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Born James Marshall Hendrix on November 27 1942 in Seattle Washington Often called the greatest guitarist of all time Hendrix pioneered the explosive popularity of the electric guitar Hendrixs unique style of combining fuzz feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form Hendrixs legacy grew far beyond the wide popularity he achieved during his short career He taught himself to play guitar as an adolescent learning from the albums of bluesmen like Muddy Waters and BB King and rock musicians such as Chuck Berry In 1961 Hendrix moved to New York City and began playingunder the stage name Jimmy Jamesas a side guitarist for prominent rock acts including Ike Tina Turner the Isley Brothers and Little Richard In 1965 after clashing with Little Richard he formed his own band Jimmy James and the Blue Flames and began playing extensively in Greenwich Village bars and coffeehouses In the fall of 1966 Hendrix moved to London England where he created a new band the Jimi Hendrix Experience with bassist Noel Redding and bassist Mitch Mitchell Their first single Hey Joe reached No 6 on the UK pop charts their debut album Are You Experienced released in 1967 also featured the now-classic songs Purple Haze Foxy Lady and Manic Depression Hendrix was a superstar in England by the time the Experience made its American debut at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 in a performance that reached its climax when Hendrix set his guitar on fire With his innovative playing and outrageous performance stylehe became known for playing his right-handed Fender Stratocaster the Electric Lady upside down and left-handed and behind his backHendrix became internationally popular releasing two more albums with the Experience in 1968 Axis Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland Hendrix recorded in his own New York city studio named Electric Lady after his beloved guitar In mid-1970 Hendrix was also recording another album tentatively titled First Rays of the Rising Sun with
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