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

By | September 17, 2020

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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.

Jimi Hendrix Didn't Touch A Guitar Until He Was 15 Years Old

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source: music radar

While his life came to an all too early end in London, Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, on November 27, 1942. Originally named Johnny Allen Hendrix, his parents changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix four years later. His parents were broke and he moved around Seattle quite a bit as a young man. At the time the young Hendrix was fond of carrying around a broom that he pretended was a guitar; his family just thought he was being weird, but social workers were certain that he held onto it like a safety blanket. Even so, his father refused to buy a guitar for the boy.

It wasn't until Hendrix was 15 that he actually got his hands on a real deal acoustic guitar. Before that it was a ukulele with one string, and before that it was the broom. The guitar may have been second hand but it provided entree to a different world for the young man. He played it constantly until he realized that he needed an electric guitar to play in a band.