- NAME: Jimi Hendrix
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: November 27, 1942
- DEATH DATE: September 18, 1970
- Did You Know?: As a child, Jimi Hendrix strummed a broom like a guitar after cleaning the floors of his house before his father gave him a one-string ukulele.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Seattle, Washington
- PLACE OF DEATH: London, United Kingdom
- Full Name: James Marshall Hendrix
- AKA: Jimi Hendrix
- Originally: Johnny Allen Hendrix
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Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Jimi Hendrix delighted audiences in the 1960s with his outrageous electric guitar playing skills and his experimental sound.
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A short biography of Jimi Hendrix who learned to play guitar as a teenager. He grew up to become a rock guitar legend who excited audiences in the 1960s with his innovative electric guitar playing.
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Born on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar as a teenager, and grew up to become a rock guitar legend who excited audiences in the 1960s with his innovative electric guitar playing. One of his most memorable performances was at Woodstock in 1969, where he performed "The Star Spangled Banner." Hendrix died in 1970 from drug-related complications, leaving his mark on the world of rock music and remaining popular to this day.
"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel."
"You get tired of playing top 40 R&B. I had other ideas."
"Music is stronger than politics. I feel sorry for the minorities, but I don't feel a part of one."
"I get a kick out of playing [onstage]. It’s the best part of this whole thing."
"I always did like to play loud. The words of the song just come. They mean a lot, but I don’t know how they come out. It starts off very quiet until we get into it."
"I don't want to be a clown anymore. I don't want to be a 'rock and roll star."
"Musicians, especially young cats, they get a chance to make all this money. And they say, 'Wow, this is fantastic.' They lose themselves. And they forget about the music itself."
"I don't care about starving anymore….I did it before, and I was happy. We have it very nice now. But if I ever lose all that, I'm still gonna be interested in music."
"When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do."
"I just wish I could sing really nice, but I know I can't sing. I just feel the words out. I just try all right to hit a pretty note, but it's hard. I'm more of an entertainer and performer than a singer."
"My music needs love and understanding. Through music you get more religion than through anything else."
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimmy Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed to James Marshall) on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. Learning to play guitar as a teenager, Hendrix grew up to become a rock guitar legend. He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives and even acquaintances at times.
His mother, Lucille, was only 17 years old when Hendrix was born. She had a stormy relationship with his father, Al, and eventually left the family after the couple had two more children together, sons Leon and Joseph. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in 1958.
In many ways, music became a sanctuary for Hendrix. He was a fan of blues music and taught himself to play guitar. At the age of 14, Hendrix saw Elvis Presley perform. He got his first electric guitar the following year and eventually played with two bands—the Rocking Kings and the Tomcats. In 1959, Hendrix dropped out of high school. He worked odd jobs while continuing to follow his musical aspirations.
Hendrix enlisted in the United States Army in 1961 and trained at Fort Ord in California to become a paratrooper. Even as a soldier, he found time for music, creating a band named The King Casuals. Hendrix served in the army until 1962 when he was discharged due to an injury.
After leaving the military, Hendrix pursued his music, working as a session musician and playing backup for such performers as Little Richard, Sam Cooke and the Isley Brothers. He also formed a group of his own called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which played gigs around New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood.
In mid-1966, Hendrix met Chas Chandler—a former member of the Animals, a successful rock group—who became his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London where he joined forces with musicians Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to create The Jimi Hendrix Experience. While there, Hendrix built up quite a following among England's rock royalty.
Members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Eric Clapton were all great admirers of Hendrix's work. One critic for the British music magazine Melody Maker said that he "had great stage presence" and looked at times as if he was playing "with no hands at all."
Released in 1967, the band's first single, "Hey Joe" was an instant smash in Britain, and was soon followed by other hits such as "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cried Mary." On tour to support his first album, Are You Experienced? (1967), Hendrix delighted audiences with his outrageous guitar-playing skills and his innovative, experimental sound.
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