Johnny Allen Hendrix was born on November 27th 1942 in Seattle, America. Hendrix had a disadvantaged childhood – his father was serving in the Pacific when he was born and his mother Lucille struggled to raise her son by herself. As a result Hendrix was often raised by family members including his grandmother, who was a dancer.
Hendrix first met his father Al in 1945 when he was discharged from the army. His mother and father were reunited but his father found it difficult to get work and the family were poor. His parents often argued which made him withdraw into himself. His parents divorced when Hendrix was 9 years old and his father gained custody of him and his brother Leon. His name was legally changed to James Marshall Hendrix. The boys were not allowed to attend their mother’s funeral when she died in 1960. At around the same time Jimi was given his first guitar.
After leaving school Hendrix enlisted in the US army. He was discharged from the army after one year on medical grounds and began playing as a session musician. He was spotted by Chas Chandler who persuaded him to go to London. Hendrix was introduced to Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding and together they formed The Hendrix Experience. Hendrix gave himself the stage name Jimi Hendrix.
Hendrix’s skill with the guitar together with his flamboyant guitar-playing style meant that the band were in high demand wherever they played. The band split in June 1969. Two months later Hendrix was one of the major acts at the Woodstock music festival.
On the night of 17th November 1970 Hendrix had attended a party. He died in the early hours of 18th November from an overdose of sleeping tablets.
Hendrix is still considered by many to have been the greatest guitarist ever.