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Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?
A Real Voodoo Child!
Copyright 2012 VVeasey Publishing
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most if not the most innovative guitarist, musician, songwriter, artist, to walk the face of the Earth. He blazed across the musical sky, like a bright comet, that burned out way too soon.
When, I first heard his music, in 1967, it was like, suddenly, being shot out into space, on a wild musical roller coaster ride! The intensity of his playing, the sound of his guitar, the unabashed way he put himself into his music, performance and playing...wow! Was a musical, sonic trip!
It was like he was from another planet! He seemed so free, uninhibited, and carefree on stage. I wanted to be Jimi Hendrix. He expressed himself in ways, I only wished I could, but was way too afraid, and bashful to do.
He took amplifier, feedback, something people saw as noise, and made it musical. Of course, now that, everybody is used to that sound, and the context and era, that it revolutionized, is no longer upon us...it doesn't sound as revolutionary as it did then. It's heard out of context.
Jimi’s, use of feedback and distortion, arose during a time of great social upheaval in this country. You can't feel the social atmosphere, the upheaval, the vibe and feelings that permeated the air at that time.
His Music Embodied The Movements
There was the Civil Rights Movement,
The Anti Vietnam War Movement,
The Peace Movement,
The Black Power Movement,
The Flower Power Movement
Jimi's sound, music and the intensity of his playing and performance, seemed to embody and gave voice to all the yearnings, hopes, desires, and discontent that was boiling over and fueling those movements during that time. But Jimi didn't start out that way.
Johnny Allen Hendrix,
He was Born, Johnny Allen Hendrix, November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. His name was later changed to James Marshall Hendrix. His parents were Al and Lucille Hendrix
Al said, that when Jimi was just a young boy, he could be found strumming the family's straw broom like it was a guitar. Al said, when he'd come home from work, he'd find straw strewn all throughout the house from Jimi's straw guitar.
Jimi, cut his musical teeth, listening to Blues artists, like Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Albert King and others. He played in bands that backed, The Isley Brothers, Little Richard, King Curtis and other R&B acts.
Jimi, was toiling in relative obscurity, playing the New York club scene. He would sit in with various bands, but many of them wouldn't let him sit in, because they said he played too loud and or was a “show off”. But as fate would have it, as Jimi was playing at the Cheetah club in New York in 1966, Linda Keth, Rolling Stone's guitarist, Keith Richards, girlfriend at the time, saw Jimi play and thought there was something special about the way he played the guitar.
She introduced him to former Animals bassist, Chas Chandler, and the rest is history.
Chandler wanted Jimi to come to London, England. Jimi agreed to go to, if Chandler would introduce him to Eric Clapton, which Chandler agreed to do
After arriving in England, Chandler recruited drummer Mitch Mitchell and guitarist, turned bassist, Noel Redding, to form, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Jimi, did met Clapton at a gig, where Clapton and his band, Cream, were performing.
Jimi asked if could he sit in on guitar. Clapton was said to act surprised. Clapton was seen as a guitar god in London, and no guitarist in his or her right mind, would ever ask to sit in at one of his gigs.
Jimi and the Experience jammed on a blues tune, he used feedback, played the guitar with his teeth, behind his back, slid the neck of his guitar across the microphone stand, did the splits and pretty much blew the whole place away.
Clapton was seen standing off stage trembling, and shaking, with fear as what he had just seen.
Chandler had invited all the major players, in the British music scene, members of The Beatles, The Rollingstones, The Who, Eric Clapton and others, to this local club to see this new band that he managed. They were all blown away by what they experienced, after that, word of the Jimi Experience, spread like a wildfire burning up everything in its path.
Jimi Played His Whole Guitar
Jimi was the first guitarist in history, to use just about every aspect of his guitar when performing. He used the volume controls, the tone controls, the whammy Bar, the tuning pegs, the back of the neck, the body of the guitar etc.
He blended all of that, with a masterful use of amplifier feedback, to create a sonic experience, that frighten, thrilled, amazed, blew people’s minds and took them to sonic, musical places they had never been before.
He was, truly a “Voodoo Chile”. He called what he was doing the voodoo of sound.
Jimi played historic appearances at the Monterey Pop Festival, and Woodstock and hundreds of other appearances.
He released the albums, “Are You Experienced?”, “Axis Bold As Love”, “Electric Lady Land” and “The Cry Of Love”.
The Hall Of Fame
Jimi and the Experience were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992.
They were inducted into the Uk Music Hall Of Fame In 2005.
In September 1997, English Heritage erected a plaque identifying where Jimi lived on Brook Street in London, England.
The Number One Guitarist
Jimi was ranked the number one guitarist on Rollingstone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Jimi was number six on Rollingstone’s list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Jimi was seen as cult-like figure. as a music God, a musical icon, while he lived
Quite an achievement for a shy little boy, who grew up in a troubled family in Seattle, Washington, wouldn’t you agree?
Jimi died, in 1970, at age 27, there was some controversy about how he died, but the official version was that while asleep, he had asphyxiated his own vomit after taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
Rest in peace brother Jimi.The likes of you, will never again be seen on this planet for a long, long time, and most likely, never again at all!