Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by idan budin - Ourboox.com
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Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”

Member Since
Apr 2020
Published Books
2

 

 

 

 

Jimi Hendrix

 

From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”

1

Introduction

 

Who haven’t heard about Jimi Hendrix? The child that until just the age of 27 will become one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

 

This Ebook summarizes the road that made a little Afro-American from impoverished family, named Johnny Allen Hendrix to one of the biggest musical legends.

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Chapter 1 – The childhood that Jimi never had

 

Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942, in Seattle; he was the first child of his Afro-American parents.

 

His father, James Allen Hendrix (the family called him “Al”) had been drafted by the US Army to serve in World War II three days after his wedding to Henrdix’s mother, Lucille Jeter. During his father absence, Lucille struggled to raise Hendrix, Who was mostly cared for by family members and friend. It was only at 1945, after Al received an honorable discharge from the US Army that he first met his son.

 

 

 

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As the father’s couldn’t find steady work the family was left impoverished. Both parents struggled with alcohol, and often fought when intoxicated. The violence sometimes drove Hendrix to withdraw and hide in a closet in their home.

 

His relationship with his brother Leon was close, but with Leon in and out of foster care, they lived with an almost constant threat of fraternal separation. In addition to Leon, Hendrix had three younger siblings: Joseph, Kathy, and Pamela, all of whom have been gave up to foster care and adoption.

 

The family frequently moved, staying in cheap hotels and apartments around Seattle.

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On 1951, when Hendrix was nine years old, his parents divorced and the court granted Al custody of him and Leon. On 1958 his mother died from cirrhosis of the liver.

 

In addition to all the family issues Henrix also confided to a girlfriend that he had been the victim of sexual abuse by a man in uniform.

 

Before Hendrix was 19 years old, law authorities had twice caught him riding in stolen cars. Given a choice between prison or joining the Army, he chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961.

 

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As soon as he arrived the station he wrote to his father: “There’s nothing but physical training and harassment here for two weeks, then when you go to jump school … you get hell. They work you to death, fussing and fighting”.

 

Next letter home, Hendrix asked his father to send his guitar to him as soon as possible, stating: “I really need it now.”

 

Hendrix obsession with his guitar contibuted to his neglect of his duties, which led to taunting and physical abuse from his peers, who at least once hid the guitar from him until he had begged for its return.

 

 

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His superiors labeled him an unqualified marksman and on 1962, Hendrix was granted a discharge under honorable conditions. Hendrix later spoke of his dislike of the army and lied that he had received a medical discharge after breaking his ankle during his 26th parachute jump.

 

 

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Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by idan budin - Ourboox.com

Chapter 2 – Let the show begin (first instruments)

 

In 1957, while helping his father with a side-job, Hendrix found a ukulele, which had only one string, amongst the garbage they were removing from an older woman’s home. She told him that he could keep it. Learning by ear, he played single notes, following along to Elvis Presley songs, particularly “Hound Dog”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzQ8GDBA8Is

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On 1958, at age 15, Hendrix acquired his first acoustic guitar, for $5. He played for hours daily, watching others and learning from experienced guitarists, and listening to blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, and Robert Johnson. The first tune Hendrix learned to play was the television theme “Peter Gunn”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oysMt8iL9UE

 

Soon after he acquired the acoustic guitar, Hendrix formed his first band, the Velvetones. Without an electric guitar, he could barely be heard over the sound of the group, so On 1959, his father bought him a white Supro Ozark.

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Hendrix’s first gig was with an unnamed band in the Jaffe Room of Seattle’s Temple De Hirsch, but they fired him between sets for showing off. He joined the Rocking Kings, which played professionally at venues such as the Birdland club.

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Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by idan budin - Ourboox.com

Chapter 3 – The formation of the legend

 

During his early career Hendrix moved between several bands and it was quite obvious that he felt restricted and eager to become more than just a sideman.

