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Get ready to dive into the lesser-known side of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. While we’ve all jammed to “Purple Haze” and marveled at his guitar skills, there’s a whole playlist of fascinating facts that might have slipped under your musical radar. From his unexpected stint at Ringo Starr’s house to the influence of his African-American and Native American roots, and even a surprising connection to a Rolling Stone’s brother.

These 10 facts about Jimi Hendrix  will add a fresh riff to your understanding of the man behind the iconic tunes.

 

1 – Frustrated Musician

Often hailed as the greatest electric guitarist, Jimi Hendrix resisted such labels, revealing a side of himself that transcended the accolades. Behind the scenes, he was a frustrated musician yearning to expand his skill set. Jimi Hendrix expressed a desire to learn how to read music and wished for a better singing voice. Jimi’s humility shone through, exemplified by a memorable moment on the Dick Cavett Show when he was asked about being considered the best guitar player in the world. In response, Jimi Hendrix answered, “I’m the best guitar player in this chair, how about that?”

Jimi Hendrix on The Dick Cavett Show in 1969.

 

 

2 – Tired of Being a Rockstar

Jimi Hendrix had already grown tired of the rock star lifestyle by the time of his death. Contemplating the hypothetical musical trajectory he might have pursued if he had more time is a captivating exercise. Some speculate he could have delved into the intricate world of jazz fusion, while others entertain the idea of him exploring the funky roads. The allure of these theories is undeniable. Envisioning Jimi Hendrix collaborating with the virtuoso fusion bassist Jaco Pastorius or Miles Davis.

Close-up photo of Jimi Hendrix, reflecting the depth and complexity behind his musical genius.

 

 

3 – African-American and Native American roots

Jimi Hendrix’s heritage was a blend of African-American and Native American-roots. This dual cultural influence was not just a part of his lineage; it was a source of inspiration that he integrated into his music. In tracks like “I Don’t Live Today,” Jimi Hendrix paid homage to his Native American ancestry through his songwriting. At Woodstock, he chose to wear a Native American-inspired outfit, a clear and intentional nod to his diverse heritage.

Jimi Hendrix Grandparents

 

 

4 – Poor Vision

In the midst of Jimi Hendrix’s musical genius lay an intriguing and often overlooked detail – his struggle with poor vision. Despite this challenge, Jimi, a man known for defying conventions, avoided wearing glasses. The consequence of this choice played out on the road, where, as fate would have it, the legendary guitarist, who never held a driver’s license, had an accident while behind the wheel of his Corvette.

Jimi Hendrix trying on his brother Leon's glasses.

 

 

5 – Long Hands and Fingers

At a height of 5-foot-11 and with a slender frame boasting a size 28 waist, Jimi Hendrix defied conventional expectations. What truly set him apart, however, were his remarkably long hands and fingers. This unique physical attribute, often overlooked, played a pivotal role in shaping Hendrix’s sound. Some speculate that the sheer size of his hands contributed to the otherworldly sounds he could conjure from his guitar.

Jimi Hendrix naked long hands and fingers

 

 

6 – Passion for Corvettes

Jimi Hendrix’s passion for Corvettes was as legendary as his guitar skills. Despite never holding a driver’s license, he indulged in his love for speed and style by owning a sports car. Unfortunately, this automotive affair took a turn when Hendrix, behind the wheel of his beloved Corvette, met with an accident.

Jimi Hendrix sitting inside his 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, showcasing his love for classic sports cars.

 

 

7 – “The Bat”

Jimi Hendrix earned the affectionate nickname “the bat” from his bandmates due to his nocturnal habits. Hendrix, known for his unconventional lifestyle, would often sleep during the day without bothering to block the windows.

Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix, captured backstage by Linda McCartney. London.

 

 

8 – Jimi Hendrix Lived in Ringo Starr’s House

During his early days in London, Jimi Hendrix and his band manager, Chas Chandler, rented a house at 34 Montagu Square, a property that happened to belong to none other than Ringo Starr. However, this living arrangement turned out to be short-lived, as Ringo eventually decided to part ways with his temporary tenants, leading to Hendrix and Chandler being asked to vacate the premises.

Jimi Hendrix at Ringo Starr's apartment, 1966

 

 

9 – Chris Jagger Hand-Painted Silk Jacket

Chris Jagger, the brother of Mick Jagger, had a creative hand in Jimi Hendrix’s iconic moment at Monterey. It was Chris Jagger who designed the hand-painted silk jacket that Jimi Hendrix wore when he famously burned his guitar during the performance.

jimi stratocaster at monterey pop festival

 

 

10 – The Girlfriend of Keith Richards, Linda Keith, Discovered Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix’s journey to stardom began with a fortuitous encounter. Linda Keith, the girlfriend of Keith Richards, played a pivotal role in his discovery. She persuaded Chas Chandler, who would become Hendrix’s manager, to witness his talent at Café Wha? in New York City. Impressed by Hendrix’s electrifying performance, Chandler promptly signed him. This marked the beginning of a transformative chapter as Jimi Hendrix was whisked away to London.

linda keith jimi hendrix friend


 

Is just a guy who got tired of bothering his friends talking about music, and decided to create a blog to write about what he loves the most.
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