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Jimi Hendrix

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jimi hendrix by dubside on Grooveshark

James Marshall \"Jimi\" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. Despite a limited mainstream exposure of four years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most important musicians of the 20th century.

Inspired musically by American rock and roll and electric blues, following his initial success in Europe with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, he achieved fame in the US after his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, before dying from drug-related asphyxia at the age of 27.

Instrumental in developing the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback, Hendrix favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain. He helped to popularize the use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock and he pioneered experimentation with stereophonic phasing effects in rock music recordings.

The recipient of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone ranked his three non-posthumous studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland among the 100 greatest of all time; they ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist.

Genealogy, childhood, and military service

Jimi Hendrix was of a mixed genealogy that included African American, Irish, and Cherokee ancestors. His paternal great-great-grandmother Zenora was a full-blooded Cherokee from Georgia who married an Irishman named Moore. They had a son Robert, who married a black girl named Fanny. In 1883, Robert and Fanny had a daughter who they named Zenora \"Nora\" Rose Moore, Hendrix\'s paternal grandmother. The illegitimate son of a black slave woman, also called Fanny, and her white overseer, Jimi\'s paternal grandfather, Bertran Philander Ross Hendrix (born 1866), was named after his biological father, a grain merchant from Urbana, Ohio, and one of the wealthiest white men in the area at the time. On June 10, 1919, Hendrix and Moore had a son they named James Allen Ross Hendrix (died 2002); people called him Al.

In 1941, Al met Lucille Jeter (1925–1958) at a dance in Seattle; they married on March 31, 1942. Drafted into the United States Army to serve in World War II, Al went to war three days after their wedding. Born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, the first of five children born to Lucille. In 1946, having been unable to consult his father at the time of his birth, they changed Johnny\'s name to James Marshall Hendrix, in honor of Al, and Al\'s late brother Leon Marshall.

Stationed in Alabama at the time of Johnny\'s birth, and having been denied the standard military furlough afforded servicemen for childbirth, the commanding officer placed Al in the stockade as a preventative measure against his going AWOL to see his new son in Seattle. He spent two months locked-up without trial, and while in the stockade, he received a telegram announcing his son\'s birth. During Al\'s three-year absence, Lucille struggled to raise her infant son, often neglecting him in favor of nightlife.Family members and friends mostly cared for Hendrix during this period, especially Lucille\'s sister, Delores Hall, and her friend Dorothy Harding. Al received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army on September 1, 1945. Two months later, unable to find Lucille, he went to the Berkeley home of a family friend named Mrs. Champ, who had taken care of and attempted to adopt Jimi, where Al met his son for the first time.

After his return from service, Al reunited with Lucille, but his difficulty finding steady work left the family impoverished. Both he and Lucille struggled with alcohol abuse, and they often fought while intoxicated. His parents\' violence sometimes made Hendrix withdraw and hide in a closet in their home. Jimi\'s relationship with his brother Leon (born 1948) was close but precarious; with Leon in and out of foster care, they lived with an almost constant threat of fraternal separation. In addition to Leon, Jimi had three other younger siblings: Joseph, born in 1949, Kathy in 1950, and Pamela, 1951, all of whom Al and Lucille surrendered into foster care and adoption.

The family frequently moved, staying in cheap hotels and apartments around Seattle. On occasion, family would take Hendrix to Vancouver to stay at his grandmother\'s. A shy and sensitive boy, Hendrix was deeply affected by these experiences. In later years, he confided to a girlfriend that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by a man in uniform.

On December 17, 1951, when Hendrix was nine years old, his parents divorced; the court granted Al custody of Jimi and Leon. At thirty-three, Lucille had developed cirrhosis of the liver; she died on February 2, 1958 when her spleen ruptured. of taking Jimi and Leon to attend their mother\'s funeral, Al gave them shots of whiskey and told them that was how men are supposed to deal with loss.

