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Jimi Hendrix: The Man Behind The Guitar

1808 words - 7 pages

Many people know of Jimi Hendrix, but they don't know about Jimi Hendrix, or the man behind the guitar. When people hear someone speaking of Jimi they might just think of loud guitar playing, or extravagant 'hippie' clothing. Jimi was much more than just a guitarist that died, though. Jimi Hendrix was possibly the best guitarist in the history of the world. Jimi Hendrix was a great influence on the future of music because of his experimental guitar techniques and excellent, meaningful song writing.When young Jimi Hendrix was born on the 27th of November, 1942, he wasn't born James Marshall Hendrix. Jimi was named Johnny Allen Hendrix by his mother Lucille upon birth. At the age of three, Jimi's father Al came to Berkeley, California straight out of the military. By this time, Lucille has grown tired of caring for young Jimi. She would often leave her son with friends, her mother, and other relatives for long periods of time (Poole 6). Al and Lucille married and had Jimi's younger brother Leon hendrix in 1948, when Jimi was six. Three years later the couple divorced, and Lucille left Jimi and Leon with Al. The two brothers would see their mother when it was convenient for her, which would sometimes be months apart (7).Jimi was a good student up until around his sophomore year of high school when he started to actively perform his music in bands with other boys from his school. Jimi soon became so entranced with playing the guitar that school was no longer important to him. During his senior year of high school, in 1959, Jimi dropped out of school to pursue his musical career (14).The first band Jimi Hendrix ever played in was called the Rocking Kings. It consisted of Jimi and some other boys from Garfield High School. The first payed show they played was at the National Armory in Kent, Washington. They each earned 35 cents for their show (12). Soon the other members of the band became jealous of Jimi, and the band broke up (13).After dropping out of high school, Al convinced Jimi to join the military. Jimi became a paratrooper, but was honorably discharged from the army two years later, in 1961, after suffering from a broken ankle from a paratrooper accident (Rolling Stone 3).One night in a nightclub where musicians jammed for fun, Jimi met Fay Pridgeon. Fay saw something special in the young guitarist. Soon Jimi and Fay were living together. Since they were both usually broke, they would skip from one cheap hotel to the next (Poole 23). Through her connections, Fay got Jimi a spot to play at amateur night in the Apollo Theater (24). These amateur nights often launched the successful careers of many young musicians.During amateur night, Jimi caught the attention of talent seeker Chas Chandler who convinced Jimi to go to England and play his music (Jimi Hendrix Biography 2). In London Jimi joined forces with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to from his first professional band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The first album Jimi ever sold was called...

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