On This Day in 1942

The Ultimate Guitar Hero Jimi Hendrix Was Born

When Jimi Hendrix played guitar, the world listened. The Seattle-born icon, who would have been 69 today, is more than any other guitarist synonymous with the electric six-string, an achievement honored this week by Rolling Stone magazine, which named him the “Greatest Guitarist of All Time”. Born to James Allen “Al” Hendrix and Lucille Jeter, Hendrix was part Cherokee and his father had six fingers on both hands. Although Jimi had to make do with the traditional five he crafted dozens of unmistakable riffs, such as the nervous warbling intro to “Foxy Lady,” and the imperious sledgehammer hook that drives “Purple Haze.” In possession of a soulful voice imbued with the spirit of the blues, Hendrix built up a loyal fanbase and revolutionized every genre he touched, from hard rock to psychedelia. His rebel instinct surfaced during one legendary appearance on British TV in which he curtailed his planned performance of hit single “Hey Joe” with the words, “We’d like to stop playing this rubbish,” and launched into an impromptu cover of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” His work was cut short by a tragic death in London at just 27 years of age. To understand why Hendrix’s genius resonates with so many music fans around the world, we should look no further than the man himself: “My goal is to be one with the music. I just dedicate my whole life to this art.”

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Conversations (1)

  • Snacks58
    In my opinion Jimi was the innovator to true psycadelic rock.... :)
    • Posted By Snacks58
    • December 22, 2011 at 11:30PM
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