First instruments

At Horace Mann Elementary School in Seattle during the mid-1950s, Hendrix\'s habit of carrying a broom with him to emulate a guitar gained the attention of the school\'s social worker. After more than a year of his clinging to a broom like a security blanket, she wrote a letter requesting school funding intended for underprivileged children insisting that leaving him without a guitar might result in psychological damage. Her efforts failed, and Al refused to buy him a guitar.

In 1957, while helping Al with a side-job, Jimi found a ukulele amongst the garbage that they were removing from a wealthy older woman\'s home. The woman told him that he could keep the instrument, which had only one string. Learning by ear, he played single notes, following along to Elvis Presley songs, particularly Presley\'s cover of Leiber and Stoller\'s \"Hound Dog\". In mid-1958, at age 15, Hendrix acquired his first acoustic guitar, for $5. Hendrix earnestly applied himself, playing the instrument for several hours daily, watching others and getting tips from more experienced guitarists, and listening to blues artists such as: Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin\' Wolf, and Robert Johnson. The first tune Hendrix learned how to play was the theme from Peter Gunn.

Soon after he had acquired the acoustic guitar, Hendrix formed his first band, the Velvetones. Without an electric guitar, he could barely be heard over the sound of the band. After about three months of being drowned out, he realized that he needed an electric guitar in order to continue. In mid-1959, his father bought him a white Supro Ozark, his first electric guitar.His first gig was with an unnamed band in the basement of a synagogue, Seattle\'s Temple De Hirsch. After too much wild playing and showing off, the band fired him between sets. Hendrix later joined the Rocking Kings, which played professionally at venues such as the Birdland club. When someone stole his guitar after he left it backstage overnight, Al bought him a red Silvertone Danelectro.

Hendrix completed his studies at Washington Junior High School, but he did not graduate from Garfield High School. The school later awarded him an honorary diploma and in the 1990s they placed a bust of him in the school library.


Law enforcement authorities twice caught Hendrix riding in stolen cars and when given a choice between spending time in prison or joining the Army, he chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961. After completing his basic training at Fort Ord, California, the Army assigned him to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed him in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In November 1962, fellow servicemen Billy Cox walked past the service club and heard Hendrix playing guitar inside. Cox, intrigued by the proficient playing immediately checked-out a bass guitar and the two began to jam. Soon after, Cox and Hendrix began performing at the base clubs on the weekends with other musicians in a loosely organized band called the Casuals. On June 29, 1962, Captain Gilbert Batchman granted Hendrix an honorable discharge on the basis of unsuitability.

Early years

In September 1963, after Cox\'s Army discharge, he and Hendrix moved to Clarksville, Tennessee and formed a new band called the King Kasuals. Hendrix had already seen Butch Snipes play with his teeth in Seattle and by now Alphonso \'Baby Boo\' Young, the other guitarist in the band, also performed this guitar gimmick. Not to be upstaged, it was then that Hendrix learned to play with his teeth properly, according to Hendrix: 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 thriving rhythm and blues music scene.

While in Nashville, they earned a residency playing at one of the better venues in town, the Club del Morocco.Hendrix\'s girlfriend at this time was Joyce Lucas. Bill \'Hoss\' Allen\'s memory of Hendrix\'s supposed participation in a session with Billy Cox in November 1962, in which he cut Hendrix\'s contribution due to his over-the-top playing, has now been called into question; a suggestion has been made that he may have confused this with a later 1965 session by Frank Howard and the Commanders in which Hendrix participated.

For the next two years, Hendrix made a living performing at a circuit of venues throughout the South. Affiliated with the Theater Owners\' Booking Association (TOBA), it was also widely known as the Chitlin\' Circuit. In addition to performing in his own band, Hendrix performed with Bob Fisher and the Bonnevilles, and in backing bands for various soul, R&B, and blues musicians, including Wilson Pickett, Chuck Jackson, Slim Harpo, Tommy Tucker, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson.

