JIMI HENDRIX BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: November 27, 1942,
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DEATH: September 18, 1970 (aged 27),
Kensington, London, UK
jimi Hendrix was an African-American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is one of the greatest electric guitarists of all times.
Jimi Hendrix was born as Johnny Allen Hendrix on 27th November, 1942. His father, Al Hendrix, was a jazz dancer and worked many other jobs. His mother was Lucille Jeter. He was the eldest of five children. His father changed Johnny’s name to James Marshal in 1946. His parents got a divorce in 1951. Hendrix was nine years old at that time. His father got custody of the children. Lucille Jeter died on 2nd February,
1958. His father and paternal grandmother raised Hendrix.
Hendrix’s interest in music developed at an early age. He would use the broom as a guitar or a one-string ukulele. His father got him his first acoustic guitar at the age of fifteen. In 1956, he got his first electric guitar- a white Supro Ozark. As he was left-handed, he had to turn the guitar in the opposite direction while playing. This gave him his unique performance style. He liked the blues, and rock and roll music. He was also influenced by artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Elmore James. Blues guitarists Steve Cropper and Curtis Mayfield also inspired his style of music.
The Velvetones was the first formal band that he played in. He then joined the band the Rocking Kings. Hendrix dropped out of Garfield High School in 1959. He worked odd jobs while pursuing his music career.
Hendrix joined the army at the age of seventeen in order to avoid a jail sentence. He was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He had volunteered as a para-trooper. Hendrix got discharged from the army in the following year due to an injury while jumping from a parachute.
Hendrix met Billy Cox (a bass player) during the service. They formed a band called the King Kasuals. They used to perform at clubs in Nashville, Tennessee. After the service, Jimmy started working under the name Jimmy James. He worked as a backup for B.B. King, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and the Isle Brothers. In 1965, he got a contract with Curtis Knight’s manager, Ed Chaplin, and formed his group, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames.
Hendrix met Chas Chandler, bass player of British rock band, The Animals, in 1966. Chandler made Hendrix move to London and start a band. Hendrix started The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 with Noel Redding as the bassist and John “Mitch” Mitchell as the drummer.
The band’s first single, “Hey Joe”, was released in 1967. It became a huge hit and was performed
on a stage show in London. This was followed with hits such as “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary”. Their first album called ‘Are you Experienced?’ was released in 1967. Their per- formance at the Monterey Pop Festival created a ripple amongst their audiences. Hendrix experimented with his song writing skills in the second album, “Axis: Bold as Love’ (1967). Their 1968 album, ‘Electric Ladyland’ (1968), contained the hit song “All Along the Watchtower”. This song was written by Bob Dylan. The band’s most memorable performance includes “Star- Spangled Banner” at the Woodstock festival in
New York in 1969. The band broke up the same year due to a contractual disagreement between Hendrix and Ed Chaplin.
Hendrix formed a group with his old friends, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. They created the live album ‘Band of Gypsys’ in 1970 before Miles left the group.
Jimi Hendrix was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The same year he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1993, Eric Clapton
recorded his version of Hendrix’s “Stone Free” for a tribute album called ‘Stone Free: A Tribute
to Jimi Hendrix. Many rock, blues, rap artists created versions of his songs for this album. Al Hendrix published a biography based on the family life of Jimi Hendrix named My Son Jimi.
In 2005, Hendrix was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame. He is one of the first people who was inducted to the Native American Music Hall of Fame. He got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
Hendrix passed away on 18th September, 1970 in London, because of an overdose of sleeping
pills. He was 27 years old.