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Transcript of JIMI HENDRIX
"ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS"
JIMI LOVED MUSIC
and took a liking to classic Blues and R&B artists. Jimi's family was too poor to afford a guitar, so he would play air guitar or use a broom to pretend. Eventually Jimi received a old ukelele with one string that his father had found. Jimi would play along with music using just that one string.
passed away in February 1958 from cirrhosis of the liver and a ruptured spleen. Al, Jimi, and Leon didn't attend the funeral.
Jimi did finally receive his first guitar this year. His father bought him a $5 second-hand acoustic guitar. He practiced constantly and watched other more experienced guitarists with extreme focus. Shortly after Jimi formed the Velvetones, his first band.
JIMI 'S CHILDHOOD
was an impoverished one. He moved to a number of broken-down houses and spent time living with many members of his family and friends. His parents Al and Lucille struggled with alcohol which often led to fighting when intoxicated. Jimi had a close relationship with his brother Leon, who spent much of his childhood in and out of foster homes. Al and Lucille also had Joseph, Kathy, and Pamela whom were given to foster care or adopted.
JAMES MARSHALL HENDRIX
was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington to Lucille and Al Hendrix.
JIMI 'S FIRST ELECTRIC GUITAR
was given to him by his father in the summer of 1959. It was a white Supro Ozark. Jimi was left handed so he immediately restrung the guitar. He later joined the Rocking Kings and played some professional gigs with them. Jimi's guitar was stolen when he left it backstage overnight and Al bought him a red Silvertone Danelectro.
JIMI FLUNKED OUT
out of high school and shortly thereafter was arrested after being caught on two separate occasions in stolen cars. Jimi claimed that he did not know that the cars were stolen. Facing up to five years in prison Jimi joined the Army in 1959. There he met Billy Cox with whom he would later form the Band of Gypsys with.
JIMI EARNED HIMSELF
a "Screaming Eagles" patch and a spot in the 101st Airborne. Jimi had grown tired of the army and had decided he wanted to pursue music. In 1962 Jimi was granted leave after lying a psychiatrist about having homosexual thoughts (publicly he always maintained it was because of an ankle injury).Though Jimi left under strange circumstances he always maintained great respect for the military.
AFTER THE ARMY
Jimi moved to Tennessee and formed
the King Kasuals. It was here that Jimi learned many of the onstage gimmicks he was known for. The members then moved to Nashville and played on the Chitlin' Circuit. While preforming with the Kasuals Jimi was also used as a backup guitarist for many musical greats of the time including Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner and B.B. King.
JIMI GREW TIRED
of being a backup guitarist and moved
to Greenwich Village in 1965. Here he formed Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. With this band, Jimi had the spotlight. It was here that he met Linda Keith, the then girlfriend of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Keith introduced him to Chas Chandler, bassist of the Animals who was leaving the band and was interested in producing and managing. In 1966 Jimi was on his way to England with Chandler as his manager.
THE JIMI HEDRIX EXPERIENCE
was formed with Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums after finding a shared interest in R&B. It was also decided that he would use the spelling "Jimi" as opposed the spelling "Jimmy" he was using at the time. The Experience began playing gigs and were noticed immediately. Members of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Cream, and even the Beatles went to see him play. They knew Jimi was a star in the making.
topped out at number 6. Shortly after they released "Are You Experienced" which went double platinum. The album topped out at number 2, only prevented topping by Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. Three days after Sgt. Peppers was released Jimi made perhaps his boldest move in his career- covering the title track in concert with the Beatles in attendance.
THOUGH THE EXPERIENCE
had great success in the UK, they were
relatively unknown in the US. Their single Hey Joe failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100. But Paul McCartney told the organizers of the Monterey Pop Festival about Hendrix and his act. It was during this festival where Jimi lit his guitar on fire and was captured on camera. This festival (and the documentary that followed) made Jimi an international star.
THE EXPERIENCE'S NEXT
albums Axis Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland were massive hits and added to his fame. While these albums added to his fame, they were recorded at the same time as the band was extensively touring. Jimi's drug use (including marijuana, LSD, cocaine, and even heroin) increased during their creation as did his sexual appetite.
