Jimi Hendrix
Rock musician
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in music history, and one of the most influential musicians of his era. After initial success in Europe with his group The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he achieved fame in the United States following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.
Biography
Jimi Hendrix's personal information overview.
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News abour Jimi Hendrix from around the web
Fretting Over Foreign Laws - Investor's Business Daily
Google News - over 5 years
It's true that, since those long-ago, legendary days of Jimi Hendrix and his mates, the ancient instrument — kitarah in Arabic, kithara in Greek — has been distorted beyond recognition. But are some zonked backwoodsmen now hooking them and poking
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Previously unissued Jimi Hendrix singles out now - MusicRadar.com
Google News - over 5 years
Experience Hendrix LLC and Song Legacy Recordings are previewing the fourth wave of titles in the Jimi Hendrix catalog project with the release of two limited-edition Jimi Hendrix singles. Like A Rolling Stone and Spanish Castle Magic, both recorded in
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Jimi Hendrix LIVE: Previously Unreleased Performances CD Debut - Hollywood Today Newsmagazine
Google News - over 5 years
Hollywood,CA(Hollywood Today)8/24/11/—Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings will preview the 4th wave of titles in the Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project with the release of two limited edition Jimi Hendrix singles exclusively available
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Coat worn by Jimi Hendrix on the night he died expected to fetch £25000 - Mirror.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
A FROCK coat worn by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix on the night he died is likely to sell for £25000 at auction. The star accidentally left the grey custom-made coat at a friend's house hours before he choked to death on his vomit in September 1970
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Seattle area's many Jimi Hendrix memorials - The Seattle Times
Google News - over 5 years
While planning continues for Jimi Hendrix Park, a number of places around Seattle already pay tribute to the rock legend. The real memorial to Jimi is the music. Every CD of his, every IPOD with a music... (August 15, 2011, by no more Bozos) Read more
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The beautiful mind of the Aussie who beat Microsoft - Sydney Morning Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Ric Richardson never emulated his early idol Jimi Hendrix ... but rock music's loss has been the computer industry's gain. Photo: Naz Mulla Inventor Ric Richardson is a no-bull, unassuming Aussie, but when Microsoft pinched his big idea, he took on the
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Katy Perry Dress, Jimi Hendrix Guitar Strap To Go Under The Hammer; More! - Post Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
by Staff A dress Katy Perry wore in her I Kissed A Girl music video and one of Jimi Hendrix's guitar straps are among the priceless music memorabilia set to go under the hammer. Hendrix lit part of the guitar strap on fire at California's Monterey Pop
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Hendrix Guitar Strap, Cobain Smashed Guitar on Auction Block - Gibson
Google News - over 5 years
The guitar strap used by Jimi Hendrix when he set his guitar ablaze at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival is among many noteworthy items currently being offered by a New York City auction company. Beginning today (July 13) and extending through July 22, ... -
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Top 10 Stories of the Week in Music News - Gibson
Google News - over 5 years
Meanwhile, OutKast's André 3000 is slated to play Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming film and Paul McCartney might be working on a Beatles “reunion” for the London Olympic games. Plus, guitar god Slash recorded a song for Phineas and Ferb
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Jimi Hendrix Biopic To Star OutKast Singer Andre 3000? - antiMUSIC.com
Google News - over 5 years
(Gibson) OutKast singer Andre 3000 is set to play the lead role in a forthcoming biopic of Jimi Hendrix…maybe. In a profile piece for Esquire, British actress Hayley Atwell divulged the news as a "possibility." "Next up is possibly a Jimi Hendrix
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New Outkast record rumored; Andre 3000 still may portray Jimi Hendrix - Los Angeles Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In contrast to those rumors is this recent Esquire interview with "Captain America" star Haley Atwell, who claims that Andre is still on tap to play Jimi Hendrix in a forthcoming biopic. Maybe. As she claims: "Next up is possibly a Jimi Hendrix biopic ... - -
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jimi Hendrix
    CHILDHOOD
  • 1970
    In 1970, he told Rolling Stone that he was a fan of western swing artist Bob Wills and while he lived in Nashville, the television show the Grand Ole Opry.
