Jimi Hendrix, Guitar Genius Who Died At 27: Facts And Stories

By Jacob Shelton
Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix performs onstage with his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar at the Newport Pop Festival on June 20, 1969 in Devonshire Downs, California. (Photo by Vince Melamed/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Left-handed guitar prodigy Jimi Hendrix changed rock 'n roll, coaxing never-before-heard sounds from his instrument in a career that came to a sudden end with his death in 1970.  There are thousands of good guitar players, and plenty of great guitarists, but there's only one Hendrix, whose five-year career left us mind-blowing classics like "Purple Haze," "Voodoo Child," and "Crosstown Traffic." In that short period of time he played with legendary backing players The Experience (Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell), and later with Band of Gypsys, and he did it all at a breakneck pace. The word "icon" doesn't do Jimi Hendrix justice. His final years were spent creating an aural experience for anyone who could open their mind just enough to let him in.