Author:

Category:

Jimi Hendrix and the wild stories of his guitar life

About iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix...

Interesting stories from the life of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is one of the greatest guitarists of all time... And although his dazzling career was too short, he had a huge impact on the next generation of guitarists and made an invaluable contribution to the development of rock music... He was born into a poor family in Seattle and raised by an abusive father. After being discharged from the army, Hendrix moved to London to become a studio musician and backing guitarist. His wild stage style, in contrast to his introverted personality, attracted the attention of the general public to his person ... Hendrix soon created his own group and began to experiment with the possibilities of his instrument. He made a name for himself at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967! And by the time Woodstock showed up, he had already set the world (and his guitar) on fire. No one, not even legends like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, has ever heard of anyone playing the way Jimi did... Hendrix's sad life story is riddled with substance use... But that's not what this article is about. Instead, we invite you to recall the wild tales of his creative exploits and legendary career...

He learned to play the ukulele with one string!

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

When Hendrix was a child, he found a one-string ukulele while helping his father clean an elderly lady's garage. The woman told young Jimi that he could keep the ukulele. Soon, the future God of Rock fiddled with his newfound instrument for hours... According to his brother Leon's book Jimi Hendrix: A Brother's Story, the future musician eventually discovered that by turning the peg on the top of the instrument, he could make the notes louder and higher!

He was allegedly deliberately kicked out of the air force...

Jimi Hendrix while in the military
Jimi Hendrix while in the military

Hendrix was jailed twice for riding in stolen cars. The judge told the teenager that he could either go to jail or join the army. In 1961, Hendrix enlisted in Kentucky. There were other musicians at the base, and together they formed a band. Hendrix, eager to start his musical career, knew he had to find a way out of the army... And he came up with a story that helped him get an honorable discharge! And it consisted in the fact that he broke his ankle during a parachute jump. However, according to Charles R. Cross' book A Room Full of Mirrors, things were a little different... Hendrix lied to the base psychiatrist, saying that he had an irresistible attraction to his army comrades! The doctor soon recommended that Hendrix be fired due to "homosexual tendencies".

Hendrix defied his father...

Jimi Hendrix with his father James Allen Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix with his father James Allen Hendrix

The world can be quite an uncomfortable place for left-handers, especially for guitarists... There are several different ways that lefties play guitar in a right-handed world. When Hendrix, a born left-hander, first picked up the guitar, his father Al insisted that he learn to play with his right hand. The man was sure that a guitarist playing with his left hand was an indisputable sign of the devil. Jimi ignored his father's prejudices and mastered the guitar the way he was comfortable. Although not wanting to upset his father, he also learned to play the same instrument with his right hand...

He was fired after the first set...

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

When Hendrix was in 10th grade, the boys from his school invited him to play with them for a tryout! So, Hendrix first appeared on stage as a guitarist: the performance took place in the basement of the synagogue. Already during the first set, Jimi indulged in his wild style of playing the guitar. And when the spotlight hit him, he didn't shy away from getting as much attention as possible... After the break, the band returned to the stage, but Hendrix was nowhere to be found. His girlfriend eventually spotted him outside in an alley, on the verge of tears... Jimi told her that he had been fired for his energetic playing style. She suggested that perhaps he could tone down his flamboyant performance. But Hendrix refused. Fortunately…

Hendrix competed with Little Richard himself...

Little Richard
Little Richard

In the mid-1960s, Hendrix often worked as a studio musician. He played guitar for Little Richard on the hit cover of Jerry Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" rock legend! Jimi also played a few live shows with Richard…Richard wanted all the attention during the performance to be focused on him, and only on him…But Jimi wasn’t the kind of person who could just play the guitar, wear a uniform, and do dance steps with an accompaniment orchestra. A clash between two prominent personalities was probably inevitable. According to Harry Shapiro's Jimi Hendrix, electric gypsy, Little Richard warned his musicians to slow down:

“I am Little Richard, the king of rock and rhythm, and I am the one who will shine on stage. Could you turn in those shirts, otherwise you will have to pay a fine!”