    More Details Hide Details Cox stated that during their time serving in the U.S. military he and Hendrix primarily listened to southern blues artists such as Jimmy Reed and Albert King. According to Cox, "King was a very, very powerful influence". Howlin' Wolf also inspired Hendrix, who performed Wolf's "Killing Floor" as the opening song of his U.S. debut at the Monterey Pop Festival. The influence of soul artist Curtis Mayfield can be heard in Hendrix's guitar playing, and the influence of Bob Dylan can be heard in Hendrix's songwriting; he was known to play Dylan's records repeatedly, particularly Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. The Experience's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography states: "Jimi Hendrix was arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music. Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll." Musicologist Andy Aledort described Hendrix as "one of the most creative" and "influential musicians that has ever lived". Music journalist Chuck Philips wrote: "In a field almost exclusively populated by white musicians, Hendrix has served as a role model for a cadre of young black rockers. His achievement was to reclaim title to a musical form pioneered by black innovators like Little Richard and Chuck Berry in the 1950s."
    After Hendrix's body had been embalmed by Desmond Henley, it was flown to Seattle, Washington, on September 29, 1970.
    More Details Hide Details After a service at Dunlop Baptist Church on October 1, it was interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Renton, Washington, the location of his mother's gravesite. Hendrix's family and friends traveled in twenty-four limousines and more than two hundred people attended the funeral, including several notable musicians such as original Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, as well as Miles Davis, John Hammond, and Johnny Winter. By 1967, as Hendrix was gaining in popularity, many of his pre-Experience recordings were marketed to an unsuspecting public as Jimi Hendrix albums, sometimes with misleading later images of Hendrix. The recordings, which came under the control of producer Ed Chalpin of PPX, with whom Hendrix had signed a recording contract in 1965, were often re-mixed between their repeated reissues, and licensed to record companies such as Decca and Capitol. Hendrix publicly denounced the releases, describing them as "malicious" and "greatly inferior", stating: "At PPX, we spent on average about one hour recording a song. Today I spend at least twelve hours on each song." These unauthorized releases have long constituted a substantial part of his recording catalogue, amounting to hundreds of albums.
    Paramedics then transported Hendrix to St Mary Abbot's Hospital where Dr. John Bannister pronounced him dead at 12:45 p.m. on September 18, 1970.
    More Details Hide Details To determine the cause of death, coroner Gavin Thurston ordered a post-mortem examination on Hendrix's body, which was performed on September 21 by Professor Robert Donald Teare, a forensic pathologist. Thurston completed the inquest on September 28, and concluded that Hendrix aspirated his own vomit and died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates. Citing "insufficient evidence of the circumstances", he declared an open verdict. Dannemann later revealed that Hendrix had taken nine of her prescribed Vesparax sleeping tablets, 18 times the recommended dosage.
    Although the details of Hendrix's last day and death are widely disputed, he spent much of September 17, 1970, in London with Monika Dannemann, the only witness to his final hours.
    More Details Hide Details Dannemann said that she prepared a meal for them at her apartment in the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, sometime around 11 p.m., when they shared a bottle of wine. She drove Hendrix to the residence of an acquaintance at approximately 1:45 a.m., where he remained for about an hour before she picked him up and drove them back to her flat at 3 a.m. Dannemann said they talked until around 7 a.m., when they went to sleep. She awoke around 11 a.m., and found Hendrix breathing, but unconscious and unresponsive. She called for an ambulance at 11:18 a.m.; they arrived on the scene at 11:27 a.m.
    When the European leg of the Cry of Love tour began, Hendrix was longing for his new studio and creative outlet, and was not eager to fulfill the commitment. On September 2, 1970, he abandoned a performance in Aarhus after three songs, stating: "I've been dead a long time".
    More Details Hide Details Four days later, he gave his final concert appearance, at the Isle of Fehmarn Festival in Germany. He was met with booing and jeering from fans in response to his cancellation of a show slated for the end of the previous night's bill due to torrential rain and risk of electrocution. Immediately following the festival, Hendrix, Mitchell, and Cox travelled to London. Three days after the performance, Cox, who was suffering from severe paranoia after either taking LSD or being given it unknowingly, quit the tour and went to stay with his parents in Pennsylvania. Within days of Hendrix's arrival in England, he had spoken with Chas Chandler, Alan Douglas, and others about leaving his manager, Michael Jeffery. On September 16, Hendrix performed in public for the last time during an informal jam at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho with Eric Burdon and his latest band, War. They began by playing a few of their recent hits, and after a brief intermission Hendrix joined them during "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road". His performance was uncharacteristically subdued; he quietly played backing guitar, and refrained from the histrionics that people had come to expect from him. He died less than 48 hours later.
