Jimi Hendrix: An illustrated Experience

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Click for availability and more information Jimi Hendrix: An illustrated Experience, by Janie Hendrix & John McDermott

I highly recommend Jimi Hendrix: An Illustrated Experience by Janie Hendrix - Jimi's sister - and John McDermott (2007). The text outlines his early life in Seattle, where he was born Johnny Allen Hendrix to James "Al" Hendrix and Lucille Jeter on November 27, 1942. While Al was in the service, Lucille ran wild. She was very young and immature. Eventually she turned her son over to a stranger, who wrote to Johnny's father explaining that she was looking after the young boy. When Al returned, he changed his son's name to James Marshall Hendrix, and eventually divorced Lucille. James and his father moved around from place to place in Seattle. Despite the family turmoil resulting from the divorce, James led a rather normal life playing youth football, joining the Cub Scouts and drawing. As he got older, he got interested in music. His father eventually bought him a second hand guitar. James never had lessons, but learned how to play listening to records and the radio. He dropped out of school when he was seventeen, and joined the U.S. Army Airborne, where he met Billy Cox. They formed a band called the "King Kasuals", one of many bands James would play for. After the service, he performed along the "chitlin circuit". At one point he mentions he lived in a cardboard box. He eventually moved to Harlem, where he was befriended by Fayne Pridgeon, who started networking for him. He ended up playing backup to Joey Dee and the Starlighters, Wilson Pickett as well as the Isley Brothers. Eventually he was discovered by Chas Chandler of The Animals, who became his manager and who recommended he change his name to Jimi. Jimi formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the rest is history. Unfortunately, after four years of unparalleled success, Jimi died on September 17, 1970 after drinking wine, ingesting sleeping pills and choking on his own vomit. There is no question Hendrix had a profound influence on rhythm and blues. The book contains various ephemera (letter, postcards, handbills, etc) as well as a 70-minute CD with music, interviews and studio jams. Despite the rather small print, it is still a great read for music history buffs.

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This page contains a single entry published on January 8, 2008 5:12 PM.

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