By the way: this was not the only time that Little Richard felt that he needed to keep his employee out of the spotlight. As he himself said:

“On stage, Hendrix really took part in the show. People were screaming and I thought they were screaming at me. But I look, and I understand that they are shouting Jimi! So we had to dim the light. But what was the point, because he would play the guitar with his teeth ... "

Not surprisingly, Hendrix was fired from Richard's group as a result.

He pissed off the Swedish promoter by playing too long...

Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler at the Marquee Club
Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler at the Marquee Club

Hendrix wanted to return to the studio in September 1970. However, manager Michael Jeffrey convinced him that they needed to go on tour to make money. Hendrix reluctantly agreed to a series of European tours that would take him through Denmark, Sweden and Germany. One of the performances included a stop at an amusement park in Stockholm. The promoter allegedly told Hendrix not to play for more than an hour because he wanted park guests to spend money on rides and fair merchandise. However, such an infringement did not suit Hendrix, who, in defiance, played 110 minutes ...

Hendrix burned his hand the first time he set his guitar on fire.

Jimi Hendrix and the burning guitar...
Jimi Hendrix and the burning guitar...

Hendrix was already a rampant artist before he set fire to his guitar. He was known for playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back. But despite his stage antics, he still felt he needed to stand out from the other popular rock bands featured on the 1967 European tour... Sometimes Hendrix smashed his guitar to pieces, but even that wasn't enough. Before the first show of the Jimi Hendrix Experience European Tour at the Finsbury Park Astoria in London, a journalist wrote that it would be "cool" to take the song "Fire" literally. This idea seemed to Hendrix and band manager Chas Chandler successful. Soon they sent a roadie for lighter fluid...

When the band ended their first set with "Fire", Hendrix put his guitar on the floor while the rest of the band continued to play. Chandler then took the stage and covered Jimi's guitar with lighter fluid. The frontman knelt down, lit a match, and lit his 1965 Fender Stratocaster on fire. The flames grew several feet and burned Hendrix's hand as well. However, the show had to go on and Hendrix, who was a professional, ended the concert (with a different guitar). Later, his burns were treated in the hospital...

His unconventional Woodstock version of the national anthem sparked protests across the country...

By the summer of 1969, Jimi Hendrix had become one of the biggest rock stars in the world, even headlining Woodstock! By the way: on this stage, one of the most striking moments in the history of rock took place: Hendrix's electric guitar solo to the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner"! His version was filled with heavy distortion and feedback. It lasted almost four minutes, interspersed with a medley that included "Voodoo Child" and "Purple Haze". The unconventional version of the national anthem sparked protests across the country, with some outraged patriots calling Hendrix a Nazi...

But Hendrix did not think that his performance should be considered unorthodox. He later said: “There is nothing unusual about this. I thought it was beautiful…”

His last gig ended with the Hells Angels setting the stage on fire.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hendrix's last concert was at the Isle of Fehmarn festival in Germany in September 1970. Hendrix was at the height of his popularity, and the festival's promoters were hoping to cash in on his fame. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong on that day went wrong... Terrible weather, severe overcrowding in terms of spectators and... Hell's Angels. The scene at the festival bordered on total chaos. Several managers even stopped performing for safety reasons. Hendrix's original performance time was pushed back due to gale-force winds and rain. The next day, Hendrix and his band still took the stage. Unfortunately, the German audience greeted the musicians with a whistle.

By the end of the first song, "Howlin' Wolf's Killing Floor", the whistling had stopped. The band won over the crowd, followed by "All Along the Watchtower", "Hey Joe", "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)", "Message To Love" and "Foxey Lady". In the next issue of Red House, the weather turned bad again. Hendrix continued through the rain and cold. Near the end of the set, Hendrix and his team noticed a fight in the unruly crowd. Despite the chaos, Hendrix performed the last two songs, "Purple Haze" and "Voodoo Child". The band then left the stage unharmed. There were no police at the event and the infamous Hells Angels went on a rampage. The German anarchist rock band Ton Steine Schergen performed after Hendrix. During their performance, the bikers literally set the stage on fire...