    Hendrix first used Electric Lady on June 15, 1970, when he jammed with Steve Winwood and Chris Wood of Traffic; the next day, he recorded his first track there, "Night Bird Flying".
    More Details Hide Details The studio officially opened for business on August 25, and a grand opening party was held the following day. Immediately afterwards, Hendrix left for England; he never returned to the States. He boarded an Air India flight for London with Cox, joining Mitchell for a performance as the headlining act of the Isle of Wight Festival.
    During the first half of 1970, Hendrix sporadically worked on material for what would have been his next LP.
    More Details Hide Details Many of the tracks were posthumously released in 1971 as The Cry of Love. He had started writing songs for the album in 1968, but in April 1970 he told Keith Altham that the project had been abandoned. Soon afterward, he and his band took a break from recording and began the Cry of Love tour at the L.A. Forum, performing for 20,000 people. Set-lists during the tour included numerous Experience tracks as well as a selection of newer material. Several shows were recorded, and they produced some of Hendrix's most memorable live performances. At one of them, the second Atlanta International Pop Festival, on July 4, he played to the largest American audience of his career. According to authors Scott Schinder and Andy Schwartz, as many as 500,000 people attended the concert. On July 17, they appeared at the New York Pop Festival; Hendrix had again consumed too many drugs before the show, and the set was considered a disaster. The American leg of the tour, which included 32 performances, ended at Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 1, 1970. This would be Hendrix's final concert appearance in the U.S.
    Soon after the abruptly ended Band of Gypsys performance and their subsequent dissolution, Jeffery made arrangements to reunite the original Experience line-up. Although Hendrix, Mitchell, and Redding were interviewed by Rolling Stone in February 1970 as a united group, Hendrix never intended to work with Redding.
    More Details Hide Details When Redding returned to New York in anticipation of rehearsals with a reformed Experience, he was told that he had been replaced with Cox. During an interview with Rolling Stone Keith Altham, Hendrix defended the decision: "It's nothing personal against Noel, but we finished what we were doing with the Experience and Billy's style of playing suits the new group better." Although the lineup of Hendrix, Mitchell, and Cox became known as the Cry of Love band, after their accompanying tour, billing, advertisements, and tickets were printed with the New Jimi Hendrix Experience or occasionally just Jimi Hendrix.
    Immortalized in the 1970 documentary film, Woodstock, his guitar-driven version would become part of the sixties Zeitgeist.
    More Details Hide Details Pop critic Al Aronowitz of The New York Post wrote: "It was the most electrifying moment of Woodstock, and it was probably the single greatest moment of the sixties." Images of the performance showing Hendrix wearing a blue-beaded white leather jacket with fringe, a red head-scarf, and blue jeans are widely regarded as iconic pictures that capture a defining moment of the era. He played "Hey Joe" during the encore, concluding the 3½-day festival. Upon leaving the stage, he collapsed from exhaustion. In 2011, the editors of Guitar World placed his rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock at number one in their list of his 100 greatest performances. A legal dispute arose in 1966 regarding a record contract that Hendrix had entered into the previous year with producer Ed Chalpin. After two years of litigation, the parties agreed to a resolution that granted Chalpin the distribution rights to an album of original Hendrix material. Hendrix decided that they would record the LP, Band of Gypsys, during two live appearances. In preparation for the shows he formed an all-black power-trio with Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, formerly with Wilson Pickett, the Electric Flag, and the Buddy Miles Express. Critic John Rockwell described Hendrix and Miles as jazz-rock fusionists, and their collaboration as pioneering. Others identified a funk and soul influence in their music. Concert promoter Bill Graham called the shows "the most brilliant, emotional display of virtuoso electric guitar" that he had ever heard.