THE BAND'S RELATIONSHIP
became more and more strained. Redding became more and more frustrated with Jimi's work ethic and creative control. The original Experience lineup played their last live performance on June 29, 1969 at the Denver Pop Festival. The festival was marked by rioting and tear gas. The band barely made it out alive. Though it was a disappointing ending to something so groundbreaking, their work together would inspire generations.
BY 1969 JIMI
was the highest paid musician in the world. With Jimi's behavior becoming increasingly erratic, and his manager wanting Jimi to create another album, they rented a mansion just outside of Woodstock, New York. This eventually led to Jimi playing at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, which he headlined. The festival crowd topped at an estimated 450,000- though by time Jimi closed the festival, at 8:30 in morning (nine hours behind schedule) only 40,000 remained. During the set Jimi played a version of the Star Spangled Banner, the defining moment of Woodstock. After the show Jimi collapsed from exhaustion.
Jimi continued his rigorous touring schedule. Jimi formed Band of Gypsys with Billy Cox, his former army friend, and Buddy Miles. Jimi and his manager were in the process of satisfying a broken record contract that he had signed prior to The Experience. The settlement included his previous manager, Ed Chalpin, to receive rights to an original album. His then manager, Michael Jeffrey, saw an opportunity- he would use recordings of their tour to create the record. The Gypsys would only last three live performances. Their last took place at Madison Square Garden. The band didn't go on until 3 am and Jimi was in no shape to play. It is rumored that Jeffrey dosed him with LSD in an effort to end the group. Jimi yelled at a woman in the crowd who requested Foxy Lady and during the third song Jimi stopped abruptly and said "That's what happens when Earth fucks with Space. Never forget that. Jimi then sat down on stage, silent. Jeffrey fired Miles and Cox left the band.
JEFFEREY MADE ARRANGEMENTS
for The Experience lineup to reunite, though Jimi had no interest in getting back with Redding. Instead Cox joined him and Mitchell on tour. During this time Jimi's drug use continued to spiral out of control. His emotions and feelings jumped up and down and changed constantly, as did his performances. It was obvious that Jimi was suffering from depression, drug dependence and exhaustion. But with Jefferey's insistence that he continue working, and with Jimi's personal work ethic, his condition was often left unaddressed.
JIMI 'S LAST PERFORMANCE
was at the "Love and Peace Festival" on the German island of Fehrman. Jimi was scheduled to go on September 5, but the it was postponed a day due to bad weather. The festival suffered from a rash of riots, gate-crashers police and members of Hell's Angels. The crowd was angered because of delays and when Jimi finally reached the stage some in the crowd chanted "Go Home," others booed him. Jimi told the crowd "I don't give a fuck if you boo, if you boo in key." After a thirteen song set he walked off the stage and told a reporter he didn't "feel like playing anymore." As Jimi was leaving the venue the Hell's Angels set the stage ablaze, burning it to the ground. However disappointing his last performance was, it almost seems fitting that his stardom began and ended with fire onstage.
surrounding Jimi's death have been disputed. Though it widely considered an accident some believe he committed suicide. What is known is that on the eve on September 17, 1970 Jimi and one of his then girlfriends, Monika Dannemann, headed to Dannemann's apartment after a party Jimi had attended. During the party Jimi consumed an amphetamine pill (most likely alongside a slew of other drugs). After this only Dannemann knows for sure what happened. Her account has been called into question and much has been proven untruthful.
according to her story and others' beliefs, was that at 4 am Jimi asked for some sleeping pills after drinking some wine. Dannemann claims that she didn't give him any but that he knew where they were. Dannemann fell asleep and Jimi was still awake. He found Danneman's medication, a powerful German sedative Vesparax, and took nine of the fifty in her supply. It is thought that Jimi didn't know how strong the pills were (he took 20 times the recommended dosage) and that he assumed they were weaker than American tablets. He asphyxiated on his own vomit at some point on the morning of September 18, 1970. He was 27 years old, and just five days short of the four year anniversary of his arrival to London and his rise to stardom.
WHAT SEEMS PLAUSIBLE
PERTAINING TO THE CLASS
JIMI TRANSCENDED RACIAL STEREOTYPING IN MUSIC BY PLAYING ELECTRIFIED ROCK AND ROLL- WHICH WAS AFFILIATED WITH WHITES.