In January 1964, feeling he had outgrown the circuit artistically and frustrated by having to follow the rules of bandleaders, Hendrix decided to venture out on his own. He moved into the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where he soon befriended Lithofayne Pridgeon. Known as \"Faye\", she became his girlfriend. He also met the Allen twins, Arthur and Albert (now known as Taharqa and Tunde-Ra Aleem). The Allen twins became friends and kept Hendrix out of trouble in New York. The twins also performed as backup singers (under the name Ghetto Fighters) on some of Hendrix\'s recordings, most notably the song \"Freedom\". Pridgeon, a Harlem native with connections throughout the area\'s music scene, provided Hendrix with shelter, support, and encouragement. In February 1964, Hendrix won first prize in the Apollo Theater amateur contest. Hoping to land a gig, he played the club circuit and sat in with various bands. At the recommendation of a former associate of Joe Tex, Ronnie Isley granted Hendrix an audition that led to an offer to become the guitarist with the Isley Brothers\' back-up band, the I.B. Specials; Hendrix readily accepted.

First recordings

In March 1964, Hendrix recorded the two-part single \"Testify\" with the Isley Brothers. Released in June 1964, it failed to chart. After touring with the band through the summer of 1964, Hendrix left after a gig in Nashville.

In September 1964, Hendrix joined Little Richard\'s touring band, the Upsetters. Hendrix performed with them through mid-1965. During a stop in Los Angeles in early 1965, Hendrix played a session for Rosa Lee Brooks on her single \"My Diary\". This was his first recorded involvement with Arthur Lee of the band Love. While in L.A., Hendrix recorded his first and only single with Richard, \"I Don\'t Know What You Got (But It\'s Got Me)\", written by Don Covay and released by Vee-Jay Records in November 1965.

In July 1965, on Nashville\'s Channel 5 Night Train, he made his first television appearance. Performing in Little Richard\'s ensemble band, Hendrix backed up vocalists \"Buddy and Stacy\" on \"Shotgun\". The video recording of the show marks the earliest known footage of Hendrix performing live.

Hendrix clashed with Richard over tardiness, wardrobe, and, above all, Hendrix\'s stage antics. On tour they shared billing a couple of times with Ike & Tina Turner. It has been suggested that Hendrix left Little Richard\'s band and played with the Turners briefly before returning to the Upsetters, but there is no firm evidence to support this. Hendrix mentioned playing with the Turners, and Ike Turner, shortly before his death, claimed that he had, but that is emphatically denied by Tina. Months later, Hendrix either was fired or left after missing the tour bus in Washington, D.C. He then rejoined the Isley Brothers in the summer of 1965 and recorded a second single with them, \"Move Over and Let Me Dance\" backed with \"Have You Ever Been Disappointed\" (1965 Atlantic 45-2303).

Later in 1965, Hendrix joined a New York–based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, after meeting Knight in the lobby of the Hotel America, where both men were staying at the time.[60] Hendrix performed on and off with them for eight months. In October 1965, Hendrix recorded a single with Curtis Knight, \"How Would You Feel\" backed with \"Welcome Home\" (1966 RSVP 1120) and on October 15 he signed a three-year recording contract with entrepreneur Ed Chalpin, receiving 1% royalty. While the relationship with Chalpin was short-lived, his contract remained in force, which caused considerable problems for Hendrix later on in his career. Several songs and demos from the 1965–1966 Curtis Knight recording sessions, deemed not worth releasing at the time, were marketed as \"Jimi Hendrix\" recordings after he became famous. Aside from Curtis Knight and the Squires, Hendrix then toured for two months with Joey Dee and the Starliters.

