Jimi Hendrix was a legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter who many consider the best electric guitar player ever. He is most famous for his mind-bending first album, Are You Experienced?
(1967). Hendrix had immense talent and incredible potential but he died of a drug overdose in 1970, becoming a founding member of rock's sad "27 Club". Even though his own success was short-lived, his influence on rock and roll is still very alive today.
Jimi grabbed the electric guitar by the neck and wrestled it into a new era. He was a catalyst in the development of modern guitar effects pedals and increasingly powerful amplifiers. His feedback drenched solos and hallucinogenic lyrics helped define the "psychedelic sixties". With his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he recorded the albums Are You Experienced?
(1967), Axis: Bold as Love
(1967) and Electric Ladyland
(1968). Although they didn't chart well, "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady", the singles from Are You Experienced?
, remain among rock's touchstone cs. Jimi's version of Bob Dylan
's "All Along the Watchtower" (from Electric Ladyland
) was his highest charting U.S. single ever, coming in at #20 on Billboard's chart.
The original band broke up in 1969 with the departure of bassist Noel Redding
, but Mitch Mitchell
remained on drums and Jimi remained a star, headlining later that year at the Woodstock music festival. His fuzz-guitar, solo-performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner", which closed the festival as dawn was breaking, has become an iconic symbol of the fading, tie-dyed sixties era. A year later, Jimi and the sixties were gone forever - their promise remaining unfulfilled.