  • 1969
    By 1969, Hendrix was the world's highest-paid rock musician.
    More Details Hide Details In August, he headlined the Woodstock Music and Art Fair that included many of the most popular bands of the time. For the concert, he added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee and conga players Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez. The band rehearsed for less than two weeks before the performance, and according to Mitchell, they never connected musically. Before arriving at the engagement, he heard reports that the size of the audience had grown to epic proportions, which gave him cause for concern as he did not enjoy performing for large crowds. He was an important draw for the event, and although he accepted substantially less money for the appearance than his usual fee he was the festival's highest-paid performer. As his scheduled time slot of midnight on Sunday drew closer, he indicated that he preferred to wait and close the show in the morning; the band took the stage around 8:00 a.m. on Monday. By the time of their set, Hendrix had been awake for more than three days. The audience, which peaked at an estimated 400,000 people, was now reduced to 30–40,000, many of whom had waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving during his performance. The festival MC, Chip Monck, introduced the group as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Hendrix clarified: "We decided to change the whole thing around and call it Gypsy Sun and Rainbows.
    Soon after Redding's departure, Hendrix began lodging at the eight-bedroom Ashokan House, in the hamlet of Boiceville near Woodstock in upstate New York, where he had spent some time vacationing in mid-1969.
    More Details Hide Details Manager Michael Jeffery arranged the accommodations in the hope that the respite might encourage Hendrix to write material for a new album. During this time, Mitchell was unavailable for commitments made by Jeffery, which included Hendrix's first appearance on U.S. TV—on The Dick Cavett Show—where he was backed by the studio orchestra, and an appearance on The Tonight Show where he appeared with Cox and session drummer Ed Shaughnessy.
    In his diary, Redding documented the building frustration during early 1969 recording sessions: "On the first day, as I nearly expected, there was nothing doing...
    More Details Hide Details On the second it was no show at all. I went to the pub for three hours, came back, and it was still ages before Jimi ambled in. Then we argued... On the last day, I just watched it happen for a while, and then went back to my flat." The last Experience sessions that included Redding—a re-recording of "Stone Free" for use as a possible single release—took place on April 14 at Olmstead and the Record Plant in New York. Hendrix then flew bassist Billy Cox to New York; they started recording and rehearsing together on April 21. The last performance of the original Experience line-up took place on June 29, 1969, at Barry Fey's Denver Pop Festival, a three-day event held at Denver's Mile High Stadium that was marked by police using tear gas to control the audience. The band narrowly escaped from the venue in the back of a rental truck, which was partly crushed by fans who had climbed on top of the vehicle. Before the show, a journalist angered Redding by asking why he was there; the reporter then informed him that two weeks earlier Hendrix announced that he had been replaced with Billy Cox. The next day, Redding quit the Experience and returned to London. He announced that he had left the band and intended to pursue a solo career, blaming Hendrix's plans to expand the group without allowing for his input as a primary reason for leaving.
    By February 1969, Redding had grown weary of Hendrix's unpredictable work ethic and his creative control over the Experience's music.
    More Details Hide Details During the previous month's European tour, interpersonal relations within the group had deteriorated, particularly between Hendrix and Redding.
    In January 1969, after an absence of more than six months, Hendrix briefly moved back into his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham's Brook Street apartment, which was next door to the Handel House Museum in the West End of London.
    More Details Hide Details During this time, the Experience toured Scandinavia, Germany, and gave their final two performances in France. On February 18 and 24, they played sold-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall, which were the last European appearances of this line-up.
  • OTHER
  • 1967
    It was originally released as his fourth single in the UK in August 1967 and reached number 18 in the charts.
    More Details Hide Details In 1989, Noe Goldwasser, the founding editor of Guitar World magazine, described Electric Ladyland as "Hendrix's masterpiece". According to author Michael Heatley, "most critics agree" that the album is "the fullest realization of Jimi's far-reaching ambitions." In 2004, author Peter Doggett commented: "For pure experimental genius, melodic flair, conceptual vision and instrumental brilliance, Electric Ladyland remains a prime contender for the status of rock's greatest album." Doggett described the LP as "a display of musical virtuosity never surpassed by any rock musician."
