James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (27 November 1942 – 18 September 1970), born Johnny Allen Hendrix, was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music; and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.
- Sorry for the tune up between time, but what the hell, cowboys are the only ones who stay in tune, anyway...
- Performance at Woodstock
- Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.
- As quoted in Crosstown Traffic (1989) by Charles Shaar Murray
- I’m sorry, am I mumbling? Tell me when I’m mumbling. Damn … I always mumble.
- Rolling Stone Magazine interview, November 1970 
- I don’t want to be a clown anymore. I don’t want to be a ‘rock and roll star.'
- Rolling Stone Magazine interview, November 1970
- Start with a shovel, wind up with a spoon.
- Rolling Stone Magazine interview, March 1970 
Dick Cavett interview (1969)
- Quotes from The Dick Cavett Show (9 September 1969)
- I try to get up every day.
- When asked if he considered himself "a disciplined guy — do you try to get up every day and work?" - YouTube clip
- Definitely, and it's getting more spiritual. Pretty soon I believe people will have to rely on music to get some kind of peace of mind, or satisfaction, or direction, actually. More so than politics, the big ego scene. You know it's an art of words... Meaning nothing. Therefore you will have to get an earthier substance, like music or the arts.
- When asked if music has a meaning
- We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... 'Cause there are so many sleeping people.
- I don't really live on compliments. As a matter of fact, they have a way of distracting me. I know a whole lot of musicians, artists out there who hears the compliments and thinks "wow, I must have been really great" and so they get fat and satisfied and they get lost and forget about their actual talent and start living in another world.
Are You Experienced? (1967)
- I got a bad, bad feeling my baby don't live here no more...
But that's alright i still got my guitar.
- Waterfall, nothing can harm me at all
My worries seem so very small
With my waterfall.
- May This Be Love
- Listen here, baby
And stop acting so crazy
You say your mum ain't home,
it ain't my concern,
Just play with me and you won't get burned.
I have only one itching desire:
Let me stand next to your fire.
- We’ll hold hands and then we’ll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea
But first, are you experienced?
Uh-have you ever been experienced? Well, I have
- Have you ever been experienced?
Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.
- Are You Experienced?
- Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand?
Alright. I'm goin down to shoot my old lady,
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man.
Yeah,! I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady,
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man.
Huh! And that ain't too cool.
- Purple haze, all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same,
Acting funny, but I don't know why,
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.
- The traffic lights, they turn a blue tomorrow
And shine their emptiness down on my bed
The tiny island sags on downstream
Cause the life it lived, is, is dead
Axis: Bold as Love (1967)
- Well she's walking through the clouds
With a circus mind, that's running round.
Butterflies and Zebras, and moonbeams, and fairytales-
That's all she ever thinks about. Riding with the wind.
- White collar conservative flashin' down the street,
Pointing that plastic finger at me,
Hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I'm gonna wave my freak flag high.
- I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
- If 6 Was 9
- Castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually
- Anger he smiles towering in shiney metallic purple armour,
Queen jealousy envy waits behind him,
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground.
Electric Ladyland (1968)
- You're just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you.
I don't need to run over you.
All you do is slow me down.
And I'm tryin' to get on the other side of town.
- I'm a Voodoo Child, Voodoo Child,
Lord knows I am a Voodoo Child
Rainbow Bridge (1971)
- I used to live in a room full of mirrors,
All I could see was me.
Then I take my spirit and I smash my mirrors,
And now the whole world is here for me to see,
Now I'm searching for my love to be.
- Room Full Of Mirrors
Quotes about Hendrix
- Individual is unable to conform to military rules and regulations. Misses bed check: sleeps while supposed to be working: unsatisfactory duty performance.
- US Army report quoted in "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'" by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian (8 August 2010)
- You never told me he was that fucking good.
- Eric Clapton, after first hearing Hendrix perform, as quoted in "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'" by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian (8 August 2010)
- I want him to be remembered for what he was – not this tragic figure he has been turned into by nit-pickers and people who used to stalk us and collect photographs and 'evidence' of what we were doing on a certain day. He could be grumpy, and he could be terrible in the studio, getting exactly what he wanted – but he was fun, he was charming. I want people to remember the man I knew.
