Monday, July 27, 2009


Jimi Hendrix
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Jimi Hendix
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(From Experience Hendrix at

AKA Johnny Allen Hendrix
Born: 27-Nov-1942
Birthplace: Seattle, WA
Died: 18-Sep-1970
Location of death: London, England
Cause of death: Accident - Overdose
Remains: Buried, Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, WA
Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Matter of Dispute
Occupation: Guitarist
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Purple Haze
Military service: US Army (1961-62)
(Copyright ©2009 Soylent Communications)

Poster from

In a painfully short, four-year career, a scrawny southpaw with a gypsy's soul and hands like catcher's mitts indelibly changed music forever. Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, WA. Hendrix's love affair with music was consummated at 15, when he bought a cheap acoustic guitar from a friend of his father. Due to trouble with the law, Hendrix joined the army, which, by all accounts, he hated. Hendrix gained swift discharge and decided to try his hand as a pickup guitarist. After an unsuccessful tenure in Tennessee, Hendrix relocated to New York, where he was spotted by bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals. Chandler was hoping to reinvent himself as a talent manager. Once he saw Hendrix perform "Hey Joe," Chandler knew he found his talent. The aspiring manager took his prodigy to London, and hooked him up with local musicians Noel Redding (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums).
(Copyright © 2009 Wolfgang’s Vault, LLC)
Perhaps no other rock & roll guitarist has been more electrifying in the history of rock music than the man, who was named Johnny at birth, then re-named James but later named himself… Jimi Hendrix.
In the midst of the religious, ethnic, and political persecution inflicted upon African-Americans in the United States, during the Civil Rights era, Jimi ‘the sorcerer’ Hendrix unleased his Voodoo Child fury onto the world in 1967.
Along with guitarist-turned-bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, Jimi pioneered the original sounds in rock music history and set the rock guitar standard that is often imitated, but never equaled.
Jimi Hendrix was a self-taught, left-handed pioneer of rock guitar, who played a right-handed guitar upside-down with the strings re-strung for a left-hander. The guitar god’s debut album, Are You Experienced, continues to set the standard against which all other rock guitarists are measured. Ultimately, he had mastered the craft to become the rock guitar legend of all times. His guitar virtuosity, powered by overdriven amplifiers, is second to none.
23 other respected rock guitarists of the past fifty years, each of whom many deemed great Guitar Heroes, are:
David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Saul “Slash” Hudson, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Brian May, George Harrison, Randy Rhoads, Kirk Hammett, Keith Richards, Angus Young, Lita Ford, Stevie Salas, Joan Jett, and George “Buddy” Guy.
Jimi Hendrix is the Grand Master Ruler against which all other guitarists are measured.
(Copyright © 2009 Wil’s Domain Weblog)
Jimi Hendrix is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists ever. Born of African, European, Cherokee Indian and Mexican descent, Jimi only released three studio albums Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968).
Despite years of hard work touring the States playing back-up guitar for various R&B bands including Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Isley Brothers, King Curtis and Curtis Knight, he found fame and fortune in London, UK, with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
As a guitarist, he built upon the innovations of blues stylists such as B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, T-Bone Walker, and Muddy Waters, as well as those of rhythm and blues and soul guitarists like Curtis Mayfield. Hendrix's music was also influenced by jazz; he often cited Rahsaan Roland Kirk as his favorite musician. Most importantly, Hendrix extended the tradition of rock guitar: although previous guitarists—such as The Kinks' Dave Davies, The Yardbirds' Jeff Beck and The Who's Pete Townshend—had employed techniques such as feedback, distortion and other effects as sonic tools, Hendrix was able to exploit them to an extent that was previously undreamed of, and made them an integral part of many of his compositions.
As a record producer, Hendrix was an innovator in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas. Hendrix was notably one of the first to experiment with stereo and phasing effects during the recording process. Hendrix was also an accomplished songwriter whose compositions have been performed by countless artists.