    On June 4, 1967, Hendrix opened a show at the Saville Theatre in London with his rendition of Sgt.
    More Details Hide Details Pepper title track, which was released just three days previous. Beatles manager Brian Epstein owned the Saville at the time, and both George Harrison and Paul McCartney attended the performance. McCartney described the moment: "The curtains flew back and he came walking forward playing 'Sgt. Pepper'. It's a pretty major compliment in anyone's book. I put that down as one of the great honors of my career." Released in the U.S. on August 23 by Reprise Records, Are You Experienced reached number five on the Billboard 200. In 1989, Noe Goldwasser, the founding editor of Guitar World magazine, described Are You Experienced as "the album that shook the world... leaving it forever changed". In 2005, Rolling Stone called the double-platinum LP Hendrix's "epochal debut", and they ranked it the 15th greatest album of all time, noting his "exploitation of amp howl", and characterizing his guitar playing as "incendiary... historic in itself".
    On March 31, 1967, while the Experience waited to perform at the London Astoria, Hendrix and Chandler discussed ways in which they could increase the band's media exposure.
    More Details Hide Details When Chandler asked journalist Keith Altham for advice, Altham suggested that they needed to do something more dramatic than the stage show of the Who, which involved the smashing of instruments. Hendrix joked: "Maybe I can smash up an elephant", to which Altham replied: "Well, it's a pity you can't set fire to your guitar". Chandler then asked road manager Gerry Stickells to procure some lighter fluid. During the show, Hendrix gave an especially dynamic performance before setting his guitar on fire at the end of a 45-minute set. In the wake of the stunt, members of London's press labeled Hendrix the "Black Elvis" and the "Wild Man of Borneo". After the moderate UK chart success of their first two singles, "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze", the Experience began assembling material for a full-length LP. Recording began at De Lane Lea Studios and later moved to the prestigious Olympic Studios. The album, Are You Experienced, features a diversity of musical styles, including blues tracks such as "Red House" and "Highway Chile", and the R&B song "Remember". It also included the experimental science fiction piece, "Third Stone from the Sun" and the post-modern soundscapes of the title track, with prominent backwards guitar and drums. "I Don't Live Today" served as a medium for Hendrix's guitar feedback improvisation and "Fire" was driven by Mitchell's drumming.
  • 1966
    Thus, the Jimi Hendrix Experience performed their very first show on October 13, 1966, at the Novelty in Evreux.
    More Details Hide Details Their enthusiastically received 15-minute performance at the Olympia theatre in Paris on October 18 marks the earliest known recording of the band. In late October, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, managers of the Who, signed the Experience to their newly formed label, Track Records, which released the Experience's first single on October 23. "Hey Joe", which included a female chorus provided by the Breakaways, was backed by Hendrix's first songwriting effort after arriving in England, "Stone Free". In mid-November, they performed at the Bag O'Nails nightclub in London, with Clapton, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, and Kevin Ayers in attendance. Ayers described the crowd's reaction as stunned disbelief: "All the stars were there, and I heard serious comments, you know 'shit', 'Jesus', 'damn' and other words worse than that." The successful performance earned Hendrix his first interview, published in Record Mirror with the headline: "Mr. Phenomenon". "Now hear this... we predict that Hendrix is going to whirl around the business like a tornado", wrote Bill Harry, who asked the rhetorical question: "Is that full, big, swinging sound really being created by only three people?" Hendrix commented: "We don't want to be classed in any category... If it must have a tag, I'd like it to be called, 'Free Feeling'. It's a mixture of rock, freak-out, rave and blues".
    In mid-October 1966, Chandler arranged an engagement for the Experience as Johnny Hallyday's supporting act during a brief tour of France.
    More Details Hide Details
    Impressed with Hendrix's version of the song, he brought him to London on September 24, 1966, and signed him to a management and production contract with himself and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery.
