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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame February 18, 2008 11:33 AM

The Jimi Hendrix Experience inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1992.

Induction Year: 1992 Induction Category: Performer

"Jimi Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. Many would claim him to be the greatest guitarist ever to pick up the instrument. At the very least his creative drive, technical ability and painterly application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll. Hendrix helped usher in the age of psychedelia with his 1967 debut, Are You Experienced?, and the impact of his brief but meteoric career on popular music continues to be felt.

More than any other musician, Jimi Hendrix realized the fullest range of sound that could be obtained from an amplified instrument. Many musical currents came together in his playing. Free jazz, Delta blues, acid rock, hardcore funk, and the songwriting of Bob Dylan and the Beatles all figured as influences. Yet the songs and sounds generated by Hendrix were original, otherworldly and virtually indescribable. In essence, Hendrix channeled the music of the cosmos, anchoring it to the earthy beat of rock and roll.

Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27th, 1942, in Seattle (his name was changed to James Marshall Hendrix four years later). He acquired his first guitar at age 16 and joined a group, the Rocking Kings, a year later. Following an abortive stint in the Army, he hit the road with a succession of club bands and as a backup musician for such rhythm & blues artists as Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, Jackie Wilson, the Impressions and Sam Cooke. In 1966 he was discovered by Chas Chandler, the former Animals bassist, while performing at New York’s Cafe Wha? with his group, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Chandler became Hendrix’s manager and brought him to England, where he absorbed the nascent psychedelic movement, changed the spelling of his first name “Jimi” and formed a trio with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded three landmark albums - Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland - in a year and a half. Hendrix’s theatrical, incendiary performances at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock festivals, including the ceremonial torching of his guitar at Monterey, have become part of rock and roll legend. Under extreme pressure due to a combination of nonstop work, sudden celebrity and drug-taking, the trio broke up in early 1969. Hendrix commenced work on a projected double album and debuted a new trio, Band of Gypsies, at the Fillmore East on New Year’s Eve 1969. Hendrix performed his last concert at the Isle of Fehmarn, Germany on September 6, 1970 (though he joined Eric Burdon and War on stage on September 16 at Ronnie Scott’s in London). On September 18, he died from suffocation, having inhaled vomit due to barbiturate intoxication.

In the wake of Hendrix’s death, a flood of posthumous albums - everything from old jams from his days as an R&B journeyman to live recordings from his 1967-1970 prime to previously unreleased or unfinished studio work - hit the market. There have been an estimated 100 of them, including Voodoo Soup (1995), an attempt to reconstruct First Ray of the New Rising Sun - the album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death - from tapes, notes, interviews and song lists.”


November 27, 1942: Johnny Allen Hendrix is born at 10:15 a.m. at Seattle’s King County Hospital. His mother is Lucille Jeter, 17. His father, James “Al” Hendrix, is in the U.S. Army, stationed in Camp Rucker, Alabama.

November 27, 1942: Johnny Allen Hendrix is born at 10:15 a.m. at Seattle’s King County Hospital. His mother is Lucille Jeter, 17. His father, James “Al” Hendrix, is in the U.S. Army, stationed in Camp Rucker, Alabama.

December 25, 1945: Noel Redding was born.

September 11, 1946: Al Hendrix, now out of the service, changes his son’s name to James Marshall Hendrix. Al will take primary responsibility for raising Jimi. “My dad was very strict and taught me that I  [ send green star]

 February 18, 2008 11:35 AM

July 9, 1947: Mitch Mitchell was born.

September 1, 1957: Jimi Hendrix goes to see Elvis Presley perform at Sicks Stadium.

February 2, 1958: Jimi Hendrix’s mother dies.

Summer 1958: Jimi Hendrix’s father buys him a second-hand acoustic guitar. It costs five dollars. “Jimmy told me about it [the guitar] and I said, ‘Okay,’ and gave him the money. He strummed away on that, working away all the time, any spare time he had,” said Al.

Summer 1959: Al Hendrix buys Jimi his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560 S. Jimi joins the Rocking Kings. “My first gig with them was at a National Guard armory. We earned like 35 cents apiece. We used to play stuff by people like the Coasters,” said Jimi.

Summer 1961: Jimi Hendrix enlists in the Army. Stationed at Fort Ord, California, he writes home: “The Army’s not too bad, so far. . . . All, I mean, all my hair’s cut off and I have to shave. . . I won’t be able to see you until two months from now. . . we’re going through basic training.”

November 1, 1961: Now stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimi Hendrix is training to become a paratrooper. Meanwhile, he forms a band, the King Kasuals, with a fellow soldier, Billy Cox.

July 2, 1962: After getting hurt during a jump, Jimi Hendrix gets an honorable discharge from the Army. Over the next three years, he will play numerous gigs and studio sessions with such R&B stars as Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and Sam Cooke.

April 1, 1965: Jimi Hendrix goes to New York with Little Richard’s band and takes a room at the Theresa Hotel. Over the next several months, he will play with Little Richard, King Curtis, Joey Dee and the Starlighters and the Isley Brothers. He also takes a job with a club band called Curtis Knight and the Squires.

