“Music doesn’t lie. If there’s something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” -Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) had a deep reverence for music which was evident throughout his career. He began as a self taught guitarist, after he had been honorably discharged from the Army. He went on to become one of the most legendary electric guitar players of all time.
The raw emotion and showmanship he brought to every performance was unprecedented. Because of his unconventional education and skill, his fingering would baffle many other guitarists who would try to mimic him. His hands were so big, he could bar all six strings with his thumb! He was noted to be able to play with his teeth and also to be able to play the guitar behind his back. He was even able to play a right handed guitar upside down, re-strung for a left handed player.
Jimi performed with “Chitlin Circuit” acts such as The Isley Brothers and Little Richard. Jimi had also backed a variety of notable performers such as King Curtis, Sam Cooke, Curtis Knight and many more. In 1966 he moved to England where he garnered interest from The Animals’ bassist, Chas Chandler. Chandler eventually became the manager of his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
His third album, Electric Ladyland, ended up being his first and only number one album in the US. He then went on to give his iconic performance at Woodstock in 1969, in which he performed one of the most famous renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Tragically, Hendrix died in 1970 from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Although he is gone, his spirit and ability to innovate with sound have made him a legend, as he spent his life laying the groundwork for guitarists for many generations to come.
To celebrate, we’ve created a playlist full of Hendrix essentials:
You can play it directly from this post below, or by searching Center Stage Music Center on Spotify.
Happy Birthday Jimi!
*Artwork by Matt Pecson