In between performing with Curtis Knight in 1966, Hendrix toured and recorded with King Curtis. Hendrix recorded the two-part single \"Help Me (Get the Feeling)\" with Ray Sharpe and the King Curtis Orchestra (1966 Atco 45-6402) (the backing track was subsequently overdubbed by other vocalists with different lyrics and released as new songs).Later in 1966, Hendrix also recorded with Lonnie Youngblood, a saxophone player who occasionally performed with Curtis Knight. The sessions produced two singles for Youngblood: Go Go Shoes/Go Go Place (Fairmount F-1002) and \"Soul Food (That\'s What I Like)\"/\"Goodbye Bessie Mae\" (Fairmount F-1022). Additionally, singles for other artists came out of the sessions: The Icemen\'s (My Girl) She\'s a Fox/ (I Wonder) What It Takes (1966 SAMAR S-111) and Jimmy Norman\'s You\'re Only Hurting Yourself/That Little Old Groove Maker (1966 SAMAR S-112). As with the King Curtis recordings, backing tracks and alternate takes for the Youngblood sessions would be overdubbed and otherwise manipulated to create many \"new\" tracks.[64] Many Youngblood tracks without any Hendrix involvement would later be marketed as \"Jimi Hendrix\" recordings.[65] Also around this time in 1966, Hendrix earned his first composer credits for two instrumentals \"Hornets Nest\" and \"Knock Yourself Out\", released as a Curtis Knight and the Squires single in 1966.

Hendrix, now going by the name Jimmy James, formed his own band, the Blue Flame, composed of Randy Palmer (bass), Danny Casey (drums), and a 15-year-old guitarist who played slide and rhythm named Randy Wolfe in June 1966. The band came to be mistakenly labeled as Jimmy James and the Blue Flames after Hendrix\'s rise to fame. The misnomer was repeated enough times to be considered a factoid. The only surviving advert for the band, however, billed them as the Blue Flame. Hendrix himself referred to the band as such in his 1969 interview with Nancy Carter, as did John Hammond. Randy California would later co-found the band Spirit with his stepfather, drummer Ed Cassidy.

Hendrix and his new band played at several places in New York, but their primary venue was a residency at the Cafe Wha? on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. The street runs along \"Washington (Square) Park\" which appeared in at least two of Hendrix\'s songs. Their last concerts were at the Cafe au Go Go, as John Hammond Jr.\'s backing group, billed as \"the Blue Flame\". Singer-guitarist Ellen McIlwaine and guitarist Jeff Baxter also claim to have briefly worked with Hendrix in this period.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Early in 1966, at the Cheetah Club on Broadway at 53rd Street, Linda Keith, the girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, befriended Hendrix and recommended him to the Stones\' manager Andrew Loog Oldham and later, producer Seymour Stein. Neither man appreciated Hendrix\'s music, and they both passed. She then referred Hendrix to Chas Chandler, who was ending his tenure as bassist in the Animals and looking for talent to manage and produce. Chandler liked the song \"Hey Joe\" and was convinced he could create a hit single with the right artist.

Impressed with Hendrix\'s version, Chandler brought him to London in September 1966 and signed him to a management and production contract with himself and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery. Chandler then helped Hendrix form a new band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with guitarist-turned-bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, both English musicians. Chandler also convinced Hendrix to change the spelling of his first name from \"Jimmy\" to the more exotic \"Jimi\".

Shortly before the Experience was formed, Chandler introduced Hendrix to Brian Auger, Eric Burdon, Pete Townshend, and Eric Clapton, who had only recently helped put together Cream. At Chandler\'s request, Cream let Hendrix join them on stage for a jam. Hendrix performed two songs, one of which was \"Killing Floor\". Hendrix and Clapton remained friends until Hendrix\'s death. The first night Hendrix arrived in London, he began a relationship with Kathy Etchingham that lasted until February 1969. She later wrote an autobiographical book about their relationship and the sixties London scene in general.

UK success

Clapton was up there doing his stuff in front of all the girlies, and along comes Jimi, who sits in and upsets the whole apple cart—playing with his teeth, behind his head, doing almost circus tricks with the guitar.
—Jeff Beck

After his enthusiastically received performance at France\'s number 1 venue, the Olympia theatre in Paris on the Johnny Hallyday tour, an on-stage jam with Cream, a showcase gig at the newly opened, pop-celebrity-oriented nightclub Bag O\'Nails, and the all important appearances on the top UK TV pop shows Ready Steady Go! and the BBC\'s Top of the Pops, word of Hendrix spread throughout the London music community in late 1966. His showmanship and virtuosity made instant fans of reigning guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, as well as Brian Jones and members of the Beatles and the Who, whose managers signed Hendrix to their new record label, Track Records.

