Friday, September 17, 2010

About Jimi Hendrix

From Wikipedia.

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendricks, November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter.

He is often considered the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music, and one of the most influential musicians of his era.

After initial success in Europe, he achieved fame in the United States following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

Hendrix often favoured raw, overdriven amplifiers with high gain and treble and helped develop the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback.

Hendrix was one of the musicians who popularised the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock which he often used to deliver an exaggerated pitch in his solos, particularly with high bends and use of legato.

He was influenced by blues artistes such as B B King, rhythm and blues and soul guitarists as Curtis Mayfield and Steve Cropper, and jazz.

In 1966, Hendrix, who played and recorded with Little Richard's band from 1964 to 1965, said, "I want to do with my guitar what Little Richard does with his voice."

As a record producer, Hendrix also broke new ground in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas.

He was one of the first to experiment with stereophonic and phasing effects for rock recording.

Hendrix won many of the most prestigious rock music awards in his lifetime, and has been posthumously awarded many more, including being inducted into the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2005.

An English Heritage blue plaque was erected in his name on his former residence at Brook Street, London, in September 1997.

A star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame was dedicated in 1994.

In 2006, his debut US album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Registry, and Rolling Stone named Hendrix the top guitarist on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists in 2003.

He was also the first person inducted into the Native American Music Hall Of Fame.

Born Johnny Allen Hendricks in Seattle, Washington, he was the first of two sons of James Allen "Al" Hendricks (1919–2002) and Lucille Jeter (1925-1958).

His father was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma at the time of his birth.

He was known as "Buster" to friends and family, from birth.

Al found it hard to gain steady employment after the Second World War, and the family experienced financial hardship.

Hendrix had two brothers, Leon and Joseph, and two sisters, Kathy and Pamela.

Joseph was born with physical difficulties and at three was given up to state care.

His sisters were given up at a relatively early age, for care and later adoption.

Kathy was born blind.

Hendrix's parents divorced when he was nine.

His mother, a heavy drinker, died in 1958.

Hendrix grew up shy and sensitive, deeply affected by the poverty and family disruption he experienced.

Unusually for his era, Hendrix's high school had a relatively equitable ethnic mix of African Americans, European Americans and Asian Americans.

At 15, he acquired his first acoustic guitar from an acquaintance of his father.

Hendrix was a self-taught guitarist and played with bands around Washington and British Columbia in Canada.

Hendrix was particularly fond of Elvis Presley, whom he saw perform in Seattle, in 1957.

The first formal band he played in was The Velvetones. He later joined the Rocking Kings.

Hendrix completed junior high at Washington Junior High School.

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.

After completing boot camp, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

He spent a year in the army.

While in the army, Hendrix met fellow soldier and bass player Billy Cox, and they forged a loyal friendship from 1969 until Billy's breakdown shortly before Hendrix's death.

After his army discharge, Hendrix and Cox moved to Clarksville, Tennessee.

They played in Nashville's Jefferson Street, the traditional heart of its African American community and home to a lively rhythm and blues scene.

Their band was known as The Casuals, later King Kasuals.

Hendrix went to New York City in 1964 and befriended Lithofayne Pridgeon (known as Faye) and the Allen twins, Arthur and Albert (now known as Taharqa and Tunde-Ra Aleem).

The twins also performed as backup singers (under the name Ghetto Fighters) on some of his recordings, most notably Freedom.

Pridgeon, a Harlem native with connections throughout the area's music scene, provided Hendrix with shelter, support and encouragement.

Hendrix won first prize in the Apollo Theatre amateur contest.

He was offered the guitarist position with The Isley Brothers' back-up band and readily accepted it.

Hendrix' first studio recording occurred in March 1964, when the Isley Brothers recorded Testify.

Hendrix subsequently went to Nashville and recorded and performed with Little Richard.

He rejoined the Isley Brothers in 1965 and recorded Move Over and Let Me Dance with them.

In the same year, Hendrix joined New York–based R&B band Curtis Knight And The Squires.

He recorded a single with Knight, How Would You Feel backed with Welcome Home.

He also signed a three-year recording contract with entrepreneur Ed Chalpin.

While the relationship with Chalpin was shortlived, his contract remained in force, which caused considerable problems for Hendrix later on.

The legal dispute has continued to the present day.

Hendrix had his first composer credits for Hornets Nest and Knock Yourself Out released as a Curtis Knight And The Squires single in 1966.

He also formed his own band The Blue Flame and later the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Hendrix then met Chas Chandler, who was ending his tenure as bassist in The Animals and looking for talent to manage and produce.

Chandler brought him to London and signed him to a management and production contract with himself and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery.

At Chandler's request, Cream let Hendrix join it on stage for a jam on the song Killing Floor.

Hendrix and Cream lead singer Eric Clapton remained friends until Hendrix's death.

His showmanship and virtuosity made instant fans of reigning guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, as well as Brian Jones and The Beatles.

Further success came in early 1967 with Purple Haze which featured The Wind Cries Mary.

The first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, was released in the United Kingdom on May 12, 1967.

On March 31, 1967, he set his guitar on fire at the end of his first performance, as a publicity stunt.

The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney recommended his group to the organisers of the Monterey International Pop Festival.

This proved a great opportunity for Hendrix.

He opened the festival with Killing Floor, a song he played frequently from 1965 to 1968, as the opener to his shows.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second album Axis: Bold As Love in 1967 was his first recording made for stereo release.

Hendrix's third recording was the double album Electric Ladyland (1968).

Electric Ladyland included Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) as well as Hendrix's rendering of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower.

Hendrix often appeared at impromptu jams with B B King and Jim Morrison of The Doors.

After a year in the US, Hendrix moved back to London, where he performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.

Later that year, the Experience disbanded.

At Woodstock 1969, Hendrix recorded Jam Back At The House, Shokan Sunrise, Machine Gun and Message To Love among others.

In 1970, Hendrix worked on his new LP First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.

He then decided to leave his manager Jeffery.

Hendrix's last public performance was an informal jam at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho.

Hendrix died in his apartment, apparently of a drug overdose.

In 2006, Seattle honoured Hendrix with the re-naming of a park near the Colman School.

Hendrix synthesised many styles in creating his musical voice and his guitar style was abundantly imitated by others.

Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artiste and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings.

His career and death grouped him with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (of the Grateful Dead) and Kurt Cobain as one of the 27 Club, a group including iconic 1960s rock stars who suffered drug-related deaths at age 27 within months of each other, leaving legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes.

Despite his popularity and the lavish praise heaped upon his guitar skills, he was surprisingly humble.

Musically, Hendrix did much to further the development of the electric guitar's repertoire, establishing it as a unique sonic source, rather than merely an amplified version of the acoustic guitar.

His music also had a great influence on funk especially through Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers, Prince, and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

His influence even extends to hip hop artistes, as Chuck D of Public Enemy, Ice-T (who covered Hey Joe), and Wyclef Jean.

Miles Davis was also deeply impressed by Hendrix.

In 1992, Hendrix was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1987, Leon Hendrix commissioned the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation.

This foundation is based in Renton, Washington.