    More Details Hide Details On September 24, Hendrix gave an impromptu solo performance at The Scotch of St James, and later that night he began a relationship with Kathy Etchingham that lasted for two and a half years. Following Hendrix's arrival in London, Chandler began recruiting members for a band designed to highlight the guitarist's talents, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix met guitarist Noel Redding at an audition for the New Animals, where Redding's knowledge of blues progressions impressed Hendrix, who stated that he also liked Redding's hairstyle. Chandler asked Redding if he wanted to play bass guitar in Hendrix's band; Redding agreed. Chandler then began looking for a drummer and soon after, he contacted Mitch Mitchell through a mutual friend. Mitchell, who had recently been fired from Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, participated in a rehearsal with Redding and Hendrix where they found common ground in their shared interest in rhythm and blues. When Chandler phoned Mitchell later that day to offer him the position, he readily accepted. Chandler also convinced Hendrix to change the spelling of his first name from Jimmy to the exotic looking Jimi.
    By May 1966, Hendrix was struggling to earn a living wage playing the R&B circuit, so he briefly rejoined Curtis Knight and the Squires for an engagement at one of New York City's most popular nightspots, the Cheetah Club.
    More Details Hide Details During a performance, Linda Keith, the girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, noticed Hendrix. She remembered: "His playing mesmerised me". She invited him to join her for a drink; he accepted and the two became friends. While he was playing with Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, Keith recommended Hendrix to Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and producer Seymour Stein. They failed to see Hendrix's musical potential, and rejected him. She then referred him to Chas Chandler, who was leaving the Animals and interested in managing and producing artists. Chandler liked the Billy Roberts song "Hey Joe", and was convinced he could create a hit single with the right artist.
    Feeling restricted by his experiences as an R&B sideman, Hendrix moved to New York City's Greenwich Village in 1966, which had a vibrant and diverse music scene.
    More Details Hide Details There, he was offered a residency at the Cafe Wha? on MacDougal Street and formed his own band that June, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which included future Spirit guitarist Randy California. The Blue Flames played at several clubs in New York and Hendrix began developing his guitar style and material that he would soon use with the Experience. In September, they gave some of their last concerts at the Cafe au Go Go, as John Hammond Jr.'s backing group.
    Hendrix earned his first composer credits for two instrumentals, "Hornets Nest" and "Knock Yourself Out", released as a Curtis Knight and the Squires single in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1965
    In October 1965, he and Knight recorded the single, "How Would You Feel" backed with "Welcome Home" and on October 15, Hendrix signed a three-year recording contract with entrepreneur Ed Chalpin.
    More Details Hide Details While the relationship with Chalpin was short-lived, his contract remained in force, which later caused legal and career problems for Hendrix. During his time with Knight, Hendrix briefly toured with Joey Dee and the Starliters, and worked with King Curtis on several recordings including Ray Sharpe's two-part single, "Help Me".
    In July 1965, on Nashville's Channel 5 Night Train, Hendrix made his first television appearance.
    More Details Hide Details Performing in Little Richard's ensemble band, he backed up vocalists Buddy and Stacy on "Shotgun". The video recording of the show marks the earliest known footage of Hendrix performing. Richard and Hendrix often clashed over tardiness, wardrobe, and Hendrix's stage antics, and in late July, Richard's brother Robert fired him. He then briefly rejoined the Isley Brothers, and recorded a second single with them, "Move Over and Let Me Dance" backed with "Have You Ever Been Disappointed". Later that year, he joined a New York-based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, after meeting Knight in the lobby of a hotel where both men were staying. Hendrix performed with them for eight months.
    During a stop in Los Angeles in February 1965, he recorded his first and only single with Richard, "I Don't Know What You Got (But It's Got Me)", written by Don Covay and released by Vee-Jay Records.
    More Details Hide Details Richard's popularity was waning at the time, and the single peaked at number 92, where it remained for one week before dropping off the chart. Hendrix met singer Rosa Lee Brooks while staying at the Wilcox Hotel in Hollywood, and she invited him to participate in a recording session for her single, which included the Arthur Lee penned "My Diary" as the A-side, and "Utee" as the B-side. Hendrix played guitar on both tracks, which also included background vocals by Lee. The single failed to chart, but Hendrix and Lee began a friendship that lasted several years; Hendrix later became an ardent supporter of Lee's band, Love.
  • 1964
    Hendrix toured with the Isleys during much of 1964, but near the end of October, after growing tired of playing the same set every night, he left the band.
    More Details Hide Details Soon afterward, Hendrix joined Little Richard's touring band, the Upsetters.
