Posted by themusicsover on September 18, 2009
Jimi Hendrix (Born Johnny Hendrix)
November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970
Member of the 27 Club
Jimi Hendrix was unquestionably the greatest guitarist rock music has ever known. With one foot firmly planted in the blues and the other in jazz, Hendrix took took the best of both, added some fire and created a guitar sound like had never been heard. It makes no sense to list those he’s directly influenced here, because it would likely lead to the end of the internet. Unless you count the broomstick Hendrix strummed on as a child, the first guitar he ever played was at the age of 15. He went on to teach himself how to play by watching others on TV or by listening to records. After a stint in the army, Hendrix began playing guitar professionally, mostly along the so-called chitlin’ circuit. In 1964, Hendrix was hired by Little Richard to record and play on the road in his band. Within a couple of years, he formed his own band, Jimmy James & the Blue Flames, with whom he began building a reputation around the southeast. That band included rhythm guitarist, Randy California who would later form the band Spirit. Hendrix soon formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience with Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, and Billy Cox. That group would record three of the most acclaimed albums in history, Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland. After disbanding the Experience, Hendrix formed Band of Gypsys with Cox and Buddy Miles. They recorded a popular live album of the same name, released just three months before Hendrix’s death which is still shrouded in mystery to this day. What is known is that Jimi Hendrix was just 27 years old when he died on September 18, 1970. The official cause of death was determined to be choking on his own vomit. The coroner found an excessive amount of wine and sleeping pills in his body. There are some who believed he committed suicide while others thought it to be an accidental overdose. And still others believe something more sinister had taken place.