27 November 1942
Johnny Allen Hendrix is born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Al Hendrix and Lucille Jeter, who married on 31st March in this year. Hendrix is originally raised by his mother, while his father is in the Services. The couple rarely live together with their son.
11 September 1946
Al Hendrix changes his sons name to James Marshall Hendrix.
13 January 1948
Jimi's brother Leon is born in Seattle.
A third brother, Joseph Allen Hendrix, is also born in Seattle. Around this time, Jimi and Leon are sent to Vancouver to live with Al's sister and her husband. They return to Seattle in 1950.
27 September 1950
Jimi's sister Cathy Ira Hendrix is born in Seattle.
17 December 1951
Al and Lucille Hendrix are divorced. Jimi, Leon and Joseph live with their father, though Joseph soon moves elsewhere, and Leon is often fostered out during the 1950s.
2 February 1958
Jimi's mother Lucille dies in Seattle: neither he nor his father attend the funeral.
Autumn 1958
Al Hendrix gives Jimi a ukelele, inspiring him to buy a $5 guitar later in the year. Jimi soon joins his first group, The Velvetones, playing acoustic guitar.
Summer 1959
Al purchases an electric guitar for his son, allowing Jimi to join another band, The Rocking Kings - with whom he makes his live debut later that year.
Summer 1960
The Rocking Kings evolve into Thomas & The Tomcats.
31 October 1960
Jimi leaves high school without graduating.
31 May 1961
After several run-ins with the Seattle police, Jimi enlists in the US Army, and begins his basic training.
31 October 1961
Jimi joins the 101st Airborne Division, where he undergoes parachute training.
2 July 1962
After breaking his ankle in his 26th parachute jump, Jimi is invalid out of the army.
October 1962
With his army buddy Billy Cox, Jimi starts work as a musician-for-hire in Nashville clubs.
December 1962
Jimi joins the mixed-race R&B band Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers, who later sign to Motown.
March 1963
Back in Nashville, Hendrix and Cox form The King Kasuals.
Late 1963
Jimi journeys to New York via Philadelphia, where he plays some recording sessions - his first authenticated visit to a professional studio - with R&B performer Lonnie Youngblood.
Early 1964
In New York, Jimi joins The Isley Brothers' backing band, and begins to record and tour with them
October 1964
Jimi quits The Isleys' band and joins a touring group which supports musicians like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke.
December 1964
Little Richard enlists Jimi for his touring band.
March 1965
Jimi and future Love vocalist Arthur Lee collaborate on a single by Rose Lee Brooks.
July 1965
Little Richard fires Jimi for missing the bus after a New York show.
27 July 1965
Hendrix signs a two-year recording deal with R&B label Sue Records in New York.
October 1965
In mid-town Manhattan, Jimi meets struggling R&B singer Curtis Knight, who invites him to join his band, The Squires.
15 October 1965
Jimi signs another exclusive recording deal, this time with Curtis Knight's recording manager, Ed Chalpin of PPX Records. Knight and Hendrix record several studio and live sessions over the next few months.
January 1966
Leaving Curtis Knight, Jimi begins to perform with King Curtis' band.
May 1966
Jimi rejoins The Squires for two weeks on New York gigs, but leaves at the end of the first week. He plays briefly with Carl Holmes and The Commanders, before inaugurating his own band, The Rainflowers.
June 1966
The Rainflowers become Jimmy James and The Blue Flames, with a line-up including future rock stars Randy California and Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter.
23 June 1966
Keith Richards' girlfriend, Linda Keith, watches a Hendrix show in Manhattan, and tries to interest Stones manager Andrew Oldham in the group.
5 July 1966
As Oldham isn't impressed, Linda Keith turns here attention to Animals' bassist Chas Chandler, who accompanies her to a Jimmy James and The Blue Flames performance at the Cafe Wah? in Greenwich Village.
9 September 1966
Jimi and Chas reach London: that night, Jimi plays in public for the first time in England.
29 September 1966
Bassist Noel Redding is enlisted for Hendrix's new band: they begin rehearsals with drummer Aynsley Dunbar. Chas Chandler's business partner, Mike Jeffery, begins to take a keen interest in Hendrix's career.
5 October 1966
Mitch Mitchell is appointed the permanent drummer in the band, now named The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
13 October 1966
The Experience play their first gig, in Evreux near Paris.
23 October 1966
Back in London, they record 'Hey Joe' with producer Chas Chandler and vocal support from The Breakaways.
2 November 1966
Jimi begins work on his debut album.
13 December 1966
The Experience make their TV debut on ITV's Ready, Steady, Go!