June 1, 1966: Jimi Hendrix forms a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which also includes guitarist Randy California, later of the group Spirit. They get a regular gig at Café Wha? in Greenwich Village.

September 24, 1966: Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler, former bassist with the Animals, fly from New York to London. There, Hendrix will form a new band and Chandler will become the manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. En route, they decide to change the guitarist’s name from Jimmy to Jimi.

October 1, 1966: Hendrix jams with Cream at the Regent Polytechnic College.

October 6, 1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience holds its first rehearsal. The group features Jimi on guitar, Mitch Mitchell, formerly of Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames, on drums, and Noel Redding on bass. The following week, the Experience plays a four-day French tour supporting Johnny Hallyday.

October 23, 1966
The Jimi Hendrix: Experience records its first two songs, “Hey Joe” and “Stone Free” at London’s De Lane Lea Studios.

December 16, 1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience release “Hey Joe” in England. By February 1967, it reaches Number Four on the British charts. The next single, “Purple Haze,” reaches Number Three. The group’s debut album, Are You Experienced?, will remain near the top of the charts through the summer of 1967.

This post was modified from its original form on 18 Feb, 11:36  [ send green star]
 February 18, 2008 11:39 AM

June 18, 1967: Jimi Hendrix performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones introduces him as “the most exciting performer I’ve ever heard.” At the end of his performance, he burns his Fender Stratocaster. “The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice,” Jimi said. “You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar. I’d just finished painting it that day and was really into it.” Literally overnight, the Jimi Hendrix Experience become one of the most popular acts in rock music.

December 1, 1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases ‘Axis: Bold as Love’. The album, which is released in the U.S. on January 15, includes such songs as “Little Wing,” “If Six Was Nine,” “Castles Made of Sand” and “Spanish Castle Magic.”

February 1, 1968: The Experience embarks on a major U.S. tour. The first show is at the Fillmore, in San Francisco. On February 12, Jimi Hendrix returns to Seattle for a show at the Center Arena. Jimi’s family is seated in the front row.

October 18, 1968: Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” is released. “Before I came to England, I was digging a lot of the things Bob Dylan was doing,” Jimi said. “He is giving me inspiration.”

October 25, 1968: Electric Ladyland, a double album recorded in the U.S. and England, is released. It becomes Hendrix’s first Number One album in the U.S. and includes such tracks as “Voodoo Chile,” “Crosstown Traffic” and “All Along the Watchtower.”

February 24, 1969: The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays its last British performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

June 29, 1969: The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays the final date on its last American tour at the Denver Pop Festival. At the height of its popularity, the group breaks up.

August 15-17, 1969: The year 1969 was the year of the rock festival. The largest was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held on the weekend of August 15-17 in the tiny town of Bethel, in upstate New York. An estimated crowd of 450,000 attended the event, which featured everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker, to Arlo Guthrie, the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Ravi Shankar and Country Joe McDonald. If Woodstock marked the apex of the hippie movement in America, the Rolling Stones’ free concert in Hyde Park did the same for England. Held on July 5, the show drew nearly 300,000 people, the largest gathering in England since V-E Day.

August 18, 1969: Hendrix debuts a new band, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, at the Woodstock music festival in New York State. The group includes old friend Billy Cox on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez on percussion. He takes the stage at 7:30 in the morning, and his version of “The Star Spangled Banner” becomes the highlight of the festival.

December 31, 1969 - January 1, 1970: Band of Gypsys – a trio with Hendrix, Cox and drummer Buddy Miles – plays Bill Graham’s Fillmore East in New York. Graham calls the shows “the most brilliant, emotional display of virtuosic electric guitar playing I have ever heard.”

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 February 18, 2008 11:39 AM

April 28, 1970: Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies “The Cry of Love” tour begins at the Forum in Los Angeles. Mitch Mitchell is back on drums.

Summer 1970: The Cry of Love with the Band of Gypsies tour continues, with shows at Berkeley, Rainbow Bridge in Hawaii and the Atlanta Pop Festival. The group begins work on a new double album, ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun’. Though some of the tracks are released as The Cry of Love, the album does not get its full release until 1997.

August 25, 1970: A grand opening party is held at Electric Lady Studios, which Jimi has designed for himself in New York.

August 30, 1970: Hendrix performs at the Isle of Wight Festival in England.

September 6, 1970: Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell play the Love and Peace Festival in Puttgarden, Germany. Hendrix then returns to London.

September 16, 1970: Jimi Hendrix jams with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott’s Club.

September 18, 1970: Jimi Hendrix dies in his sleep at the Samarkand Hotel in London. He was 27.

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 February 18, 2008 11:41 AM

Essential Recordings Purple Haze
All Along the Watchtower
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
The Wind Cries Mary
Little Wing
Hey Joe
Red House
Foxey Lady
Crosstown Traffic
Machine Gun

This post was modified from its original form on 18 Feb, 11:41  [ send green star]
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