JIMI HENDRIX. Johnny Allen Hendrix, born 10.15 a.m at King County Hospital, Seattle, November 27, 1942.   Mother"s name - Lucille. His Father - James "Al" Hendrix, is in the U.S Army at Camp Rucker, Alabama when Jimi is born.   Jimi Hendrix added a new dimension to Rock and Roll. His playing incorporated the main ingredients of Blues, Soul, R&R and Heavy Funk, but Jimi gave the music an almost Jazz feel. His sense of time allowed him to be free timewise, so that he could float over the groove, not just punching along in the usual established licks. Jimi could take a lick and repeat it over and over, but by altering the Syncopation and using displacement of the phrase he brought a freshness to the playing of a guitar solo. He had an incredible ability to lay back on the beat, not lazy, just incredibly relaxed. Combined with this relaxation was an almost underplayed ferociousness and attack. Watch Jimi Hendrix when he plays. The Guy is so laid back, yet he's sending it like he's gonna blow the hall down. Jimi first picked up a guitar in the summer of 1958. It was second hand and cost all of five dollars, but that little guitar was to change Jimi's life as it does for so many youngsters. He worked away on that old Guitar for a year and in the summer of 1959 he bought his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560 "S", and  joined the "Rocking Kings" playing mostly music of the day, including songs by The Coasters. 1961: Jimi enlists in the U.S Army and trains to become a paratrooper. 


While in the army he formed a band with Billy Cox, a fellow soldier, called the " King Kasuals".  1962 : Jimi injures himself in a parachute jump and is given an honourable discharge. During the course of the next three years he plays on numerous gigs and records with Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner, The Isley Brothers and the Great Little Richard. Jimi is rising fast and plays gigs with King Curtis, Joey Dee and The Starlighters and The Isley Brothers. June 1st 1966, Jimi's new band - "Jimmy James and The Blue Flames" take on a regular gig at "Cafe Wha ?" in Greenwich Village.   On September 24 1966 Jimi and Chas Chandler fly to New York to form a new band - " The Jimi Hendrix Experience" - and so a legend is born. Chandler, originally the bass player with the Animals becomes the group's manager. The line up of the band is Jimi,  Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on Bass Guitar.  October 23,1966 : The Jimi Hendrix Experience records "Hey Joe" and "Stone Free" at De Lane Lea Studios,London. December 16th 1966 :- The Titles are released and by February 1967 the single reaches number four on the U.K charts.  Jimi's next single -" Purple Haze" reaches number three. The group's debut album " Are You Experienced " stays in the charts through the summer of ' 67. One of the things we all watched out for was when Jimi played guitar with his teeth.  


Sure it looked gimmicky,but he still played great solos !  Jimi Hendrix was also a great entertainer ! He was fun, but he could be also be deadly serious. Hendrix was just a fantastic artist and we all loved him. Jimi's wonderful albums include "Axis, Bold As Love" and "Elecric Ladyland" a double album recorded in the U.K and the U.S. The group toured extensively  and highly memorable appearances include the Monterey International Pop Festival where Jimi "sacrificed" his guitar by burning it, The Fillmore Theatre San Francisco { His opening night on his U.S tour }. His great show on his return to his home town - Seattle, which was attended by his whole family, his last U.K concert with The "Experience" at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and the final gig for the band - The Denver Pop Festival. That was on June 29th, 1969. There was no more "Jimi Hendrix Experience" after that gig, and this was when the band was at the height of it's popularity. Also in August 1969 :- Jimi floors them at Woodstock.  Jimi's new band which again includes Mitch Mitchell on Drums also includes his old buddy Billy Cox on bass, Larry Lee on rhythm guitar, and Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez on percussion. The band go on stage at 7-30 pm and Jimi blows everybody away with his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner". Ow ! Ow Baby ! Ow ! If you haven't heard this I only have one thing to say - HEAR IT !  


A grand opening party was held for the opening of Jimi's recording studios " Electric Ladyland Studios" on August 25, 1970. Jimi designed the studios himself. Jimi Hendrix is known all over the World, from the North pole to the South, and today, 32 years after his death, he's bigger than ever.  Although an American, the British fans treated him as their own. Today Jimi is idolised and is a Shining Icon in the world of Music. I still hear kids saying " I want to play like Jimi Hendrix" and long may that continue. Here are three excerpts from the last few days in Jimi's life. September 6th,1970 - HendriX, Cox , and Mitchell play the Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K.  September 16th - Jimi jams with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott's Club, Soho, London.  September 18th - Jimi died in his sleep at the Samarkand Hotel, London. He suffocated after inhaling his own vomit after babiturate intoxication. What a loss. He was only twenty seven years old. Today He's not only remembered, -people talk as if he is still alive. That's the power of Jimi Hendrix , timeless, like his music. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.  God Bless His Memory and His Music.        (c) Joe Moretti   May 1992