Iconic photographs from legendary music photographer Henry Dilitz
©2009 Ltd

30 January 1967
The Experience perform three songs at their debut BBC Radio Session.
3 February 1967
They start to record their second single, 'Purple Haze', and work on its follow-up, 'The Wind Cries Mary'

L-R Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding
Photo by K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns

31 March 1967
The Experience begin a controversial UK tour supporting pop idols The Walker Brothers.
4 April 1967
The final day of recording for the 'Are You Experienced?' LP.
4 May 1967
Work begins at Olympic Studios on Jimi's second album.
18 June 1967
The Experience play their first American concert, at the Monterey Pop Festival in California.
8 July 1967
In another mismatch, Hendrix and The Experience begin their first US tour, supporting the world's No. 1 teen idols, The Monkees.
16 July 1967
By mutual consent, the Experience play their final date on The Monkees' tour. Their publicists subsequently claim that their early departure is sparked by protests from The Daughters of the American Revolution.
30 July 1967
Jimi jams with former boss Curtis Knight during a session at PPX Studios: the results of the reunion are later realised by Ed Chalpin, prompting a flurry of lawsuits.
30 October 1967
Work on 'Axis: Bold As Love', the second Experience album, is completed.
22 December 1967
The Jimi Hendrix Experience perform as part of the Christmas Pop Spectacular in London's Olympia Hall, on the same bill as The Who, Pink Floyd, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Soft Machine and The Move.
4 January 1968
Jimi is arrested in Gothenburg, Sweden, and charged with damaging his hotel room.
21 January 1968
He starts to record his version of Bob Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower', the first track attempted for his third album.
25 February 1968
Jimi and the other Experience members - in both senses of the word - are immortalised in plaster by the Plaster Casters of Chicago.
13 March 1968
At the Scene Club in New York, Jimi takes part in a drunken jam with Jim Morrison of The Doors.
18 April 1968
Works begins in earnest at the Record Plant in New York on what becomes the 'Electric Ladyland' album.
18 May 1968
Hendrix interrupts his sessions to perform at the Miami Pop Festival.
27 August 1968
The final day of recording for 'Electric Ladyland'.
10 October 1968
The Experience begin a short season of concerts at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.
November 1968
Jimi produces an album for Cat Mother & The All Nigh Newsboys in New York.
4 January 1969
The Experience commemorate the break-up of Cream by performing an unplanned 'Sunshine Of Your Love' on the live TV programme, The Lulu Show, forcing the host to abandon her closing number.
14 February 1969
The Experience regroup at Olympic Studios in London to work abortively on a fourth album.
24 February 1969
A chaotic, often splendid show at the Royal Albert Hall in London is taped and filmed for future release.


March 1969
Jimi produces several songs for an album by The Buddy Miles Express.
18 March 1969
Jimi tapes a studion rendition of 'The Star Spangled Banner', which becomes a highlight of his subsequent live shows.
April 1969 the Jimi Hendrix Experience Band performed a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina. This was during the last American tour of the Experience Band and only four months before Woodstock.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Band
Raleigh, North Carolina
The last American tour of the Experience Band
photos Copyright by Robert Hewgley at

May 1969
Jimi is arrested for possession of illegal drugs on his arrival at Toronto International Airport.

