- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend

Essay by   •  August 21, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,302 Words (10 Pages)  •  2,698 Views

Essay Preview: Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend

Report this essay
Page 1 of 10

Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend

The extraordinary performances, recording, and lyrics of

James Marshall Hendrix have made him impossible to forget. This

American rock music guitarist made a legendary mark not only in

the history of rock 'n' roll but also on the pop culture as a

whole (Ross 32). With unique techniques never seen before and

blatant sex-related performances on stage, he became one of the

most influential music figures of the 60s (Kamin).

Hendrix was not born into stardom nor was it given to him by

any means. He strived all throughout his life to be the very

best. Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in

Seattle, Washington to Al and Lucille Hendrix, and not until four

years later did his father change his son's name to James

Marshall Hendrix. He certainly did not lead an easy life with

his sporadic schooling and his parents' divorce in 1958. Added

to the building pressures, his mother died just one year later

("Jimi", Rolling 42).

Hendrix purchased his first guitar in 1958, probably to

relieve tensions as it was the same year his parents divorced.

It was a used acoustic for which he paid only five dollars. At

the age of seventeen with only one year's playing experience, he

joined his first band, the Rocking Kings. It may be hard to

imagine because of his image, but Hendrix was also in the Army

for a brief period of time. He was soon discharged as a result

of "medical unsuitability" after a parachuting accident in which

he landed on his ankle ("Jimi", Rolling 42). He ventured back to

his hometown of Seattle and began playing with Bobby Taylor and

the Vancouvers (Wolters, "Pre-Experience").

He seized the opportunity to go on the road after being

discovered by Little Richard in 1963 but soon regretted the

decision because he felt the tour was degrading, and he was

constrained as being a sideman to Richard. His guitar was used

as little more than a background rhythm instrument, but Hendrix

developed his playing talent and soon discovered how to gain

control and take lead of the music. Unfortunately, he never was

able to get Richard to realize his talents, so he abandoned

Richard's tour in St. Louis (Wolters, "Pre-Experience").

After aimlessly wandering for awhile, Hendrix found himself

in Atlanta and once again teamed up with Little Richard. The

tour brought them to Los Angeles where he then went in his own

direction. He hooked up with Richard for a third time during the

summer of 1964 to record an album in which he again felt confined

as being only a backup to Little Richard (Wolters,


Hendrix later joined the budding musician Arthur Lee, but

the partnership did not last long as he once again set out in

search of his own identity (Wolters, "Pre-Experience"). He

embarked as a traveling musician for various tours backing such

artists as Ike and Tina Turner, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, B.B.

King, Chuck Berry, King Curtis, Solomon Burke, Chuck Jackson,

Jackie Wilson, and several others (Wolters, "Hendrix").

On his next endeavor, he teamed up with saxophonist Lonnie

Youngblood. The pair was short-lived as Hendrix soon split, and

his adventurous spirit ended him up in New York where he rented a

small, cheap apartment and drifted from job to dead-end job

(Wolters, "Pre-Experience").

The spring of 1964 brought better luck to Hendrix. Ronnie

Isley of the Isley Brothers hired him on the spot as lead

guitarist after hearing him play for only a short amount of time.

He lived with the group for a few months, and they actually

purchased him his first Fender guitar ("Jimi, Rolling 44). The

band toured in 1964 and also released some albums, but Hendrix

was still dissatisfied with his situation. He grew tired of the

group and left the Isleys to join Curtis Knight and the Squires

(Wolters, "Pre-Experience").

Not long had the group been playing in the New Jersey area

when Keith Richard, guitarist for the Rolling Stones, caught a

glimpse of the stand-out guitarist and wanted to help the young,

developing musician. He brought Hendrix to the attention of

important music industry people ("Jimi", Facts 425). On October

15, 1965, Hendrix signed his first recording contract with Ed



Download as:   txt (14.2 Kb)   pdf (152.3 Kb)   docx (17.2 Kb)  
Continue for 9 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 08). Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend. Retrieved 08, 2010, from'n'-Roll-Legend/303.html

"Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend" 08 2010. 2010. 08 2010 <'n'-Roll-Legend/303.html>.

"Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend.", 08 2010. Web. 08 2010. <'n'-Roll-Legend/303.html>.

"Jimi Hendrix: Rock 'n' Roll Legend." 08, 2010. Accessed 08, 2010.'n'-Roll-Legend/303.html.