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Jimi Hendrix

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Author Topic: Jimi Hendrix  (Read 2943 times)
Stellaraxe
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2007, 02:58:44 am »



Kidnapping

In September 1969, Hendrix was apparently kidnapped and held for two days in New York City by two men who appeared to be New York mobsters. The standoff ended when associates of manager Michael Jeffery appeared and peacefully regained custody of Hendrix. No police or media reports of the incident exist, but Hendrix himself retold the story often when confiding with friends or associates about his management problems. He believed that Jeffery staged the kidnapping to bolster his role as manager or as a threat of some kind. The incident had occurred at a time when Hendrix was at odds with Jeffery over the direction of his career, and his recollection was influenced by his drug induced paranoia.


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Stellaraxe
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2007, 02:59:40 am »



Band of Gypsys

The Gypsy Sun and Rainbows band was short-lived; after two post-Woodstock shows, some studio time, and an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Hendrix disbanded the group, but retained bassist Billy Cox. After attending to the successful defense of his drug possession charges in Toronto, Hendrix added drummer Buddy Miles and formed a new trio: the Band of Gypsys. Rehearsing for ten days at Juggy's sound studio, the group gelled quickly and produced a surprising amount of original material, including the lively "Earth Blues", which featured The Ronettes on background vocals. Four memorable concerts on New Year's Eve 1969-70 at Bill Graham's Fillmore East in New York captured several outstanding pieces, including one of Hendrix's greatest live performances: an explosive 12-minute rendition of his anti-war epic Machine Gun. The release of the Band of Gypsys album--the only official live recording sanctioned by and also produced by Jimi (under the name "Heaven Research") brought to an end the contract and legal battles with Ed Chalpin.

The second and final Band of Gypsys appearance occurred one month later (January 28, 1970) at a twelve-act show in Madison Square Garden dubbed the Winter Festival for Peace. Similar to Woodstock, set delays forced Hendrix to take the stage at an inopportune 3am, only this time he was obviously high on drugs and in no shape to play. He belted out a dismal rendition of "Who Knows" before snapping a vulgar response at a woman who shouted a request for "Foxy Lady". He lasted halfway through a second song, then simply stopped playing, telling the audience: "That's what happens when earth fucks with spaceónever forget that". He then sat quietly on the stage until staffers escorted him away. Various explanations have been offered to explain this bizarre sceneóBuddy Miles claimed that manager Michael Jeffery dosed Hendrix with LSD in an effort to sabotage the current band and bring about the return of the Experience lineup; blues legend Johnny Winter said it was Hendrix's girlfriend Devon Wilson who spiked his drink with drugs for unknown reasons.

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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2007, 03:01:17 am »



Cry of Love band

Jeffery's reaction to the botched Band of Gypsys show was swift and firm; he immediately fired Buddy Miles and Billy Cox, then rushed Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding over from England to begin press for the upcoming tour dates as a reunited Jimi Hendrix Experience. Before the tour began however, Jimi fired Redding from the band and reinstated Billy Cox. Fans refer to this final Hendrix/Cox/Mitchell lineup as the Cry of Love band, named after the tour.

Most of 1970 was spent recording during the week and playing live on the weekends. The "Cry of Love" tour, begun in April at the LA Forum, was structured to accommodate this pattern. Performances on this tour were occasionally uneven in sound quality, but featured Hendrix, Cox, and Mitchell playing new material alongside extended versions of older recordings. The tour included 30 performances and ended at Honolulu, Hawaii on August 1, 1970. A number of these shows were professionally recorded and produced some of Hendrix's most memorable live performances.

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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2007, 03:02:31 am »



Electric Lady Studios

In 1968, Hendrix and Jeffery had invested jointly in the purchase of the Generation Club in Greenwich Village. Their initial plans to reopen the club were scrapped when the pair decided that the investment would serve them much better as a recording studio. The studio fees for the lengthy Electric Ladyland sessions were astronomical, and Jimi was constantly in search of a recording environment that suited him. In August, 1970, Electric Lady Studios was opened in New York. Hendrix was among the first major music artists to own his own recording studio (the Beatles had opened their Apple studios in London in January 1969).

Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, the studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in a myriad of colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Jimi's creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie Kramer upheld this by refusing to allow any drug use during session work.

Hendrix spent only four weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. An opening party was held on August 26, following a recording/dubbing session that generated his last studio recorded song, Belly Button Window. He then boarded an Air India flight for London (with Billy Cox in tow), joining Mitch Mitchell to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival.

