A retrospective: Jimi Hendrix
On the music legend's birthday
November 27, 1942 was a day that changed the music industry – Jimi Hendrix, legendary guitarist and singer would be 71 today.
Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the US Army; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year. Soon afterwards, he moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs, eventually earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later finding work with Little Richard, with whom he continued to play through mid-1965.
He then joined Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966 after having been discovered by bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals. Within months, Hendrix had earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hey Joe, Purple Haze, and The Wind Cries Mary – and each has since become known as a rock classic. He achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and in 1968 his third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached number one in the US. The record was Hendrix's most commercially successful release – and his first and only number one album.
Hendrix then headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 as the world's highest-paid performer before dying from asphyxia on September 18, 1970, at the age of just 27.
1966: The hit song Hey Joe, is still considered to be one of best songs ever written by a musician.
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience LP emphasised Hendrix's passion for psychedelic sound.
1970: Hendrix died on September 18, 1970. The musical genius is referred to as being part of 'Club 27' – stars who have all passed away at the age of 27. Additional members are Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse.
The legacy that has been left is huge, this is a man who influenced the development of music as a whole. Experimenting with sound, Hendrix was one of the founders of funk, and many contemporary artists cite him as their role model.
The music community was right in unanimously recognising the irreplaceable genius of Hendrix. Happy Birthday, Jimi.