Hendrix died two weeks later on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27.

Paul McCartney called Hendrix's cover of "Sgt. Pepper" one of the greatest accolades of his career...

Paul McCartney plays the sitar
Paul McCartney plays the sitar

The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their Are You Experienced in 1967. The psychedelic rock record was an instant hit with critics and fans around the world. Often considered one of the greatest albums of all time, the power trio included four singles: "Purple Haze", "Foxey Lady", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary". The album is also considered to be one of the most ingenious guitar recordings ever made.

The record spent a total of 33 weeks on the charts, but never rose above number 2. The only thing that kept the album from reaching No. 1 was The Beatles' eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper. The legendary Beatles record made such an impression on Hendrix that he decided to cover its first track at his concert at London's Saville Theater just a few days after the album's release. There were two Beatles at the concert that night, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

McCartney later said how he was impressed by Hendrix's version:

“I saw that as a pretty serious compliment! I called it one of the greatest awards of my career…”

9kFollowers

1 COMMENT

RY X - "Blood Moon" (2022): interesting facts about the album

Blood Moon" album (2022) by RY X Ry Cuming, better known under the pseudonym RY X has shared with listeners his new album, which is titled "Blood...

Magic that touches the soul: Fuzz Music magazine's Top Exciting Guitar Solos

The most heartfelt guitar solos of all time Often we see lists of "top guitar solos," and they no longer surprise anyone, to be frank. The best...

"Only Russia": Olga Kormukhina about life, love, and Alla Pugacheva

Olga Kormukhina: what the "native Tina Turner" thinks about - amazing facts and deep thoughts of the singer Olga Kormukhina is charismatic, wise, talented. She is our pride:.

Related Articles

Bright and extraordinary representatives of the Moscow rock lab - Part Two

Moscow Rock Lab - we continue to remember the most interesting representatives Today we continue to talk about the brightest, most extraordinary and in their own way unique bands that made the Moscow Rock Lab famous! These...

The brightest and most unorthodox representatives of the Moscow rock lab

The Moscow Rock Lab - Let's Remember the Most Interesting Representatives Often "scouring" the Internet, you come across the already legendary phrase: "Leningrad Rock Club". It consisted of many iconic national...

James Vincent McMorrow - "The Less I Knew" (2022): Everything about the album

The Less I Knew" (2022) album by James Vincent McMorrow James Vincent McMorrow has shared with listeners his new album, called "The Less I Knew"...

Interesting facts about R.E.M. legends

R.E.M. - what you didn't know about the legendary band The band R.E.M. has had a great influence - it is rightly considered one of the most important in...

"Vice" is already here - how the participants' fate turned out

Beware of the Vice: a look back at one of the most flamboyant Russian bands of the 90s. This female duet went down in history as the most flamboyant in the domestic scene of the 90's! "Police ...

"Welcome to Picnic" - the story of a great band

History of the band "Picnik" - the beginning of the way, creativity, phenomenon "Picnic" is one of the most unusual bands. Many listeners are surprised when they learn that its history began in...

Why We Love Jeff Beck, or Briefly Why He's a Genius

Why Jeff Beck is a legend of exciting guitar playing When Jeff Beck picks up his guitar and starts playing, we can hardly hear...

These albums almost "destroyed" their creators, but became legendary as a result

Legendary albums that almost "ruined" their creators It's unlikely that when listening to a favorite album, any of us think about how it was created. We just...

The strongest vocalists in Russian rock according to Fuzz Music magazine

We tell you about the strongest and most inimitable vocalists in Russian rock How important a role does the vocalist play in a rock band? Well, as it seems to us - almost absolute! Maybe...