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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2007, 03:04:20 am »



European tour

The group then commenced on a tour of Europe designed to earn money to repay the studio loans, temper Jimi's mounting back taxes and legal fees, and fund the production of his next album, tentatively titled First Rays of The New Rising Sun. Longing for his new studio and creative outlets, the tour was a requirement by Jeffery that the already restless Hendrix was not eager to perform. Audience demands for the older hits and stage trickery that he had long tired of performing only served to worsen his mood. In Aarhus, Hendrix abandoned his show after only two songs, remarking: "I've been dead a long time".

While on tour in Sweden, Hendrix discovered the music of duo Hansson & Karlsson and became a big fan, recording a cover of their song "Tax Free". His LSD-fueled jam sessions with Swedish drummer-turned-TV-star Janne "Loffe" Carlsson (one half of Hansson & Karlsson), remain a legendary claim to fame in the Scandinavian country.

In the months before Hendrix's death, the British music press claimed that Hendrix had plans to join the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer which were prevented only by his death.

On September 6, 1970, his final concert performance, Hendrix was greeted with some booing and jeering by fans at the Isle of Fehmarn Festival in Germany in a riot-like atmosphere reminiscent of the failed Altamont Festival. Shortly after he left the stage, it went up in flames during the first stage appearance of Ton Steine Scherben. Billy Cox quit the tour and headed home to Memphis, Tennessee, after reportedly being dosed with PCP.

Hendrix retreated to London, where he reached out to Chas Chandler, Eric Burdon, and other friends in a renewed attempt to divorce himself from manager Michael Jeffery. He caught up with Linda Keith, an old flame he still admired, and gave her a brand new black Fender Stratocaster as a token of his appreciation for her discovery efforts years earlier. Included in the guitar case was a stack of letters--all of their mutually written correspondence. Jimi's last public performance was an informal jam at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho with Burdon and his latest band, War.

One of Hendrix's last known recordings was the lead guitar part on Old Times Good Times from Stephen Stills' eponymous album (1970), a track recorded at London's Island Studios.

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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2007, 03:05:27 am »



Death

In the early morning hours of September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was found dead in the basement flat of the Samarkand Hotel at 22 Lansdowne Crescent in London. Hendrix died amid circumstances which have never been fully explained. He had spent the night with his German girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, and likely died in bed after drinking wine and taking nine Vesperax sleeping pills, then asphyxiating on his own vomit. For years, Dannemann publicly claimed that Hendrix was alive when placed in the back of the ambulance; however, her comments about that morning were often contradictory and confused, varying from interview to interview. Police and ambulance reports reveal that not only was Hendrix dead when they arrived on the scene, but he had been dead for some time, the apartment's front door was wide open, and the apartment itself empty. Following a libel case brought in 1996 by Hendrix's long-term British girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, Monika Dannemann allegedly committed suicide.

Some reports indicated that the paramedics who escorted Jimi out of the apartment did not support his head and that he was still alive. According to this version of events, he choked on his own vomit and died during the trip to the hospital, because his head and his neck were not supported.

A sad poem written by Hendrix that was found in the apartment has led some to believe that he committed suicide. The most plausible theory, however, is that he simply misjudged the potency of the sleeping pills, and asphyxiated in his sleep due to an inability to regain consciousness when he vomited.

Reports that Hendrix's tapes of the concept album Black Gold had been stolen from the London flat are in fact wrong: the tapes were handed to Mitch Mitchell by Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival three weeks prior to his death. Hendrix's Greenwich Village apartment, however, was indeed plundered by an unknown series of vandals who stole numerous personal items, tapes, and countless pages of lyrics and poems, some of which have resurfaced in the hands of collectors or at auctions.

Hendrix's unfinished album was released under a title Cry of Love. The album was well received and peaked at position #3 on US Billboard album chart. However, Mitchell and Kramer who constructed the album were complaining that some tracks were not available to use for them at the time. Cry of Love album is these days replaced in catalogue by an album called First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997), which includes all those tracks that Mitchell and Kramer had wanted to include on Cry of Love.

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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2007, 03:06:53 am »

Gravesite

Although Hendrix had verbally requested to be buried in England, his body was returned to Seattle and he was interred in Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, Washington. Al Hendrix created a five-plot family burial site to include himself, his second wife Akayo June, his adopted daughter Janie, and son Leon. The headstone for Jimi contains a drawing of a Stratocaster guitar, though it is depicted as the instrument of a traditional right-handed player. (Hendrix played the instrument left-handed.)