JIMI WAS THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST
TO HAVE A MAJOR WHITE AUDIENCE. HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST TO HAVE WHITE WOMEN LUST OVER HIM.
JIMI'S CHILDHOOD SCHOOL IN SEATTLE WAS EXTREMELY DIVERSE. THIS UPBRINGING ALLOWED HIM TO SEE PASSED THE COLOR OF PEOPLE'S SKIN. HE DIDN'T BELIEVE IN RACIAL BARRIERS.
JIMI WAS ASKED AND THREATENED BY AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTIVISTS, INCLUDING THE BLACK PANTHERS TO USE HIS FAME TO BRING ABOUT A DISCUSSION ABOUT RACE, INEQUALITY, AND SEGREGATION.
MANY PEOPLE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY CRITICIZED JIMI FOR NOT PLAYING WITH AN ENTIRELY BLACK GROUP. MANY THOUGHT IT WAS BETRAYAL.
JIMI'S OWN HERITAGE WAS DIVERSE. HE WAS PART NATIVE AMERICAN, IRISH AND AFRICAN AMERICAN.
JIMI MAY NEVER HAVE BECOME A STAR HAD HE NOT MOVED TO LONDON, WHERE RACE WAS LESS OF AN ISSUE. RACISM STILL EXISTED, BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT THAT IT DID IN AMERICA.
ONE OF JIMI'S FIRST MONIKERS WAS 'THE WILD MAN OF BORNEO," AN OBVIOUS RACIAL STEREOTYPE.
JIMI 'S EXPERIENCE WITH RACISM
WHEN JIMI JOINED THE ARMY, HE WAS STATIONED IN KENTUCKY. WHEN HE PLAYED GIGS WITH BILLY COX HE FACED RACISM THAT HE HAD NOT EXPERIENCED IN SEATTLE. HE FOUND OUT THAT MOST AFRICAN AMERICAN BANDS COULD ONLY PLAY TO BLACK AUDIENCES.
JIMI WAS REMINDED MANY TIMES OF HIS RACE DURING THIS PERIOD, INCLUDING NOT BEING ABLE TO USE RESTROOMS OR TO EAT AT CERTAIN PLACES.
JIMI'S FIRST INTEGRATED BAND WAS JOEY DEE AND THE STARLITERS. THIS BAND OFFERED JIMI EVIDENCE THAT THEIR WERE ARTISTS WILLING TO STAND UP FOR CIVIL RIGHTS.
WHEN JIMI RETURNED TO US FOR THE FIRST TIME HE WAS REMINDED OF THE RACIAL DIVISION. AFTER CHECKING INTO THE CHELSEA HOTEL IN NEW YORK A WOMAN MISTOOK HIM FOR A BELL HOP. LATER HE COULDN'T GET A CAB TO PICK HIM UP
DURING THE EXPERIENCE'S SECOND US TOUR, WHILE THE BAND WAS IN LOUISIANA, THEY STOPPED TO GET FOOD. JIMI INFORMED HIS BANDMATES THAT HE COULDN'T JOIN THEM. THOUGH THEY FINALLY ENCOURAGED THEM (AFTER BEING CONVINCED BY REDDING) THEY WERE NOT TREATED WELL.
ON THAT SAME TOUR A POLICEMAN, HIRED AS THE SHOWS SECURITY, STOPPED JIMI WITH HIS ARM AROUND A WHITE WOMAN. THE POLICEMAN PULLED HIS GUN OUT AND SAID "THE NIGGER HAS NO RIGHT TO HAVE HIS HANDS ALL OVER THAT GIRL." MORE POLICE ARRIVED AND DREW THEIR WEAPONS. EVENTUALLY THE ENTIRE CREW LEFT THE SHOW IN PROTEST.
EVEN IN VANCOUVER HE EXPERIENCED RACISM WITH HIS FAMILY AT A DENNY'S. THE HENDRIX'S DIDN'T RECEIVE SERVICE UNTIL SOMEONE IN THE RESTAURANT RECOGNIZED HIM AS THE ROCKSTAR.
Cross, Charles R. Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix. New York: Hyperion, 2005. Print.
Kemp, Mark. "Jimi Hendrix." Rolling Stone. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.
"Jimi Hendrix Biography | The Official Jimi Hendrix Site." The Official Jimi Hendrix Site. Sony Music Entertainment, n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.