    In March 1964, Hendrix recorded the two-part single "Testify" with the Isley Brothers.
    More Details Hide Details Released in June, it failed to chart. In May, he provided guitar instrumentation for the Don Covay song, "Mercy Mercy". Issued in August by Rosemart Records and distributed by Atlantic, the track reached number 35 on the Billboard chart.
    In February 1964, Hendrix won first prize in the Apollo Theater amateur contest.
    More Details Hide Details Hoping to secure a career opportunity, he played the Harlem club circuit and sat in with various bands. At the recommendation of a former associate of Joe Tex, Ronnie Isley granted Hendrix an audition that led to an offer to become the guitarist with the Isley Brothers' back-up band, the I.B. Specials, which he readily accepted.
    In January 1964, feeling he had outgrown the circuit artistically and frustrated by having to follow the rules of bandleaders, Hendrix decided to venture out on his own.
    More Details Hide Details He moved into the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where he befriended Lithofayne Pridgon, known as "Faye", who became his girlfriend. A Harlem native with connections throughout the area's music scene, Pridgon provided him with shelter, support, and encouragement. Hendrix also met the Allen twins, Arthur and Albert.
  • 1963
    In September 1963, after Cox was discharged from the Army, he and Hendrix moved to Clarksville, Tennessee and formed a band called the King Kasuals.
    More Details Hide Details Hendrix had watched Butch Snipes play with his teeth in Seattle and by now Alphonso 'Baby Boo' Young, the other guitarist in the band, was performing this guitar gimmick. Not to be upstaged, Hendrix learned to play with his teeth. He later commented: "The idea of doing that came to me in Tennessee. Down there you have to play with your teeth or else you get shot. There's a trail of broken teeth all over the stage." Although they began playing low-paying gigs at obscure venues, the band eventually moved to Nashville's Jefferson Street, which was the traditional heart of the city's black community and home to a thriving rhythm and blues music scene. They earned a brief residency playing at a popular venue in town, the Club del Morocco, and for the next two years Hendrix made a living performing at a circuit of venues throughout the South who were affiliated with the Theater Owners' Booking Association (TOBA), widely known as the Chitlin' Circuit. In addition to playing in his own band, Hendrix performed as a backing musician for various soul, R&B, and blues musicians, including Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson.
  • 1962
    On June 29, 1962, Captain Gilbert Batchman granted Hendrix an honorable discharge on the basis of unsuitability.
    More Details Hide Details Hendrix later spoke of his dislike of the army and falsely stated that he had received a medical discharge after breaking his ankle during his 26th parachute jump.
    Hendrix completed his paratrooper training in just over eight months, and Major General C. W. G. Rich awarded him the prestigious Screaming Eagles patch on January 11, 1962.
    More Details Hide Details By February, his personal conduct had begun to draw criticism from his superiors. They labeled him an unqualified marksman and often caught him napping while on duty and failing to report for bed checks. On May 24, Hendrix's platoon sergeant, James C. Spears, filed a report in which he stated: "He has no interest whatsoever in the Army... It is my opinion that Private Hendrix will never come up to the standards required of a soldier. I feel that the military service will benefit if he is discharged as soon as possible."
  • 1961
    In November 1961, fellow serviceman Billy Cox walked past an army club and heard Hendrix playing guitar.
    More Details Hide Details Intrigued by the proficient playing, which he described as a combination of "John Lee Hooker and Beethoven", Cox borrowed a bass guitar and the two jammed. Within a few weeks, they began performing at base clubs on the weekends with other musicians in a loosely organized band called the Casuals.
    When given a choice between spending time in prison or joining the Army, he chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961.
    More Details Hide Details After completing eight weeks of basic training at Fort Ord, California, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He arrived there on November 8, and soon afterward he wrote to his father: "There's nothing but physical training and harassment here for two weeks, then when you go to jump school... you get hell. They work you to death, fussing and fighting." In his next letter home, Hendrix, who had left his guitar at his girlfriend Betty Jean Morgan's house in Seattle, asked his father to send it to him as soon as possible, stating: "I really need it now." His father obliged and sent the red Silvertone Danelectro on which Hendrix had hand-painted the words "Betty Jean", to Fort Campbell. His apparent obsession with the instrument contributed to his neglect of his duties, which led to verbal taunting and physical abuse from his peers, who at least once hid the guitar from him until he had begged for its return.