As the popularity of Hendrix and his music grew over the decades following his death, concerns began to mount over fans damaging the adjoining graves at Greenwood, and the growing extended Hendrix family further prompted Al to create an expanded memorial site separate from other burial sites in the park. The memorial was announced in late 1999, but Al's deteriorating health led to delays. He died two months before its scheduled completion in 2002. Later that year, the remains of Jimi Hendrix, his father Al Hendrix, and grandmother Nora Rose Moore Hendrix were moved to the new site.

The memorial is an impressive granite dome supported by three pillars under which Jimi Hendrix is interred. Jimi's autograph is inscribed at the base of each pillar, while two stepped entrances and one ramped entrance provide access to the dome's center where the original Stratocaster adorned headstone has been incorporated into a statue pedestal. A granite sundial complete with brass gnomon adjoins the dome, along with over 50 family plots that surround the central structure, half of which are currently adorned with raised granite headstones.

To date, the memorial remains incomplete: brass accents for the dome and a large brass statue of Hendrix were announced as being under construction in Italy, but since 2002, no information as to the status of the project has been revealed to the public. In addition, a memorial statue of Jimi playing a Stratocaster stands near the corner of Broadway and Pine Street in Seattle.

In May 2006 Seattle honored the music, artistry and legacy of Jimi Hendrix with the naming of a new park near Seattle's historic Colman School in the heart of the Central District.

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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2007, 03:07:46 am »



The original gravestone of Jimi Hendrix, incorporated into the granite base of his memorial where a large brass statue will someday be installed.
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2007, 03:08:34 am »



The memorial gravesite of Jimi Hendrix in Renton, Washington.
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2007, 03:09:49 am »



Personality

Fashion

Hendrix was well known for his unique sense of fashion, and strived to perfect his hairstyle and wardrobe almost to the point of obsession. A set of hair curlers was one of the few possessions that travelled with him to England upon his discovery in 1966. When his first advance check arrived, Hendrix immediately took to the streets of London in search of clothing at obscure fashion haunts like I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet, where he purchased an ages old British military jacket adorned with tasseled ropes. A traffic warden once ordered him to remove the jacket, citing it as an offense to the Queen.

Many photographs of Hendrix show him wearing various rings, medallions, and brooches, and Hendrix often peppered his attire with pins that professed his support for the hippie movement or his fascination with folk singer Bob Dylan. His only vacation, a two week trip to Morocco with friends Colette Mimram and Deering Howe, deeply affected his sense of art and style, and upon his return Hendrix filled his Greenwich Village apartment with Moroccan art and decor. Mimram and Stella Douglas, the wife of producer Alan Douglas, created some of Hendrix's most memorable attire: a Bowler style derby adorned with either an angled feather or a set of silver bangles, a Trilby hat crowned with a purple scarf and adorned with various brooches, the blue dashikis he wore on the Dick Cavett Show, and the blue on white fringed jacket that he wore at Woodstock.

He had enough of a sense of humor to poke fun at himself, specifically with the song "Purple Haze." A mondegreen had appeared, in which the line "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" was misheard as "Scuse me while I kiss this guy." It is claimed that, in a few performances, Hendrix deliberately enunciated the line so as to emphasize the mondegreen. A volume of misheard lyrics has been published, with this mondegreen itself as the title, and Hendrix illustrated on the cover, taking the phrase literally.

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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2007, 03:11:45 am »



Politics and racism

Even after achieving worldwide success as a musician, Hendrix could not avoid experiences of racism, which was omnipresent whenever he returned to the Southern United States.

Hendrix was also shunned by much of the black community for playing "white music" and for having white musicians in his band. Weeks after Woodstock, his performance at a Harlem block party became a harrowing experience. Within seconds of arriving at the site, his guitar was stolen from the back seat of his car by two Harlem thugs. When he appeared stageside to watch the early acts with his girlfriend Carmen Borrero (a Puerto-Rican model), the crowd verbally harassed the pair. When he appeared on stage, he was bottled, and had eggs thrown at him from the crowd. After the show, drummer Mitch Mitchell and roadie Eric Barrett were physically assaulted while dismantling their set.

Hendrix was also constantly harassed by various civil rights oriented activist and extremist groups who wished to use his fame to further their own message or cause. The Black Panthers even went as far as posting signs for his appearance at a benefit concert that Hendrix never even knew existed.

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« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2007, 03:12:47 am »



Drug use

Hendrix is widely known for and associated with the use of hallucinogenic drugs, most notably LSD. A common opinion is that Jimi's use of LSD was integral in unlocking his creative process. He had never taken hallucinogens until the night he met Linda Keith, but likely experimented with other drugs in years prior. Various forms of sleeping pills and speed fueled his "stop and go" lifestyle throughout his career, and pictures exist of Hendrix smoking marijuana.