Hendrix\'s first single was a cover of \"Hey Joe\", using Tim Rose\'s slower arrangement of the song including his addition of a female backing chorus. Backing this first 1966 \"Experience\" single was Hendrix\'s first songwriting effort, \"Stone Free\". Further success came in early 1967 with \"Purple Haze\", which featured the \"Hendrix chord\" and \"The Wind Cries Mary\". The three singles were all UK Top 10 hits; they were also popular internationally in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan (though they failed to sell when released later in the US).

Onstage, Hendrix was also making an impression with sped up renderings of the B.B. King hit \"Rock Me Baby\" and Howlin\' Wolf\'s hit \"Killing Floor\". On March 31, 1967, while booked to appear at the Astoria in London as a support act on a tour that also included Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdink and the Walker Brothers, Hendrix and Chandler talked back-stage about ways to increase the band\'s media exposure. Chandler asked journalist Keith Altham for advice and Altham suggested that they needed to do something more dramatic then the stage show of the Who, which involved the smashing of instruments. Hendrix replied: Maybe I can smash up an elephant, to which Altham replied: Well, its a pity you can\'t set fire to your guitar. Chandler immediately asked road manager Gerry Stickels to get them some lighter fluid. Hendrix gave an especially dynamic performance before setting his guitar on fire at the end of his 45-minute set. In the wake of the notable stunt, London\'s tabloid press called Hendrix the \"Black Elvis\" and the \"Wild Man of Borneo\".

Are You Experienced

Rolling Stone described Are You Experienced as Hendrix\'s \"epochal debut\", and they ranked it the 15th greatest album of all time, noting his exploitation of amp howl\" and describing the material as \"soul music for inner space. The founding editor of Guitar World called it, the album that shook the world ... leaving it forever changed. When Track records sent the master tapes for \"Purple Haze\" to Reprise for remastering, they wrote the following words on the tape box: \"Deliberate distortion. Do not correct.\" First released in the UK in May 1967, Are You Experienced, reached number 2 in the UK charts. The original version of the LP contained none of the previously released singles or their B-sides.

Released in the US in August by Reprise Records, Are You Experienced, reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.The US and Canadian versions of Are You Experienced featured a new cover by Karl Ferris and a new song list, with Reprise removing Red House, Remember and Can You See Me to make room for the first three single A-sides omitted from the UK release: Hey Joe, Purple Haze, and The Wind Cries Mary. \"Red House\" is the only original twelve-bar blues written by Hendrix. The album offered a startling introduction to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the album was a blueprint for what had become possible on an electric guitar, basically recorded on four tracks, mixed into mono and only modified at this point by a fuzz pedal, reverb and a small bit of the experimental Octavia pedal on Purple Haze, produced by Roger Mayer in consultation with Hendrix. A remix using the mostly mono backing tracks with the guitar and vocal overdubs separated and occasionally panned to create a stereo mix was also released, only in the US and Canada.

US success

Although very popular in Europe at this time, the Jimi Hendrix Experience had yet to crack the United States. Their first single there, \"Hey Joe\" c/w \"51st Anniversary\" (Reprise 0572, released May 1, 1967), failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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 around the country in early 1969 as the concert documentary Monterey Pop, which immortalized Hendrix\'s iconic burning and smashing of his guitar at the finale of his performance.

