Gimmicks, Gimmicks I'm tired of people always talking about me and gimmicks
the world's a gimmick, isn't it?
wars, napalm, people get burned up on the TV
and it's nothing but a big...gimmick, yes we do.
-Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle on November 27, 1942. His parents were James and Lucille Hendrix. James was a private in the US Army, stationed far from his family, and wasnt's discharged for 3 years. Jimi was in the care of relatives for most of this time, as Lucille had a severe drinking problem. Eventually, he was given the middle name 'Marshall', after his dead uncle. Lucilles' drinking problem, coupled money troubles, caused severe trauma to Al and his brother Leon. (His other brother, Joseph, rarely lived with them) Leon and Jimmi eventually became the sole responsibility of their dad, but he couldn't handle them both and Leon was eventually fostered out. This broke poor Jimi's heart, as through all the years of moving from home to home, Leon had become Jimi's anger. Soon Jimi's inner artist began to show itself, he often wrote ficiton and poetry. By eight years old, Jimi was playing old brooms like guitars, and playing with an old ukulele. In 1958, Jimi's mother died of cihrossis of the liver due to Hepatitis. This was a terrible blow to the already broken Jimi. Not long after his mother's death, Jimi started to play a guitar, but could only afford a left-hander, although he was a righty, and thus had to learn the guitar in reverse, this may have been the source of his incredible talent with the guitar later in life. Soon, Jimi joined the army, 101rst airborne, but eventually got a medical discharge (he broke both his ankles during a jump). After leaving the army, Jimi was homeless for a while, surviving on crystal meth which he stored in a baby bottle to escape detection by the police. He also survived by playing for women who let him live with them. Many believe this part of his life was the inspiration for the song 'Highway Chile'. Soon however, he was hired as backup for many bands, including the legendary BB King. He learned alot from these people, but he craved center stage and the chance to get HIS message and HIS music heard. Eventually he formed the Jimmy James band and caught the attention of music producers Chas Chandler and Mike Jeoffery, who brought him to England. It was during this time that he met such greats as Mic Jagger, John Lennon, and Eric Clapton, whom he looked up to and admired, and who was his main reason for wanting to go to England. Eventually, Hendrix met up whit Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, the three formed THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE. The Experience was a huge success in England, many saw it as a turning point for rock music, and Hendrix became the spokesperson and symbol for an entire generation of hippies, and remains a symbol of freedom and rebellion to this day. The apex of Hendrix career was with his release during the 1969 Woodstock festival of his second band, BAND OF GYPSIES. This seemed to be an indication from Hendrix that he was ready for a change, a movement to a more spiritual self and expression. It was also an indication of him being ready to take control of his own destiny and not be an image put out by others for him, his wild boy image that had been so carefully crafted by those around him did not reflect who he himself was. he was a man of gentle mannerisms, relatively shy, who never liked the sound of his own voice. He wanted to be a symbol of peace, love, and togetherness, not necessarily of rebellion and certainly not wild selfishness. You see, in order to get his music heard, Hendrix; who came from such humble and poor backgrounds that he didn't see any other way to 'make it'; had become a slave to those who produced and managed him. This man, arguably the most popular musician of all time, never even had his own bank account, instead the record company itself would 'pay for all his needs' in exchange however, he was their puppet, forced to act and do what they wanted. Nothing he owned was in his name. On the day of his death, he is quoted as saying 'I'm tired of all these vultures feedin off of me, I'm starting my own record compay' this was the last any would hear from Hendrix. It's a common myth that Hendrix overdosed on something or died of mixing booze and drugs. This is not exactly true. Those around him report he wanted to get some sleep, so he took a couple of mandrix had a little wine, to go to sleep. This was something that Hendrix did quite often, however, hendrix was unaware that mandrix in England were like 4 here in the states, he passed out and would not wake up. At this point he was not dead, unfortunately, the paramedics on the scene made an almost unbvelievably stupid mistake and strapped his head to the 'table' thus when he vomited as a natural reaction, he drowned in it, all they had to do was tilt him over, and he would have lived. Strange that such a mistake, which most common people know not to make, was made with such an important patient, stranger still that it happened on the same day he had declared he was going to try and reclaim his independance. Still, on September 18, 1970, we lost one of the greatest artists of all time, he was only 27 years old, the same age as his contemporaries, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, his forefather Robert Johnson, and the unforgettable Kurt Cobain. Today, Hendrix influence is in all rock music every where, his image an philosophy is seen daily by millions of fans, over 30 years after his death, many recognize now that he was not just a man for his time, but for all time.
|There are literally thousands of Hendrix resources on the web, here are a few:|
|VH1 Jimi Hendrix Page|
|Sonic Net Hendrix Page|
|Soul Patron: Hendrix Page|