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Jimi Hendrix

Rock Musician / Guitarist

Born: 27 November 1942
Died: 18 September 1970 (drug overdose)
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Best known as: Performer of "Purple Haze"

Name at birth: Johnny Allen Hendrix

 

Jimi Hendrix grabbed electric guitar by the neck and wrestled it into a new era. His feedback-heavy solos and hallucinogenic tunes helped define the psychedelic 1960s. With his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience he recorded the albums Are You Experienced? (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (also 1967), and Electric Ladyland (1968, including Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's tune "All Along the Watchtower"). The single "Purple Haze" from Are You Experienced remains one of rock's touchstone classics. The band broke up in 1969 but Hendrix remained a star, playing later that year at the Woodstock music festival. Hendrix was only 27 when he suffocated in 1970 after ingesting wine and sleeping pills in a London hotel.

Extra credit:

Jimi, like Paul McCartney, was a left-handed guitar player... Hendrix's fuzz-guitar version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock has become a famous sound clip... He died two short weeks before another rock icon, Janis Joplin... A museum and interactive shrine to Hendrix, called the Experience Music Project, was built in Seattle by computer magnate Paul Allen.

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