Hendrix opened with a fast arrangement of Howlin\' Wolf\'s 1965 R&B hit Killing Floor. The Monterey performance also included an equally lively rendering of B.B. King\'s 1964 R&B hit Rock Me Baby, Tim Rose\'s arrangement of \"Hey Joe\", and Bob Dylan\'s 1965 pop hit Like a Rolling Stone. The set ended with the Troggs Wild Thing and Hendrix repeating the gimmick that had boosted his profile in Europe; burning his guitar on stage, then smashing it before tossing pieces out to the audience. The performance earned Hendrix the attention of the US public. A large chunk of this guitar was on display at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, along with the other psychedelically painted Stratocaster that Hendrix smashed (but did not burn) at his farewell concert in England before he left for the US and Monterey.

Hendrix most likely first heard a wah-wah pedal used with an electric guitar in Cream\'s \"Tales of Brave Ulysses\", released in May 1967.[91] In July, while playing sets at the Scene club in New York City, Hendrix met Frank Zappa, whose Mothers of Invention were playing the adjacent Garrick Theater. Hendrix immediately became fascinated by Zappa\'s use of a wah-wah pedal and Hendrix used one later that evening while recording overdubs in a studio.

Following the Monterey Pop Festival, the Experience played a series of concerts at Bill Graham\'s Fillmore, replacing the original headliners Jefferson Airplane at the top of the bill. It was at this time that Hendrix became acquainted with future musical collaborator Stephen Stills and reacquainted himself with Buddy Miles, who introduced Hendrix to his future partner, Devon Wilson. She had a turbulent on/off relationship with him, right up to the night of his death, and was the only one of his partners to record with him. She died only six months after Hendrix under mysterious circumstances, apparently falling from an upper window in the Chelsea Hotel.

Following this very successful West Coast introduction, which also included two open air concerts (one of them a free concert in the \"panhandle\" of Golden Gate Park) and a concert at the Whisky a Go Go, they were booked as one of the opening acts for pop group the Monkees on the Monkees\' first American tour. The Monkees asked for Hendrix because they were fans, but their (mostly early teens) audience sometimes did not warm to their act, and he quit the tour after a few dates. Chas Chandler later admitted that being thrown off the Monkees tour was engineered to gain maximum media impact and publicity for Hendrix, similar to that gained from the manufactured Rank Theatre\'s indecency dispute on the earlier UK Walker Brothers tour. At the time, a story circulated claiming that Hendrix was removed from the tour because of complaints made by the Daughters of the American Revolution that his stage conduct was \"lewd and indecent\". This report was concocted by a journalist accompanying the tour, the Australian Lillian Roxon.

Meanwhile in Western Europe, where Hendrix was appreciated for his authentic blues as well as his hit singles and recognized for his avant-garde musical ideas, his wild-man image and musical gimmickry (such as playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back) had faded; but they later plagued him in the US following Monterey. He became frustrated by the US media and audience when they concentrated on his stage tricks and best known songs.

Axis: Bold as Love

The Jimi Hendrix Experience\'s second 1967 album, Axis: Bold as Love was his first recording made for stereo release and used panning and other stereo effects. As with their previous album, the band had to schedule recording sessions in between performances. Axis continued the style established by Are You Experienced. The opening track, \"EXP\", featured a stereo effect in which a sound emanating from Hendrix\'s guitar appeared to revolve around the listener, fading out into the distance from the right channel, then returning in on the left. This album marked the first time Hendrix recorded the whole album with his guitar tuned down one half-step, to E♭, which he used exclusively thereafter and was his first to feature the wah-wah pedal.

A mishap almost delayed the album\'s pre-Christmas release: Hendrix lost the master tape of side one of the LP, leaving it in the back seat of a London taxi. With the release deadline looming, Hendrix, Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer had to remix most of side one in an overnight session, but they could not match the lost mix of \"If 6 Was 9\". They soon learned that bassist Noel Redding had a tape recording of this mix, which had to be smoothed out with an iron as it had gotten wrinkled. Hendrix used a familiar guitar technique during the verses of the song, doubling his voice with his guitar, which he played one octave lower. The founding editor of Guitar World described the LP as \"a voyage to the cosmos\".