Hendrix on his way to the magistrate
© 1998-2009

9 June 1969
A performance at the Denver Pop Festival becomes the Experience's final show when Noel Redding discovers that Hendrix is planning to replace him with Billy Cox.
10 July 1969
Jimi debuts his new band, with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox, on American TV's The Tonight Show.
14 August 1969
Jimi begins rehearsals with an extended line-up, adding a second guitarist, Larry Lee, plus percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez.
18 August 1969
The newly named Gypsy Sons & Rainbows Band headline the Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York.
28 August 1969
Jimi resumes work on another studio album, a year after completing 'Electric Ladyland'.
7 November 1969
After Mitch Mitchell returns to London to work on a solo project, Jimi enlists Billy Cox, Juma Sultan and drummer Buddy Miles to the Record Plant in New York, for sessions by what he comes to call The Band Of Gypsys.
10 December 1969
Despite effectively admitting his guilt, Jimi is found not guilty of his drug possession charges in Toronto.
31 December 1969
Jimi begins two nights of shows at the Fillmore East in New York, which are taped for the 'Band Of Gypsys' album - the rights to which are presented to Ed Chalpin in settlement of his outstanding contractual claim on Hendrix's services, dating back to 1965.
28 January 1970
Hendrix has to leave the stage after two songs of a New York performance with The Band Of Gypsys; the line-up is disbanded soon afterwards.
4 February 1970
Hendrix, Mitchell and Redding announce the reformation of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, though they never record or perform together again.
March 1970
In London, Hendrix guests on sessions by Arthur Lee and Stephen Stills.
23 March 1970
Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox are established as Jimi's rhythm section for the first of a series of sessions, intended to spawn a double-album called 'The First Rays Of The New Rising Sun'.
30 May 1970
The trio - now know as the Cry Of Love band - are taped and filmed during their performance at the Berkeley Community Theater in California.
15 June 1970
Jimi inaugurates his own Electric Lady Studios in New York, though they aren't officially opened for another two months.
30 July 1970
The Cry Of Love band perform two shows on the Hawaiian island of Maui, which are filmed for a documentary movie eventually released as Rainbow Bridge.
1 August 1970
Jimi performs his last US concert.
22 August 1970
Jimi's final recording session takes place at Electric Lady Studios, as he tapes his solo rendition of 'Belly Button Window'.
26 August 1970
The Electric Lady studio complex is officially opened.
27 August 1970
Hendrix flies to England.
30 August 1970
Jimi, Mitch and Billy perform an erratic show at the Isle Of Wight festival in England.
2 September 1970
Three songs into his performance in Aarhus, Denmark, Jimi has to leave the stage, suffering from too heavy a dose of sleeping pills.
6 September 1970
At the Fenham festival in Germany, Hendrix's last full live performance is greeted with sporatic booing by an ill-tempered crowd. Jimi the flies to London.
10 September 1970
Journalist Keith Altham conduct Jimi's last interview.
16/17 September 1970
Jimi makes his last appearance on stage at Ronnie Scott's club in London, jamming with Eric Burdon and War.
18 September 1970
Ambulances are called to the Samarkand Hotel in London, where Jimi is found unconscious, having vomited in his sleep. The ambulance-men are unable to revive him. He is taken to St. Mary Abbot's Hospital, where he is officially pronounced dead just after midday.
28 Septemer 1970
At a London inquest, the coroner instructs the jury to return an open verdict on Hendrix's death, which is blamed on "inhalation of vomit due to barbiturate intoxication".
1 October 1970
James Marshall Hendrix is buried in Greenwood Cemetary, Renton, Seattle.
(From Experience Hendrix at

Primary Discography:
1967 Are You Experienced? - Listen to samples
1967 Axis: Bold as Love - Listen to samples
1968 Electric Ladyland - Listen to samples
1970 Band of Gypsys - Listen to samples