 

On March 1964, Hendrix recorded the two-part single “Testify” with the Isley Brothers. Released in June, it failed to chart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUdYp-6a4RA

 

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In February 1965, he recorded his first and only single with Little Richard, “I Don’t Know What You Got (But It’s Got Me)”. Richard’s popularity was waning at the time, and the single peaked at number 92, where it remained for one week before dropping off the chart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PIp4E9E6YI

 

In July 1965, Hendrix made his first television appearance on Nashville’s Channel 5 Night Train. Performing in Little Richard’s ensemble band, he backed up vocalists Buddy and Stacy on “Shotgun”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpl29xapwFU

 

 

 

 

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It was 1966 when Jimmi moved to New York City and by May, Hendrix was struggling to earn a living wage playing the R&B circuit. He briefly rejoined Curtis Knight and the Squires for an engagement at one of New York City’s most popular nightspots, the Cheetah Club. During a performance, Linda Keith, the girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, noticed Hendrix and was “mesmerised” by his playing. She invited him to join her for a drink, and the two became friends.

Keith referred him to Chas Chandler, who was leaving the Animals and was interested in managing and producing artists.

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Chandler liked the Billy Roberts song “Hey Joe”, and was convinced he could create a hit single with the right artist. Impressed with Hendrix’s version of the song, he brought him to London on September 1966, and signed him to a management and production contract with himself and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe82eYRjiBU

 

Chandler also began recruiting members for the band  the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

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On October 1, 1966, Chandler brought Hendrix to the London Polytechnic at Regent Street, where Cream was scheduled to perform, and where Hendrix and Eric Clapton met.

 

Clapton later said: “He asked if he could play a couple of numbers. I said, ‘Of course’, but I had a funny feeling about him.” Halfway through Cream’s set, Hendrix took the stage and performed a frantic version of the Howlin’ Wolf song “Killing Floor“.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHuGoI3kPa4

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After success of their first two singles, “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze”, the Experience began assembling material for a full-length LP, Are You Experienced. Released in the UK Are You Experienced spent 33 weeks on the charts, peaking at number two.

 

Although popular in Europe at the time, the Experience’s failed to gain success in the US.

 

It all changed when McCartney recommended them to the organizers of the Monterey Pop Festival. McCartney agreed to join the board of organizers only on the condition that the Experience perform at the festival.

 

 

 

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The Experience went on to perform renditions of “Hey Joe”, B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby”, Chip Taylor’s “Wild Thing”, and Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, and four original compositions: “Foxy Lady”, “Can You See Me”, “The Wind Cries Mary”, and “Purple Haze”.

 

The set ended with Hendrix destroying his guitar and tossing pieces of it out to the audience. According to author Gail Buckland, the final frame of “Hendrix kneeling in front of his burning guitar, hands raised, is one of the most famous images in rock”. Author and historian Matthew C. Whitaker wrote that “Hendrix’s burning of his guitar became an iconic image in rock history and brought him national attention”.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-7toYWFEyk

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Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by idan budin - Ourboox.com

Chapter 3 – Legacy

 

The Experience’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography states: “Jimi Hendrix was arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music. Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll.”

 

 

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Hendrix favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain. He was instrumental in developing the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback, and helped to popularize use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock.

 

He rejected the standard barre chord fretting technique used by most guitarists in favor of fretting the low 6th string root notes with his thumb. He developed an ability to play rhythm chords and lead lines together, giving the audio impression that more than one guitarist was performing. He was the first artist to incorporate stereophonic phasing effects in rock music recordings.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72ABomY0MmA

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While creating his unique musical voice and guitar style, Hendrix synthesized diverse genres, including blues, R&B, soul, British rock, American folk music, 1950s rock and roll, and jazz.

 

His influence is evident in a variety of popular music formats, and he has contributed significantly to the development of hard rock, heavy metal, funk, post-punk, grunge, and hip hop music.

 

His lasting influence on modern guitar players is difficult to overstate; his techniques and delivery have been abundantly imitated by others. More than 40 years after his death, Hendrix remains as popular as ever, with annual album sales exceeding that of any year during his lifetime.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PVjcIO4MT4

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Jimi Hendrix – From one string ukulele player to “The greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music” by idan budin - Ourboox.com
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You too can become one of our 75,000 authors.

Join us now and start creating your own books right away.

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