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James Marshal Hendrix was born in Seattle Washington on November 27 1942 a black American of African European Cherokee Indian and Mexican descent An unsettled home environment made Jimi spend much of his early years staying with his grandmother a full-blooded Cherokee Indian in Canada His mother died when Jimi was 15 about the same time as Jimi began to take a serious interest in music and playing the guitar When he was 12 he got his first electric guitar - the instrument which shaped the next 16 years of his life At the age of 16 Jimi was thrown out of school -apparently for holding the hand of a white girl in class - and he played rocknroll in teenage bands before voluntarily joining the army at 17 After 14 months as a paratrooper learning a lot about falling and flying he suffered an injury and was discharged He decided to enter the music field The following four years were hard work touring the States playing back-up guitar for various RB bands including Little Richard Ike and Tina Turner Wilson Pickett the Isley Brothers and the late King Curtis among others The conditions were not suited to his radical temperament and eventually he was drawn to New York s Greenwich Village where he recorded with the Isley Brothers Curtis Knight and various other artists Then in late 1965 he formed his first band - Jimmy James and the Blue Flames They worked the Village clubs where he was seen by other musicians who immediately recognized his talent and word of this young virtuoso reached ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler Chas was so impressed after hearing him play he offered to become his manager and persuaded Jimi to accompany him back to England England at this stage - late 1966 - was musically ruled by bands such as The Who The Beatles and Cream with Eric Clapton Jimmy Page and
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