Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)- 40 years later

Jimi Hendrix
November 27, 1942- September 18, 1970

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the death of Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix had started his career playing in small bands and eventually playing for people like Little Richard. In 1966, Hendrix went to London and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchel. The band released three albums: Are You Experienced?, Axis: As Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland. The band split in 1968 and Hendrix would soon form another band. His next band had all-black members with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. They called themselves Band of Gypsys and released a self-titled live album in 1970. Hendrix soon reformed the Experience only Redding was replaced by Cox. Hendrix played his final gig on September 6, 1970.

In the early hours of September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was pronounced dead. Hendrix was discovered passed out by his girlfriend Monkia Dannemann in her London flat. Unknown to Dannemann, Hendrix had taken nine of her Vesprerax sleeping pills. The normal dose was only half a tablet but Hendrix wasn't familiar with the drug. Doctors also saw that Hendrix had been drinking (red wine, notably) and caused him to asphyxiate on his own vomit. When news broke out that Hendrix had died, there was some shock and plenty of shock. Hendrix was only 27 years old, just like his friend Brian Jones before him. Janis Joplin would join him less than a month later and as would Jim Morrison. Both Joplin and Morrison were also 27 years old.

Although Hendrix died too soon, his legacy has managed to live on for the last forty years. Since his death, there have been countless of posthumous releases. Today a family owned company called Experience Hendrix, which is ran by Janie Hendrix, Jimi's half-sister. With the reissue of Hendrix's albums and the release of yet another album called Valleys of Neptune, Hendrix's legacy could probably live on forever and enjoyed by generations to come.

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