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Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix perhaps no other rock-and-roll trailblazer was as original or as influential in such a short span of time as Jimi Hendrix Widely acknowledged as one of the most daring and inventive virtuosos in rock history Hendrix pioneered the electric guitar he played a right- handed Fender Stratocaster-- his Electric Lady--upside-down and left- handed as an electronic sound source capable of feedback distortion and a host of other effects that could be crafted into an articulate and fluid emotional vocabulary And though he was on the scene as a solo artist for less than five years Hendrix is credited for having a profound effect on everyone from George Clinton and Miles Davis to guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Vernon Reid Born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27 1942 Hendrixs father James Al Hendrix later changed his sons name to James Marshall Young Jimi taught himself to play the guitar during his schoolboy days in Seattle drawing influence from blues legends like BB King and Robert Johnson He slung his guitar over his back and left home to enlist in the 101st Division of the Air Force the Screaming Eagles where he served as a parachute jumper until an injury led to his discharge Hendrix then began working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James playing behind such marquee acts as Sam Cooke Ike and Tina Turner and the Isley Brothers After gigging extensively with Little Richard in 1964 Hendrix became entangled in a contract dispute with the mercurial artist and left to form his own band Jimmy James and the Blue Flames With the exception of an obscure single My Diary with Rosa Lee Parks none of the music Hendrix cut with other artists was made more remarkable by his presence After playing Greenwich Village coffeehouses for the better part of a year still under the moniker Jimmy James Hendrix encountered Chas Chandler of Animals fame at a New York
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