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The Jimi Hendrix Experience


1942

Johnny Allen Hendrix is born at 10:15 a.m. at Seattle’s King County Hospital. His mother is Lucille Jeter, 17. His father, James “Al” Hendrix, is in the U.S. Army, stationed in Camp Rucker, Alabama.

1945

Noel Redding was born.

1946

Al Hendrix, now out of the service, changes his son’s name to James Marshall Hendrix. Al will take primary responsibility for raising Jimi. “My dad was very strict and taught me that I must respect my elders always. I couldn’t speak unless I was spoken to first by grown-ups, so I’ve always been very quiet,” Hendrix said of his childhood.

1947

Mitch Mitchell was born.

1957

Jimi Hendrix goes to see Elvis Presley perform at Sicks Stadium.

1958

Jimi Hendrix’s mother dies.

1958

Jimi Hendrix’s father buys him a second-hand acoustic guitar. It costs five dollars. “Jimi told me about it [the guitar] and I said, ‘Okay,’ and gave him the money. He strummed away on that, working away all the time, any spare time he had,” said Al.

1959

Al Hendrix buys Jimi his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560 S. Jimi joins the Rocking Kings. “My first gig with them was at a National Guard armory. We earned like 35 cents apiece. We used to play stuff by people like the Coasters,” said Jimi.

1961

Jimi Hendrix enlists in the Army and is stationed at Fort Ord, California.

1961

Now stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimi Hendrix is training to become a paratrooper. Meanwhile, he forms a band, the King Kasuals, with a fellow soldier, Billy Cox.

1962

After getting hurt during a jump, Jimi Hendrix gets an honorable discharge from the Army. Over the next three years, he will play numerous gigs and studio sessions with such R&B stars as Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner and Sam Cooke.

1965

Jimi Hendrix goes to New York with Little Richard’s band and takes a room at the Theresa Hotel. Over the next several months, he will play with Little Richard, King Curtis, Joey Dee and the Starlighters and the Isley Brothers. He also takes a job with a club band called Curtis Knight and the Squires.

1966

Jimi Hendrix forms a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which also includes guitarist Randy California, later of the group Spirit. They get a regular gig at Café Wha? in Greenwich Village.

1966

Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler, former bassist with the Animals, fly from New York to London. There, Hendrix will form a new band and Chandler will become the manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. En route, they decide to change the guitarist’s name from Jimmy to Jimi.

1966

Hendrix jams with Cream at the Regent Polytechnic College.

1966

The Jimi Hendrix Experience holds its first rehearsal. The group features Jimi on guitar, Mitch Mitchell, formerly of Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames, on drums, and Noel Redding on bass. The following week, the Experience plays a four-day French tour supporting Johnny Hallyday.

1966

The Jimi Hendrix Experience release “Hey Joe” in England. By February 1967, it reaches Number Four on the British charts. The next single, “Purple Haze,” reaches Number Three. The group’s debut album, Are You Experienced?, will remain near the top of the charts through the summer of 1967.

1967

Jimi Hendrix performs at the Monterey International Pop Festival. At the end of his performance, he burns his Fender Stratocaster. “The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice,” Jimi said. “You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar. I’d just finished painting it that day and was really into it.”

1967

The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases ‘Axis: Bold As Love'

1968

The Experience embarks on a major U.S. tour. The first show is at the Fillmore, in San Francisco. On February 12, Jimi Hendrix returns to Seattle for a show at the Center Arena. Jimi’s family is seated in the front row.

1968

Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” is released. “Before I came to England, I was digging a lot of the things Bob Dylan was doing,” Jimi said. “He is giving me inspiration.”

1968

Electric Ladyland, a double album recorded in the U.S. and England, is released. It becomes Hendrix’s first Number One album in the U.S. and includes such tracks as “Voodoo Child,” “Crosstown Traffic” and “All Along the Watchtower.”

1969

The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays its last British performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

1969

The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays the final date on its last American tour at the Denver Pop Festival. At the height of its popularity, the group breaks up.

1969

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held on the weekend of August 15-17 in the tiny town of Bethel, in upstate New York, attracted an estimated crowd of 450,000. The event featured everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker, to Arlo Guthrie and the Who.

1969

Hendrix debuts a new band, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, at the Woodstock music festival in New York State. The group includes old friend Billy Cox on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez on percussion. He takes the stage at 7

1970

Band of Gypsys – a trio with Hendrix, Cox and drummer Buddy Miles – plays Bill Graham’s Fillmore East in New York. Graham calls the shows “the most brilliant, emotional display of virtuosic electric guitar playing I have ever heard.”

1970

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies “The Cry of Love” tour begins at the Forum in Los Angeles. Mitch Mitchell is back on drums.

1970

The Cry of Love with the Band of Gypsies tour continues, with shows at Berkeley, Rainbow Bridge in Hawaii and the Atlanta Pop Festival. The group begins work on a new double album, ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun’. Though some of the tracks are released as The Cry of Love, the album does not get its full release until 1997.

1970

A grand opening party is held at Electric Lady Studios, which Jimi has designed for himself in New York.

1970

Hendrix performs at the Isle of Wight Festival in England.

1970

Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell play the Love and Peace Festival in Puttgarden, Germany. Hendrix then returns to London.

1970

Jimi Hendrix jams with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott’s Club.

1970

Jimi Hendrix dies in his sleep at the Samarkand Hotel in London. He was 27.

1992

The Jimi Hendrix Experience are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

2003

Noel Redding, bassist for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dies in his home in County Cork, Ireland.

2008

Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, dies of natural causes in Portland, Oregon.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience