Top 10 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Jimi Hendrix

Here are some interesting facts you probably did not know about late guitarist and singer-songwriter Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970).
The Top Ten
1 He was forced to join the Army

In 1961, Hendrix was caught driving stolen cars twice. When stopped by the police, they gave him two choices: join the army or go to jail. Hendrix chose to join the army but performed poorly in the military. His unit, the 101st Airborne Division, was soon discharged, while Hendrix was allegedly discharged because he broke his ankle while training to be a paratrooper.

2 His first guitar was a ukulele with one string

As a teenager, Hendrix looked through trash and found a broken ukulele with only one string attached. He would play it along with tunes by Elvis. Finally, Hendrix got his first real guitar, an acoustic, at the age of 15. He learned to play tunes by Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Robert Johnson.

3 He once saw a glimpse of Elvis Presley

I'm honestly surprised he never actually met Elvis, but I guess it makes sense given that Jimi Hendrix had very little time in the spotlight before his death.

Hendrix wanted to see Elvis Presley perform at Sick's Stadium in Seattle on September 1, 1957, but he could only watch Elvis from atop a nearby hill.

4 He often sketched car designs as a teenager

Another unique and cool fact about Hendrix is that he was very good at art and design as a teenager. He often sketched car designs and sent them to the Ford Motor Company. However, how Ford responded is unknown. Hendrix also enjoyed drawing NCAA college football players.

5 He consists of mixed ancestry

While Jimi Hendrix was considered African American, he had white and American Indian ancestry. His great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee Indian who married a white Irishman named Moore.

6 He had a band before he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience

The then-unknown Hendrix worked as a session musician in the early 1960s under the name Jimmy James. He later formed his own group, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames.

7 There was an alternative cover of Electric Ladyland

The original cover design for Hendrix's Electric Ladyland featured a dozen naked women holding Jimi Hendrix memorabilia, but this design was only used in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it showed only Hendrix performing, which is understandable.

8 He tried to rent Ringo Starr's apartment

In his early days in London, Hendrix and his manager Chas Chandler rented Ringo Starr's apartment at 34 Montagu Square, but Ringo eventually kicked them out.

9 He almost appeared in The Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour

Hendrix was supposed to make an appearance in the Beatles' TV movie Magical Mystery Tour, but scheduling conflicts prevented that from happening.

10 He could not read music

Being self-taught, Hendrix learned to play by ear and couldn't read music. He would even use words and colors to express himself.

You could say that he felt what he played rather than reading the music. After all, blues is about feel.

The Contenders
11 He was left-handed, so he played his guitar upside down
12 He got fired by Ike Turner
13 Although Hendrix's father might not have cared that much, he was the one to get Jimi a guitar
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