Hendrix was born in Seattle on november 27th in 1942. His
parents divorced in the early fifties, after which Hendrix
was brought up by his father, Al. Jimmy was obsessed by the
classic blues and jazz records in Al's collection.
Al recognised his son's obsession and bought Jimmy a cheap
guitar. He learned the instrument by playing along to the
hot tunes of the day. Pretty son Hendrix was also playing
with a variety of local bands.
In May 1961 however, he left Seattle to enlist in the army
only to be discharged after and injury the following year.
Hendrix returned to music becoming member of the black
touring network of bars, theatres and clubs. Trough the
early sixties Hendrix played with artist like Little
Richard, The Isly (Ily) Brothers and Sam Cooke. When
Hendrix reached New York and discovered Greenwich Village
he was exposed to an explosion of new music like the
English beat groups, new jazz experiments and Bob Dylans
new type of lyrics.
In 1966 Hendrix formed a band and sang for the first time.
The group had a regular spot in Greenwich village. One
night Chas Chandler watched the show. He had been the bass
player with The Animals but quit to form a business.
partnership with the bands manager. Chandler was
owerwhelmed . By the time the show was over he had invited
Hendrix to London. This was an extraordinary turn in
Hendrix career. After five years the breakthrough had come.
On September the 24th in 1966, Hendrix arrived in London.
The spelling of his name had been changed to "Jimi" so that
the crowd would remember his name more easily. Hendrix,
however, hardly needed a spelling change to make an
impression. Hendrix took London by storm. The first
priority, however, was a band. On October 6th in 1966 Jimi
Hendrix formed the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" featuring
Mitch Mitchell on drums and bass player Noel Redding. Three
weeks later they had recorded "Hey Joe". It was released at
the very end of 1966 and by February it was number four on
the singles charts. Jimi Hendrix was the hottest new name
On January 11th the band released Purple Haze and Jimi was
working on overdrive. An album was also urgently required.
They created maximum anticipation for their first album
"Are you experienced", wich was released in May. The only
one who could stop Hendrix from reaching number one on the
charts were The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper.
Now it was time to introduce America to the "Jimi Hendrix
Experience". In June 1967 the band played at the Monterey
Pop Festival. Jimi and Bob Dylan generally stole the night.
The final was a stage trick perfected in London some months
before: Hendrix torched his guitar before smashing it to
pieces. After a hastily arranged U.S gig schedule, Hendrix
returned to Britain.
Between 1967 and 1970 Hendrix released another four albums,
all of them were massive hits. Three of them were made by
"The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and One by "The Band Of
Gypsys" wich became Hendrix new band after that Mitch
Mitchell had quit. "The Band Of Gypsys" appeared at the
Woodstock festival outside New York. The new band was a
success and they were touring across Europe only a few
The bands bassplayer Billy Cox fell ill. Hendrix brought
Cox back to London where he could recover away from the
pressures of touring. Hendrix stayed in London with a
girlfriend, Monika Dannemann. On the night of Thursday,
September 17th, Jimi decided to take som sleeping pills.
The idea was to sleep trough the next day and leave for
america after the weekend.
Early the next morning Dannemann noticed that Hendrix had
vomited during the night. He seemed to be breathing,
however, and she felt no reason to panic. A little later
she tried to wake him but Jimi remained unconscious. By the
time the ambulance arrived, Jimi's body was so affected by
the pills that he died from suffocation.