Jimi was also notorious among friends and bandmates for becoming angry and violent when he drank alcohol. Kathy Etchingham spoke of an incident that took place in a London pub in which an intoxicated Hendrix beat her with a public telephone handset because he thought she was calling another man on the payphone. Alcohol was also cited as the cause of Hendrix's 1968 rampage that destroyed a Stockholm hotel room and led to his arrest. Musician Paul Caruso's friendship with Hendrix ended in 1970 when Jimi punched him during an alcohol-fueled argument.

The most controversial topic however, concerns his alleged use of heroin. The Hendrix family, along with a portion of his friends and biographers, emphatically maintains that Hendrix was never a heroin user, citing his irrational fear of needles. Known today as trypanophobia, this condition was never medically diagnosed in Hendrix. A toxicology report prepared shortly after his death found no heroin in his body, nor were there any marks from needles.
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2007, 03:14:18 am »



Legacy

Hendrix synthesized many styles in creating his musical voice and his guitar style was unique, later to be abundantly imitated by others. Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, he was a prolific recording artist and left behind more than 300 unreleased recordings.

His career and ill-timed death has grouped him with Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison as one of contemporary music's tragic "three J's", iconic 60's rock stars that suffered drug-related deaths at age 27 within months of each other, leaving legacies in death that have eclipsed the popularity and influence they experienced during their lifetimes.

Musically, Hendrix did much to further the development of the electric guitar repertoire. He moved the instrument to a higher level, establishing it as a unique sonic source, rather than merely an amplified version of the acoustic guitar. Likewise, his feedback and fuzz-laden soloing moved guitar distortion well beyond mere novelty, incorporating effects pedals and units (most notably the wah-wah pedal) with dramatic results. Although the term was not used when Hendrix was playing, he likely qualifies as the first "guitar god" of rock music.

Hendrix affected popular music with similar profundity; along with earlier bands such as The Who and Cream, he established a sonically heavy yet technically proficient bent to rock music as a whole, significantly furthering the development of hard rock and paving the way for heavy metal. He took blues to another level. His music has also had a great influence on funk and the development of funk rock especially through the guitarists Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers and Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic, Prince and Jesse Johnson of The Time. His influence even extends to many hip hop artists, including ?uestlove, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Ice-T (who covered Hey Joe), El-P and Wyclef Jean. Miles Davis was also deeply impressed by Hendrix and was a major influence on his move to electrified jazz-rock fusion. Hendrix was listed as number 3 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" behind Black Sabbath at the second spot, and Led Zeppelin, ranked number one. Hendrix was ranked number 3 on VH1's list of 100 Best Pop Artists of all time, behind the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. He has been voted by Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and a number of other magazines and polls as the best electric guitarist of all time.

In 1992, Hendrix was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2007, 03:15:36 am »



Financial legacy

When Al Hendrix died of congestive heart failure in 2002, his will stipulated that Experience Hendrix, LLC was to exist as a trust designed to distribute profits to a list of Hendrix family beneficiaries. Upon his death, it was revealed that Al had signed a revision to his will which removed Jimi's brother Leon Hendrix as a beneficiary. A 2004 probate lawsuit merged Leon's challenge to the will with charges from other Hendrix family beneficiaries that Janie Hendrix was improperly handling the company finances. The suit argued that Janie and a cousin (Robert Hendrix) paid themselves exorbitant salaries and covered their own mortgages and personal expenses from the company's coffers while the beneficiaries went without payment and the Hendrix gravesite in Renton went uncompleted.

Janie and Robert's defense was that the company was not profitable yet, and that their salary and benefits were justified given the work that they put into running the company. Leon charged that Janie bilked Al Hendrix, then old and frail, into signing the revised will, and sought to have the previous will reinstated. The defense argued that Al willingly removed Leon from his will because of Leon's problems with alcohol and gambling. In early 2005, presiding judge Jeffrey Ramsdell handed down a ruling that left the final will intact, but replaced Janie and Robert's role at the financial helm of Experience Hendrix with an independent trustee. To date, the gravesite of Jimi Hendrix remains incomplete.

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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2007, 03:16:12 am »

The Jimi Hendrix Foundation

In 1988, Al and Leon Hendrix commissioned the James (Jimi) Marshall Hendrix Foundation. This foundation is based in Renton, Washington and is devoted to helping people in all plights. When Al Hendrix passed in 2002, he donated the 'likeness' of his son Jimi to the foundation to be used in a non-profit manner to assist people less fortunate. In August, 2006 Jimi Hendrix's long-time best friend James (Jimmy) Williams took helm of the Foundation.

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