  • 1958
    In 1958, Hendrix completed his studies at Washington Junior High School, though he did not graduate from Garfield High School.
    More Details Hide Details Before Hendrix was 19 years old, law enforcement authorities had twice caught him riding in stolen cars.
    In mid-1958, at age 15, Hendrix acquired his first acoustic guitar, for $5.
    More Details Hide Details He earnestly applied himself, playing the instrument for several hours daily, watching others and getting tips from more experienced guitarists, and listening to blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson. The first tune Hendrix learned how to play was the theme from Peter Gunn. Soon after he acquired the acoustic guitar, Hendrix formed his first band, the Velvetones. Without an electric guitar, he could barely be heard over the sound of the group. After about three months, he realized that he needed an electric guitar in order to continue. In mid-1959, his father relented and bought him a white Supro Ozark. Hendrix's first gig was with an unnamed band in the basement of a synagogue, Seattle's Temple De Hirsch, but after too much showing off, the band fired him between sets. He later joined the Rocking Kings, which played professionally at venues such as the Birdland club. When someone stole his guitar after he left it backstage overnight, Al bought him a red Silvertone Danelectro.
    By the age of thirty-three, Hendrix's mother Lucille had developed cirrhosis of the liver, and on February 2, 1958, she died when her spleen ruptured.
    More Details Hide Details Al refused to take James and Leon to attend their mother's funeral; he instead gave them shots of whiskey and instructed them that was how men were supposed to deal with loss.
  • 1957
    In 1957, while helping his father with a side-job, Hendrix found a ukulele amongst the garbage that they were removing from an older woman's home.
    More Details Hide Details She told him that he could keep the instrument, which had only one string. Learning by ear, he played single notes, following along to Elvis Presley songs, particularly Presley's cover of Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog".
  • 1951
    On December 17, 1951, when Hendrix was nine years old, his parents divorced; the court granted Al custody of him and Leon.
    More Details Hide Details At Horace Mann Elementary School in Seattle during the mid-1950s, Hendrix's habit of carrying a broom with him to emulate a guitar gained the attention of the school's social worker. After more than a year of his clinging to a broom like a security blanket, she wrote a letter requesting school funding intended for underprivileged children, insisting that leaving him without a guitar might result in psychological damage. Her efforts failed, and Al refused to buy him a guitar.
  • 1949
    In addition to Leon, Hendrix had three younger siblings: Joseph, born in 1949, Kathy in 1950, and Pamela, 1951, all of whom Al and Lucille gave up to foster care and adoption.
    More Details Hide Details The family frequently moved, staying in cheap hotels and apartments around Seattle. On occasion, family members would take Hendrix to Vancouver to stay at his grandmother's. A shy and sensitive boy, he was deeply affected by his life experiences. In later years, he confided to a girlfriend that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by a man in uniform.
  • 1946
    In 1946, Johnny's parents changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix, in honor of Al and his late brother Leon Marshall.
    More Details Hide Details Stationed in Alabama at the time of Hendrix's birth, Al was denied the standard military furlough afforded servicemen for childbirth; his commanding officer placed him in the stockade to prevent him from going AWOL to see his infant son in Seattle. He spent two months locked up without trial, and while in the stockade received a telegram announcing his son's birth. During Al's three-year absence, Lucille struggled to raise their son. When Al was away, Hendrix was mostly cared for by family members and friends, especially Lucille's sister Delores Hall and her friend Dorothy Harding. Al received an honorable discharge from the US Army on September 1, 1945. Two months later, unable to find Lucille, Al went to the Berkeley, California home of a family friend named Mrs. Champ, who had taken care of and had attempted to adopt Hendrix; this is where Al saw his son for the first time.
  • 1942
    Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington; he was the first of Lucille's five children.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1941, Al met Lucille Jeter (1925–1958) at a dance in Seattle; they married on March 31, 1942.
    More Details Hide Details Al, who had been drafted by the U.S. Army to serve in World War II, left to begin his basic training three days after the wedding.
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