- Kathy Etchingham, as quoted in "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'" by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian (8 August 2010)
- I said, "You’re Jimi Hendrix, and anything you do is taken as gospel because of who you are. In the first show, you humped the guitar, you played it with your teeth, you stuck it behind your back. You just forgot to play.”
- Bill Graham, recalling his evaluation—as requested by Hendrix on January 1, 1970, backstage, between sets at the Fillmore East—of that night's first set; as quoted in "Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies at the Fillmore East: A Concert That Changed Rock" by David Fricke, Rolling Stone (4 June 1987)
- We started from the premise that music was a mission, not a competition … That the basis was the blues, but that the framework of the blues was too tight. We'd talk first about what he wanted the emotion of the song to be. What's the vision? He would talk in colours and my job was to give him the electronic palette which would engineer those colours so he could paint the canvas.
- When you listen to Hendrix, you are listening to music in its pure form … The electronics we used were 'feed forward', which means that the input from the player projects forward – the equivalent of electronic shadow dancing – so that what happens derives from the original sound and modifies what is being played. But nothing can be predictive – it is speed-forward analogue, a non-repetitive wave form, and that is the definition of pure music and therefore the diametric opposite of digital.
Look, if you throw a pebble into a lake, you have no way of predicting the ripples – it depends on how you throw the stone, or the wind. Digital makes the false presumption that you can predict those ripples, but Jimi and I were always looking for the warning signs. The brain knows when it hears repetition that this is no longer music and what you hear when you listen to Hendrix is pure music. It took discussion and experiment, and some frustrations, but then that moment would come, we'd put the headphones down and say, "Got it. That's the one."
- Roger Mayer, as quoted in "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'" by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian (8 August 2010)
- Jimi Hendrix is very important. He's my idol. He sort of epitomizes, from his presentation on stage, the whole works of a rock star. There's no way you can compare him. You either have the magic or you don't. There's no way you can work up to it. There's nobody who can take his place.
- I dreamed about Jimi Hendrix
he came back for one day
was born weepin' out of an egg
the mid-wife said
and straight away began to pray
with lifted head
- He was young and black and beautiful
big eyed, perfect skin an'
he played my guitar like a lightning storm
like twirlin' feathers in the wind
he could make it sound like the end of the world
a fire, the flick of a knife
he could squeeze it slow and masterful
like the hand that brought the world to life
- He made all Manhattan shake
and every street and sidewalk quake
his stratocaster caused the mighty Empire State
- He did a forty-two minute
cosmic rise in future shocks
Star Spangled Banner
in the back of CBGB's
He stopped every clock in New York state
and every heart that heard him
and time itself was beaten and confused
and fell lamb-like under the spell of his
fabulous flashing fingers
He played an encore at the Bitter End
a heartburst Little Wing
even the waiters cried
and then we fell outside
and in the dusty dawn of Bleeker street
a sweet rain fell
and Jimi died.
- I recorded "…Moon" on my own with a drum machine, then brought musicians in as they were needed. It's about a person who has a spectacular, meteor-like rise, but burns out or dies young. Though the song ain't about him, the nearest equivalent would be Hendrix.
- Hendrix had conjured – with his vision and sense of sound, his personality and genius – the most extraordinary guitar music ever played, the most remarkable sound-scape ever created; of that there is little argument. Opinion varies only over the effect his music has on people: elation, fear, sexual stimulation, sublimation, disgust – all or none of these – but always drop-jawed amazement.
- I remember Cliff talking about how his roommate at Berkeley, a Jewish brother from the Bronx, had introduced him to a far-out guitar player named Jimi Hendrix. "He'll blow your mind, Corn" said Cliff. And he did.
- Cornel West Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir (2009)
- Official website
- The Jimi Hendrix Foundation
- Jimpress Magazine
- Uni-Vibes Magazine
- Jimi Hendrix at MySpace
- Hendrix Musical Gear at Danish fan site
- Jimi Hendrix Exhibition – slideshow by The First Post
- "Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good'" by Ed Vulliamy, in The Guardian (8 August 2010)