Disappointed that the album had to be finished so quickly, Hendrix felt it could have been better had they been given more time. He also expressed disappointment in the album cover art work, which depicts Hendrix and the Experience as various forms of Vishnu, incorporating a painting of them by Roger Law (from a photo-portrait by Karl Ferris). Hendrix remarked that it would have been more appropriate if the cover had highlighted his American Indian heritage.

They released the album in the UK near the end of their first headlining tour there, after which their performance frequency slowed briefly during the Christmas holidays.

In January 1968, the band travelled to Sweden for a one-week tour of Europe. During the early morning hours of the first day, Hendrix became engaged in a drunken brawl in the Hotel Opalen, smashing a plate-glass window and injuring his right hand, for which he received medical treatment. The incident culminated in his arrest, though the authorities released him pending a court appearance on the 16th. The remainder of the tour was uneventful, though Hendrix had to spend some time in Sweden awaiting his trial, which resulted in a large fine.

Electric Ladyland

Hendrix\'s third recording, the double album Electric Ladyland (1968), was a departure from previous efforts. Following his third and penultimate French concert at the Paris Olympia, Hendrix flew to the US to start his first tour there, and after two months returned to his Electric Ladyland project at the newly opened Record Plant Studios with engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren and initially Chas Chandler as producer.

As the album\'s recording progressed, Chas Chandler became so frustrated with Hendrix\'s perfectionism and with various friends and guests milling about the studio that he decided to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Chandler\'s departure had a clear impact on the artistic direction that the recording took.

For this album Hendrix began experimenting with different combinations of musicians and instruments. During production, Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop. In March 1968, Jim Morrison of the Doors joined Hendrix onstage at the Scene Club in New York.

In November 1968, the album reached number 1 in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The LP peaked at number 6 on the UK charts, spending 12 weeks on the chart. The founding editor of Guitar World described the album as Hendrix\'s masterpiece.


Hendrix was advertised to play the Woodstock Music Festival, along with many of the other biggest rock groups of the time. It was to take place on rented farmland in upstate New York, specifically Max Yasgur\'s farm in Bethel, New York, from August 15 to 18, 1969. Although Hendrix\'s music had been written for a power trio of guitar, bass, and drums, he wanted to expand his sound so he added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee (another old friend from his R&B days), and Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez to play congas. After drummer Mitch Mitchell arrived, this new lineup, called Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, rehearsed for less than two weeks before the festival and according to Mitchell never really meshed. In addition, although Woodstock would become famous and mythologized through the documentary film of the same name, by the time of his performance, Hendrix had been up for three days, and his band was short on sleep as well, contributing a rawness to their filmed performance.

Before Hendrix arrived at the festival, he started to hear media reports that the crowds of kids showing up for the festival were swelling to biblical proportions, in addition to the emerging logistical problems being reported at the site. This gave Hendrix cause for concern since he did not like performing in front of very large crowds. Since he was considered an important draw for the festival, and because of his manager\'s negotiations, Hendrix was getting paid more than the other performers, (US$18,000, plus US$12,000 for rights to film him). As the scheduled time slot of Sunday night at midnight drew closer, Hendrix indicated that he would rather wait and close the show. A substantial rainstorm that day had delayed the schedule of performers, so when Hendrix insisted on being the closing headliner, it pushed back the time when they finally hit the stage – which ended up being 8:30 am Monday morning. The audience which had peaked at an estimated 400,000 people during the festival, was now reduced to about 30–40,000 by that point; many of whom merely waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving during his show.[115] This reflected the reality that by the third day attendees had been sleeping in muddy conditions with limited food.

Hendrix and his band were introduced by the festival MC, Chip Monck, as \"the Jimi Hendrix Experience\", but once on stage Hendrix clarified, saying, \"We decided to change the whole thing around and call it Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. For short, it\'s nothin\' but a \'Band of Gypsys\'\". He then launched into a two-hour set, the longest of his career. Hendrix started off with a new song, \"Message to Love\", his Woodstock set consisting of new material alongside his well-known hits.

