Jimmi Hendrix

Jimmi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1942.  His name at birth was Johnny Allen Hendrix but his father Al changed his  name to James Marshall later on.  Although he had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives and aquaintances, his father bought him his first guitar when he was 16 years old.  His mother Lucille had given birth to this man who would become a rock n’ roll icon at the tender age of seventeen.  She also gave birth to Jimmi’s  two younger brothers, Leon and Joseph.  While growing up Jimmi would play guitar as he imitated blues greats like Muddy Waters and early rock bands.  One year after receiving his first guitar from his father, the young Hendrix would get another gift to for-shadow his future as a rock legend.  His dad bought him his first electric guitar;  A right handed Supro Ozark.  Since he was left handed, Jimmi had to learn to play this guitar upside down.  Around this time he started to perform with his first band The Rocking Kings.  He eventually dropped out of school to work odd jobs while aspiring to be a musician.  After his mom passed away in 1958, he joined the army in 1959 with his dad’s encouragement.  He had a honorable discharge after sustaining injury while  performing maneuvers as a paratrooper in 1961.  He then went on to perform under the name Jimmy James while living in New York in the 1960’s.  At this time he garnered great experience by performing backup for such legendary acts like Little Richard, BB King, Ike and Tina Turner and Sam Cooke.  In 1964 while still in New York, he also formed Jimmy James and the Blue Flames and performed in coffee houses around New York City’s Greenwich neighborhood.  It was around this time he caught the attention of bassist Brian “Chass” Chandler of the British group The Animals.  Chass decided to manage Hendrix and brought him to England.  Once there, they created the Jimmi Hendrix Experience  with Bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.  Their first single “Hey Joe” hits number six on the British charts and the band became an instant sensation.  While performing in England, Jimmi built up quite an amazing group of fans and admirers.   Rock legends such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Eric Clapton were all fond of Hendrix and had great respect for his guitar expertise.  The band had such hits as “Foxy Lady”, “Purple Haze” and ” The Wind Cries for Mary”.  The Jimmi Hendrix Experience made it’s first appearance on American soil at The Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 where Jimmi  caught his guitar on fire at the end of the performance.  The band broke up in 1969.  In his performance at Woodstock that same year, Jimmi presented his own rendition of the star spangled banner.  That performance has been described as “masterful” and ” Intricate”.  In August of 1970 he opened the doors to his brand new state of the art advanced 46 track recording studio in New York.  This studio, which he named The Electric Lady, was established only weeks before his death in London, England from a drug overdose in September of 1970.  He was 27 years old.  A British magazine critic once said, “he had great stage presence”, and “he looked at times as if he were playing with no hands a all.”  Another journalist also wrote, “Jimmi Hendrix could get more out of an electric guitar than anyone else.  He was the ultimate guitar player”.

 

the exodus album

 

 

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