Hendrix was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6627 Hollywood Blvd.) was dedicated in 1994. In 2006, his debut album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording Registry. Rolling Stone named Hendrix number 1 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.
Hendrix was well known for his unique sense of fashion, and strived to perfect his hairstyle and wardrobe almost to the point of obsession. A set of hair curlers was one of the few possessions that travelled with him to England upon his discovery in 1966. When his first advance check arrived, Hendrix immediately took to the streets of London in search of clothing at obscure fashion haunts like I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet, where he purchased an ages old British military jacket adorned with tasseled ropes. A traffic warden once ordered him to remove the jacket, citing it as an offense to the Queen.
Many photographs of Hendrix show him wearing various rings, medallions, and brooches, and Hendrix often peppered his attire with pins that professed his support for the hippie movement or his fascination with folk singer Bob Dylan. His only vacation, a two week trip to Morocco with friends Colette Mimram and Deering Howe, deeply affected his sense of art and style, and upon his return Hendrix filled his Greenwich Village apartment with Moroccan art and decor. Mimram and Stella Douglas, the wife of producer Alan Douglas, created some of Hendrix's most memorable attire: a Bowler style derby adorned with either an angled feather or a set of silver bangles, a Trilby hat crowned with a purple scarf and adorned with various brooches, the blue dashikis he wore on the Dick Cavett Show, and the blue on white fringed jacket that he wore at Woodstock.
Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artist and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings.
His career and ill-timed death has grouped him with Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison as one of contemporary music's tragic "three J's", iconic 60's rock stars that suffered drug-related deaths at age 27 within months of each other, leaving legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes.
Musically, Hendrix did much to further the development of the electric guitar repertoire. He moved the instrument to a higher level, establishing it as a unique sonic source, rather than merely an amplified version of the acoustic guitar. Likewise, his feedback and fuzz-laden soloing moved guitar distortion well beyond mere novelty, incorporating effects pedals and units (most notably the wah-wah pedal) with dramatic results.
Hendrix owned and used a variety of guitars during his career. His guitar of choice however, and the instrument that became most associated with him, was the Fender Stratocaster, or "Strat". He bought his first Stratocaster in 1965 and thereafter used it almost exclusively for his stage performances and recordings.

Jimi Hendrix's 1965 Fender Stratocaster
©2009 Ltd

The Strat's easy action and narrow neck were also ideally suited to Hendrix's evolving style and enhanced his tremendous dexterity--Hendrix's hands were large enough to fret across all six strings with his thumb, and he could play lead and rhythm parts simultaneously. Another remarkable fact about Hendrix is that he was left-handed, yet used right-handed Stratocasters, playing them upside-down. Hendrix restrung his guitars so that the heavier strings were in their standard position at the top of the neck. He preferred this layout because the tremolo arm and volume and tone controls were more easily accessible above the strings, but it also had an important effect on the sound of his guitar: because of the stagger of the pickups' pole pieces, his lowest string had a bright sound while his highest string had a mellow sound—the opposite of the Strat's intended design. This effect was exaggerated by the slant of the Strat's bridge pickup, and the varying length of the strings behind the nut caused by the Strat's six-a-side headstock.

The 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar
JIMI HENDRIX set fire to on stage in London in 1967
©2009 Ltd

During a one-off performance at London’s Finsbury Astoria in March 1967, the guitar genius, famously doused a 1965 Fender Stratocaster, with lighter fuel and set it afire. The legendary rock showman had to be rushed to hospital with minor burns to his hands after the stunt, and the guitar, slightly damaged along the neck and pickboard, was recovered by his staff.
The guitar reportedly eventually ended up in the hands of his press officer, Tony Garland, who stored it in his parents’ garage, where it remained until the treasure was unearthed in 2007 by Garland’s nephew.
(© Copyright 2005 - 2009
In addition to Fender Stratocasters, Hendrix was also photographed playing Fender Jaguars, Gretsch Corvette, Duosonics and Jazzmasters, and Gibson Les Paul Customs and SGs. Jimi used a white Gibson SG Custom for his performance on the Dick Cavett show in the summer of 1969, and the Isle of Wight film shows him playing a Gibson Flying V. While Jimi owned a number of Flying Vs throughout his career (included a black model with hand-painted designs by Hendrix), the Flying V used at the Isle of Wight was a unique left-handed guitar. Custom ordered from Gibson, Jimi's example featured gold hardware, a bound fingerboard and "split-diamond" fret markers that were not found on other 60s-era Flying Vs.
(From Copyright © 1999 & 2007 NJK)

Jimi Hendrix Memorial
Source Jimi Hendrix Memorial; originally posted at
Author Glenn Watkins from Vancouver, Canada
Wikimedia Commons

By Brax13 at © 2009 photobucket inc

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