Hendrix\'s rendition of the U.S. national anthem, \"The Star-Spangled Banner\" occurred about 3/4 into their set (after which he morphed into Purple Haze). The song had actually been part of his set for over a year and he had already performed it at at least 28 different concerts and recorded a studio version. During the number, Hendrix used feedback and sustain on his guitar to recreate the sound of wails and falling rockets. Although pundits quickly branded the song as a political manifesto against the Vietnam War, Hendrix himself never explained its meaning other than to say at a press conference three weeks later, We\'re all Americans ... it was like \'Go America!\'... We play it the way the air is in America today. The air is slightly static, see. The song would become \"part of the sixties Zeitgeist\" as it was captured forever in the Woodstock film; Hendrix\'s image performing this number during the day wearing a blue-beaded white leather jacket with fringe and a red head scarf, has since been regarded as a defining moment of the 1960s.

Hendrix performed \"Hey Joe\" as the encore to finish off their set which concluded the 3½ day Woodstock Music Festival. Upon leaving the stage, Hendrix collapsed from exhaustion. After Woodstock, this particular lineup of the band appeared on only two more occasions. The first was a street benefit in Harlem where, in a scenario similar to the festival, most of the audience had left and only a fraction remained by the time Hendrix took the stage. Within seconds of Hendrix arriving at the site two youths had stolen his guitar from the back seat of his car, although it was later recovered. The band\'s only other appearance was at the Salvation club in Greenwich Village, New York. After some studio recordings, Hendrix disbanded the group. Some of this band\'s recordings can be heard on the MCA Records box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience and on South Saturn Delta. Their final session together before Lee and Velez left the band took place on September 16.


Though the details of his last day and death are unclear and widely disputed, Hendrix spent much of September 17 in London with Monika Dannemann, the only eyewitness to his final hours. Dannemann claimed to have prepared a meal for them at her apartment in the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, sometime around 11 p.m., when they shared a bottle of wine. She drove Hendrix to the residence of an acquaintance at approximately 1:45 a.m., where he remained for about an hour before she picked him up and drove them back to her flat.[145]

According to Dannemann, around 4 a.m., Hendrix, struggling with insomnia after having consumed amphetamines earlier that evening, asked her for sleeping pills. She claimed she refused his request hoping he would fall asleep naturally.[145] Dannemann said she surreptitiously took a sleeping pill sometime around 6 a.m., with Hendrix still awake, and awoke around 10 a.m.[146] According to Dannemann, at this time, Hendrix appeared to be sleeping normally. She claimed to have then left to purchase cigarettes, and when she returned around 11 a.m., found Hendrix breathing, though unconscious and unresponsive. She called for an ambulance at 11:18 a.m.; they arrived on the scene at 11:27 a.m.. Paramedics then transported Hendrix to St Mary Abbot\'s Hospital where Dr. John Bannister pronounced him dead at 12:45 p.m., on September 18, 1970.

To determine the cause of death, Coroner Gavin Thurston ordered an post-mortem examination on Hendrix\'s body, which was performed on September 21 by Professor Robert Donald Teare, a forensic pathologist. Teare did not find any evidence of violence or suicide and concluded that Hendrix accidentally overdosed. Thurston held the inquest on September 28, and concluded that Hendrix aspirated his own vomit and died of asphyxia, while he was subdued with barbiturates. Nevertheless, citing \"insufficient evidence of the circumstances\", he declared an open verdict. Dannemann later stated that Hendrix, unaware of the brand\'s high potency, took nine of her prescribed Vesparax sleeping tablets, which were intended to be taken in half-tablet increments. Nine tablets of the powerful German sedative amounted to 18 times the recommended dosage.

While Dannemann stated that Hendrix was alive when placed in the back of the ambulance at approximately 11:30 a.m. and that she rode with him on the way to the hospital, the ambulance crew later denied that she was there. Statements from the paramedics who responded to the call show that they found Hendrix alone in the flat when they arrived at 11:27 a.m., fully clothed and apparently already dead.

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