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Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

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Also Known As: James Marshall Hendrix, Johnny Allen Hendrix, The Jimi Hendrix Experience Died: September 18, 1970
Born: November 27, 1942 Cause of Death: Drug Overdose
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington, USA Profession:

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y at that age. Though there was much speculation as to the cause of death, it was later revealed that he had died from asphyxiation on his own vomit after downing several strong sleeping pills and drinking red wine. Interred in his native Seattle, Hendrix left behind a legacy that stretched for decades as being not one of, but the best rock guitarist who ever lived, with a new legion of fans emerging with each successive generation. He also left an enormous amount of recorded material: fully recorded songs, loose studio jams and countless live performances. Much of his material had been scattered about among various parties claiming ownership, particularly producer Alan Douglas, who released several remastered albums over the years. But eventually his father and adoptive sister, Janie Hendrix, managed to secure all the material and began releasing it through the estate, starting with First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997), the album Hendrix had been working on at the time of his death. Meanwhile, Hollywood long tried to develop a viable Hendrix biopic with such varied artists as Lenny Kravitz, Quentin Tarantino and Paul Greengrass trying to push the project forward, all to no avail.. Later in the...

y at that age. Though there was much speculation as to the cause of death, it was later revealed that he had died from asphyxiation on his own vomit after downing several strong sleeping pills and drinking red wine. Interred in his native Seattle, Hendrix left behind a legacy that stretched for decades as being not one of, but the best rock guitarist who ever lived, with a new legion of fans emerging with each successive generation. He also left an enormous amount of recorded material: fully recorded songs, loose studio jams and countless live performances. Much of his material had been scattered about among various parties claiming ownership, particularly producer Alan Douglas, who released several remastered albums over the years. But eventually his father and adoptive sister, Janie Hendrix, managed to secure all the material and began releasing it through the estate, starting with First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997), the album Hendrix had been working on at the time of his death. Meanwhile, Hollywood long tried to develop a viable Hendrix biopic with such varied artists as Lenny Kravitz, Quentin Tarantino and Paul Greengrass trying to push the project forward, all to no avail.. Later in the year, he released his second album, Axis: Bold as Love (1967), which featured one of his best-known songs, "Little Wing," which was covered by numerous artists over the years, most notably Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Mayer. Following its release, the Experience performed a short tour in Sweden in early 1968, where troubled popped up when Hendrix¿s drink was allegedly spiked and caused a freak-out that ended with him trashing a hotel room. Hendrix injured his hand and was arrested, and ultimately paid a fine for the damages.

In 1968, Hendrix began recording his third studio album, Electric Ladyland, which became marred by conflict stemming from his relentless perfectionism and his insistence in allowing hangers-on to fill the studio. In fact, manager and producer Chas Chandler quit in May 1968 over his frustrations with the numerous takes ¿ Hendrix reportedly recorded "Gypsy Eyes" over 50 times alone. Meanwhile, bassist Noel Redding became increasingly disillusioned over having to give up playing his favored instrument, the guitar, while often finding his bass lines re-recorded by Hendrix himself. To fill in the gap, Hendrix called upon old Army buddy Billy Cox to play bass, while also including musicians like Chris Wood, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood and drummer Buddy Miles. The result was a No. 1 album that featured hits like "Crosstown Traffic" and a cover of Bob Dylan¿s "All Along the Watchtower," which impressed him enough to re-record the song according to Hendrix¿s arrangement. But Hendrix¿s quest for perfectionism led to high studio costs that prompted him to seek his own recording space. With the help of manager Michael Jeffrey, Hendrix embarked on a two-year ordeal to build Electric Lady Studios, which wound up costing twice as much as projected while causing enormous headaches for the artist.

By the end of the year, the division between Hendrix and Redding hastened the disintegration of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In early 1969, the band played their last European gigs at the Royal Albert Hall before embarking on several fruitless recording sessions back in New York. More trouble followed when Hendrix was arrested while checking through customs in Toronto, Canada, for possessing small amounts of heroin and hashish. He was bailed out in order to perform that evening and later claimed that the drugs were slipped into his bag by a fan. Though drugs were without a doubt part of Hendrix¿s lifestyle, there were few indications that he was a heroin user, with alcohol, marijuana and LSD being his substances of choice. Following their last gig at the Denver Pop Festival in June 1969, where teargas fired by riot police drove the band off stage, Noel Redding announced he quit the band for good. Hendrix again turned to Billy Cox to fill the void and formed a larger ensemble that included a second guitarist and a bongo player that he unofficially called Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. The group had little time to rehearse for their headlining gig at what became the defining moment of the 1960s era, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Though initially slated to play Sunday night, bad weather and logistical problems forced the band to perform on Monday morning, a time when most of the crowd had already gone home. Though the band was somewhat unpolished, Hendrix was in top form and played a ferocious pace, including an incendiary version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" punctuated by whammy bar dive bombs and loud feedback. The rendition caused a stir for both good and ill, with some calling it one of the most defining moments of the counterculture era.

With a contractual dispute hanging over his head stemming from the contract he signed in 1965, Hendrix formed another power trio, this time using Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums and calling them the Band of Gypsys. To satisfy his pending legalities, Hendrix had the group play four shows over the course of two nights on Dec. 31, 1969 and Jan. 1, 1970, releasing what became the last album authorized by Hendrix and the only live one during his lifetime, Band of Gypsys (1970). With all new material previously unheard, the album featured some of his finest playing ever captured, including the 12-minute "Machine Gun," an antiwar protest song that consisted of a long improvised solo punctuated by controlled feedback that simulated the sounds of dropping bombs, helicopter blades and machine gun fire. The song became highly influential among most anyone learning how to play guitar and was considered to be one of the finest solos ever recorded. But just a few weeks later, Hendrix hit a low point with the Band of Gypsys during a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, where the guitarist lashed out at an audience member and walked off stage after only two songs. Rumors swirled that someone had spiked him with LSD, but the reasons for his melt down remained unknown.

Things began to look up for Hendrix in the spring when he embarked on what became known as the Cry of Love tour with Billy Cox on bass and drummer Mitch Mitchell from his Experience days. Featuring both new songs and old, the 30-date tour was a huge success and marked some of Hendrix¿s most precise and exploratory playing. It ended in Honolulu, HI, where footage from a free performance near the Haleakala volcano in Maui was used in the concert documentary "Rainbow Bridge" (1972). Also during this time, Hendrix spent four months recording material for a fourth album that was tentatively called First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which consisted of numerous songs like "Freedom," "Dolly Dagger," " Straight Ahead" and "Hey Baby" that were introduced during the Cry of Love Tour. In August 1970, Hendrix finally completed construction of his long-awaited Electric Lady Studios in New York following numerous delays. He spent just over two months recording in the still unfinished studio before flying off to the United Kingdom to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, where he performed in the wee hours on Aug. 30th. The festival proved to be the last time Hendrix was recorded on film.

Instead of returning to the States, a rather unwilling Hendrix spent a week touring Sweden, Denmark and Germany, which ended abruptly following Cox¿s departure due to paranoia brought on by being spiked with LSD. Hendrix returned to London, where he stayed with girlfriend Monika Dannemann. After delivering what would be his last public performance on Sept. 17, an informal jam with Eric Burdon at Ronnie Scott¿s Jazz Club, Hendrix was found dead by police in his flat on Sept. 18, 1970. He was 27 years old, joining the likes of Brian Jones, and later Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison in the so-called "27 Club," all rocks stars who died suddenl

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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 Jimi Plays Monterey (1986) Himself
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 Jimi Hendrix (1973)
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 Rainbow Bridge (1972)
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