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Jimi Hendrix

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On November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington a later-to-be-known legend was born as James Marshall. This future guitar master went by the name of Jimi, Jimi Hendrix. His childhood was not very fortunate, however, he did indulge himself in one particular way: Jimi loved to play the guitar. Jimi could never afford to take lessons so he taught himself. At first he played an old acoustic guitar, and later a cheap Silvertone electric. Both of these guitars were both strung for a lefty on a right-handed guitar, one of the defining Hendrix traits. Jimi would have preferred to play a guitar that was made for lefty's but his parents wouldn't pay the extra money because they were extremely poor.

As a teenager, young Jimi listened to typical fifties music such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presely and even a little Eddie Cochrane. He played in a few bands in high school, but then dropped out before his senior year. Jimi really never really imagined that he had enough talent to go into the music industry, actually he thought he had no talent whatsoever and had a terrible voice.

Jimi had then decided to apply for a real job. The first couple of jobs he had never really worked out. He started off working in retail then later fixing items such as radios and telephones. So in the year of 1959 Jimi through his Fender Strat over his shoulder, and enlisted in the 101st Airborne as a paratrooper. Jimi enjoyed his time spent in the 101st Airborne. However, after 25 successful jumps, he broke his ankle. After 14 months of military service, he received an honorable discharge from the army. Jimi had realized his only choice was to do what he loved; play the guitar. Jimi began to write music and play local gigs. Before he knew it he was opening for King Curtis, The Isley Brothers, and even Little Richard.

Hendrix's big break occurred when he was playing at a club in Greenwhich Village called Cafй Wha. At this New York club was a young record producer, and lead bassist of the Animals that went by the name of Chas Chandler. Chas particularly liked Jimi's charisma for his music. He had enjoyed listening to him immensely and once he had saw Jimi play the guitar with his teeth and behind his back, Chas knew someday he would be a star.

Soon after in 1966 Chandler brought Jimi to London, where he introduced Jimi to "the music life." Chas had realized that if Jimi was going to be successful, it was necessary for him to be in a band, not just a solo artist. Hendrix and Chandler had auditioned a number of musicians to be in the new band, which was to be called The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Jimi and Chandler had decided upon a trio with Hendrix on guitar and vocals, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Noel Redding on bass.

The first album was recorded and released with the name of, Are You Experienced? on May 12, 1967 in England. After its initial success there, the album was released on August 26, 1967 in the United States. Of the single ?Hey Joe,? which was the first song recorded for Are You Experienced?, Hendrix said: ?It?s a commercial record,. but everyone found that better for the first time. It?s just a phase, it?s only a very small part of us.?

Another Hendrix tune from Are You Experienced? was ?Purple Haze.? Many people have the conception that the song Purple Haze is about drugs. Anyone who thinks that Purple Haze is about drugs is entirely wrong. Purple Haze was written by Jimi shortly after a dream he had. In the dream, Jimi was walking under the sea, surrounded by purple haze. He became lost and Jesus saved him . The song was originally called ?Purple Haze-Jesus saves.? Purple Haze was described as ?the band?s break-through single in America? This song was the one that had really sparked Hendrix's album sales. After Purple Haze, Hendrix was known as a rock star, and people demanded to hear more.

Jimi's second album entitled Axis: Bold as Love was an immediate success. This album expressed the way Jimi felt about being an Indian African American. Jimi had said "I think I care just as much about the Album cover on this record than the music itself." The album cover consisted of a cartoon of the band members with Indian imagery surrounding them. Jimi had thought it was great, for some odd reason he was extremely fascinated with the cover. Jimi had purely written this album for his fans, as he wrote his first album mostly for himself. Though when someone had asked him what the difference was between the two albums he replied, "The changes in music between the two records are for you to decide. We're just playing the way we feel."

Jimi had never really put any effort into composing his next album which was titled Electric Ladyland. This album was a reference to groupies, but Jimi preferred to call them "electric ladies." The album wasn't as successful as his past two albums due to his lack of effort, but it still sold enormous amounts of copies. The biggest hit of this album and his life wasn't even written by Jimi--it was written by rock star, Bob Dylan . This song was called All Along the Watch Tower, and it combined heavy vocals, with extraordinary guitar playing. All Along



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