The Life of Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942, in Seattle (his name was changed to James Marshall Hendrix fours 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 succesion of club bands and as a back up 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 Animal's bassist, while performing at New Yorks 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.  Jimi Hendrix Dies in his sleep at the Samarkand Hotel in London, He was 27.

So.... What Makes Hendrix So Great?

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 an instrument.  At the very least his creative drive, technical difficulty and painterly application of suck 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 Musician...

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 song writing of Bob Dylan and the Beatles all figured as influences.  Yet the songs and sounds generated by Hendrix were origional, otherworldly and virtually indescribable.  In essence, Hendrix channeled the music of the cosmos, anchoring it to the earthy beat of rock and roll.