On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
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 four more children together, three of them with physical difficulties. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in 1958.
Unusual for his era, Hendrix's junior high school had a relatively equitable ethnic mix of African Americans, European Americans, and Asian Americans.
He was talented from the beginning. He imagined that the broom was a guitar. He also played on a ukulele that his father had found for him while cleaning up a garage. Jimi mostly taught himself how to play guitar by watching others play. He also gained tips from others who’d been playing longer than him. Listening to records helped him as well.
Hendrix completed junior high at Washington Junior High with little trouble but did not graduate from Garfield High School. Later he was awarded an honorary diploma. After he became famous in the late 1960s, Hendrix told reporters that he had been expelled from Garfield by racist faculty for holding hands with a white girlfriend in study hall. Principal Frank Hanawalt says that it was simply due to poor grades and attendance problems.
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.
Hendrix got into trouble with the law twice for riding in stolen cars. He was given a choice between spending two years in prison or joining the Army. Hendrix chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961 . Hendrix 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 from a parachute jump.
Hendrix and Army friend Billy Cox moved to nearby Clarksville, Tennessee and undertook in earnest to earn a living with their existing band. Hendrix had already seen Butch Snipes play with his teeth in Seattle. Young, the other guitarist in the band, was featuring this gimmick.
Not to be upstaged, it was then that Hendrix learned to play with his teeth properly, according to Hendrix himself: “The idea of doing that came to me in a town 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.” They played mainly in low-paying gigs at obscure venues. The band eventually moved to Nashville’s Jefferson Street, the traditional heart of Nashville's black community and home to a lively rhythm and blues scene.
Jimi plays with his teeth Video
By the end of 1965, Jimmy had played with several marquee acts, including Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard. Jimmy parted ways with Little Richard to form his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, shedding the role of back-line guitarist for the spotlight of lead guitar.
Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard Video
‘ A whole lot of shakin’ going on.’ In 1966, Hendrix stated, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice.”
Jimi plays ‘Wild Thing’
Although Jimi became was very popular in the UK, the JImi Hendrix experience had yet to reach the U.S. Their chance came when Paul McCartney recommended the group to the organizers of the Monterey International Pop Festival. This proved to be a great opportunity for Hendrix, not only because of the large audience present at the event, but also because of the many journalists covering the event who wrote about him. The performances were filmed by D. A. Pennebaker and later shown in some movie theaters as the concert documentary Monterey Pop, which immortalized Hendrix's iconic burning and smashing of his guitar at the finale of his performance.
Jimi at Denver Concert
At ‘The last Experience’ concert 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 firing tear gas into the audience as they played "Voodoo Child.”The band escaped from the venue in the back of a rental truck which was partly crushed by fans trying to escape the tear gas.
Jimi Hendrix plays ‘Voodoo Child’
In 1967, the year Jimi Hendrix became the toast of London,. A bartender at a working-class pub in Liverpool mistook the rock star for someone far less glamorous. "Sorry, mates, we can't serve your sort in here," the crusty old barkeep told Hendrix and his band mate. "We got rules, you know.“ Its unknown if Jimmy was discriminated because of his skin or his crazy outfit. He often was mistaken for a circus clown.
Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock About midway through his two-hour set, he launched into a medley of tunes including The Star Spangled Banner. The national anthem had long been part of the Hendrix repertoire; he played it nearly 50 times in his career, but never as long and with as much riding on it as at Woodstock. His performance was during the Vietnam war, when many were angry at their country for the unnecessary war.
Jimi’s performance at Woodstock, filled with blasts of feedback that mimicked the sound of fighter jets, which had become familiar from news coverage of the Vietnam War. Jimi’s sounds grew more abstract. It still ranks as one of the greatest guitar performances ever.
Jimi Hendrix- Hound Dog
Hendrix had a special fondness for hallucinogens like LSD and was also an enthusiastic marijuana smoker. In addition, scores of women flocked to him. Yet he is almost universally remembered as a shy, diffident person, occasionally explosive but largely gentle and naïve.
Jimi Hendrix died of an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol at the age of 27 in a London hotel room. There are speculations that the CIA killed him because of his support of the black panther party.
His career and death grouped him with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones as one of the 27 Club, a group including iconic 1960s rock stars who suffered drug-related deaths at the age of 27 within a two year period. They all left legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes. Kurt Cobain was later added to this list, also dying at the age of 27.
Hendrix synthesized many styles in creating his musical voice and his guitar style was unique, later to be abundantly imitated by others. Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artist and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings.
Hendrix affected popular music with similar profundity. Along with earlier bands such as The Who and Cream, he established a sonically heavy yet technically proficient bent to rock music as a whole, significantly furthering the development of hard rock and paving the way for heavy metal. He took blues to another level. His music has also had a great influence on the development of funk rock.
Jimi Hendrix was able to overcome racial discrimination through his life. He did not conform to the conservative popular view and wasn’t afraid to take risks in his music and physical appearance. He died before his time, leaving a legacy that will continue on.