestors.

He was born John Allen Hendrix. When his father, Al Hendrix, returned from the Army, he renamed him James Marshall Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix failed his high school music class.

When Jimi’s father saw him playing a simple kitchen broom, he bought him his very first instrument, which was a one-stringed ukulele.

He began playing the guitar at the age of 15 and was entirely self-taught.



In 1961 Jimi Hendrix was caught riding in stolen cars. A judge gave Hendrix the choice to either serve his country by joining the army or serve time in prison for two years. He enlisted in the United States Paratrooper Division and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as a member of the Screaming Eagles fighting squad. Hendrix was honorably discharged a little over a year later after (according to him) breaking his ankle during a parachute jump.

Hendrix in the US Army, 1961

In 1963, Hendrix moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, which was a tour with black artists playing to mostly black audiences.

Hendrix moved to England in late 1966 after being discovered by bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals.  The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded their first single "Hey Joe", at De Lane Lea studios in the English capital on October 23, 1966.

Within months, Hendrix had earned three UK Top Ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", and "The Wind Cries Mary".

Hendrix on stage in 1967


Jimi Hendrix wrote "The Wind Cries Mary" in an apartment he was subleasing from Ringo Star.

During a March 31, 1967 gig at the Astoria Theatre in London, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar for the first time, and went to the hospital after the show with minor burns. During the rest of the tour, Hendrix made a habit of play his guitar with his teeth, and he ignited his axe several more times.


In 1968 Hendrix's third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached #1 in the US. The album's cover for its UK release featured 19 naked women pulled from English pubs. Hendrix did not like the cover because he felt it detracted from the music. In the US, the cover was replaced by some psychedelic artwork.

By 1969, Hendrix was the world's highest-paid performer. He headlined Woodstock that year and was the highest-paid performer at the festival, making $18,000—that's $114,624 today.

Hendrix flashed a peace sign during his performance at Woodstock

Customs agents at Toronto International Airport detained Hendrix after finding a small amount of heroin and hashish in his luggage in May 1969. In December of that year he stood trial for two counts of illegal possession of narcotics, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  He was acquitted after a three-day trial due to doubts as to whether the narcotics belonged to Hendrix. In remarks to reporters after the verdict was announced, Hendrix commented: "Canada has given me the best Christmas present I ever had", while flashing a peace sign.

Hendrix lived for a time in the late 1960s at 23 Brook Street in London's Mayfair, which is one door down from the former residence of George Frideric Handel.

Jimi Hendrix once shared a flat in London's Notting Hill with Ronnie Wood later of The Rolling Stones and American soul singer PP Arnold,

Jimmy Hendrix was such a bad tenant that Ringo Star once had to evict him.

The English Heritage blue plaque that identifies Hendrix's former Brook Street residence was the first the organization ever granted to a pop star.



Jimi Hendrix was found dead in his girlfriend's apartment in the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, London on September 18, 1970. He had taken nine pills of the barbiturate vesperax, and that along with the alcohol he had consumed, caused a fatal overdose.

In 2002, Hendrix's remains were moved to Greenwood Memorial Cemetery in Renton, Washington, where he is buried under a 30-foot granite dome.

Jimi Hendrix is the most influential guitarist of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as, "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Source Artistfacts

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