[[caption-width-right:350:The classic line-up of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, from left to right: Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix.]]

->"'''Scuse me while I kiss the sky.''"
-->--'''Purple Haze''', source of the most famous {{mondegreen}} of all time

James (Jimi) Marshall Hendrix (1942-1970) was an American musician and is widely regarded as one of, if not ''the'' best electric guitarist of all time. After [[PayingTheirDues playing in back-up bands for artists like Little Richard and the Isley Brothers]], he was discovered and managed by [[Music/TheAnimals Chas Chandler]], who took him to London and made him a star as the lead singer and guitarist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Which included Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell). First achieving success in England, his American breakthrough was at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival, where he managed to upstage [[Music/TheWho The Who]] having destroyed their instruments by [[CrazyAwesome setting his guitar on fire]]. After the classic line-up of the Experience broke up, Hendrix formed Gypsy Sun And Rainbows (Which included Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell, Larry Lee, Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez), which played at the legendary 1969 {{Woodstock}} festival, where Hendrix's [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome apocalyptic performance of ''The Star Spangled Banner'']] pretty much revived a very tired crowd. This band didn't last long after Woodstock, and was succeed by the Band Of Gypsys (which included Billy Cox and Buddy Miles). They broke up after two memorable gigs and a self-titled live album, after which Hendrix re-formed the Experience with Mitchell (Billy Cox replacing Noel Redding) in time for the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival. [[TooCoolToLive Died early at the age of 27]] of choking on his vomit due to alcohol and drug overdose, the second (only a few months after [[Music/TheRollingStones Brian Jones]]) of several prominent rock artists to die at that age (although his blues roots have led some to say that he merely moved the curse from blues to rock, as the legendary RobertJohnson had died at 27, too).

Hendrix was highly influenced by blues, jazz, R&B and soul music; his amazing rhythm playing stemmed from his desire to make his guitar sound like an entire R&B backing band with horn section. In turn he [[TropeCodifier codified]] techniques and trends many other bands and artists had used, such as amplified feedback (done before by others, but Hendrix almost literally turned it UpToEleven), creative use of electronic effects and extended improvisations. Although he arrived in London at a time when there was an [[Music/EricClapton entire]] [[Music/TheYardbirds generation]] [[Music/LedZeppelin of]] [[Music/PinkFloyd impressive]] [[Music/KingCrimson guitarists]] reaching the peak of their powers, his peers were pretty quick to acknowledge him as TheAce: [[Music/TheWho Pete Townshend]] recalled feeling sorry for Music/EricClapton in that Clapton wanted to be able to play like Hendrix, but couldn't, whereas Townshend was glad that he himself 'never had any sense that I could even come close'. (The great guitarist Larry Coryell once attempted to [[ChallengingTheChief beat Hendrix in a cutting contest]]; according to eyewitnesses, Hendrix blew him off the stage ''with a single note''.) Although some credit Music/TheBeatles' song "Helter Skelter" and Music/{{Steppenwolf}}'s "Born to Be Wild" with helping start the Music/HeavyMetal genre, many credit Hendrix as the artist who really set that ball in motion.

Hendrix's musicianship, his experimental albums that did not stay strictly in one genre of music, and his aforementioned outrageous stage theatrics earned him enough of a reputation to make him one of the most prominent rock performers of the late 60s. Not for nothing was he selected as Woodstock's last artist to perform, after all. Ironically, this popularity wasn't quite reflected on radio in his lifetime, as related in a documentary produced after his death. Black radio, at the time entrenched in the likes of Music/ArethaFranklin, Music/JamesBrown and the roster of Motown Records amongst other, more straightforward rhythm and blues artists, wanted little to do with his heavy rock guitar sound. And many white rock radio stations, places one might have thought would be a more natural home for his songs, simply thought he sounded "too black." Contrasting this with his frequently standing-room only crowds says a lot about the tastes of radio programmers compared to their audiences.

While many today mention him as the most influential guitarist of the era, his reputation was only consolidated [[DeadArtistsAreBetter after his death]]; his friend and rival Eric Clapton commemorated him with a cover version of Hendrix's song "Little Wing". Nevertheless, many guitarists who came after him were indeed influenced by both his work and his on-stage theatrics, including Ernie Isley, a latter-day member of the Isley Brothers, the same group Jimi used to play back-up for. His most conspicuous if not most profound legacy is to have inspired generations of [[Music/HeavyMetal metal]] guitarists, although bizarrely enough, [[Music/VanHalen Eddie Van Halen]], the most Hendrixoid of them all, claims that his greatest influence was Clapton. At the time of Hendrix's death, he had plans to record with Music/MilesDavis and to study music in more depth, possibly performing less and composing more; although it's sad to think of what was lost, Hendrix's expressive playing and extraordinary musical imagination continue to inspire musicians in all fields of music.

Two of his most famous performances are "Purple Haze" and his cover of the BobDylan classic "All Along The Watchtower".

!!Principal Members (Founding members in '''bold'''):

* Billy Cox - bass, vocals (1969-1970)
* '''Jimi Hendrix''' - guitar, lead vocals, piano, recorder, percussion, kazoo, harpsichord, bass (1966-1970, died 1970)
* Larry Lee - guitar, lead vocals (1969, died 2007)
* Buddy Miles - drums, lead vocals (1968, 1969-1970, died 2008)
* '''Mitch Mitchell''' - drums, backing and co-lead vocals, percussion, glockenspiel (1966-1969, 1970, died 2008)
* '''Noel Redding''' - bass, backing and lead vocals, guitar (1966-1969, died 2003)
* Juma Sultan - percussion (1969)
* Jerry Velez - percussion (1969)

!!Studio and Live Discography (* = The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ** = Band Of Gypsys):

* 1967 - ''Music/AreYouExperienced''*
* 1967 - ''Music/AreYouExperienced''* [[note]]This edition of ''Are You Experienced'' was released only in the US. It changed the track listing, omitted ''Red House'', ''Can You See Me'', and ''Remember'', and added ''Purple Haze'', ''Hey Joe'', and ''The Wind Cries Mary''[[/note]]
* 1967 - ''Axis: Bold As Love''*
* 1968 - ''Music/ElectricLadyland''*
* 1970 - ''Band Of Gypsys''**

!!Posthumous Studio Discography:

* 1971 - ''The Cry of Love''
* 1971 - ''Rainbow Bridge''
* 1972 - ''War Heroes''
* 1974 - ''Loose Ends''
* 1975 - ''Crash Landing''
* 1975 - ''Midnight Lightning''
* 1980 - ''Nine To The Universe''
* 1995 - ''Voodoo Soup''
* 1997 - ''South Saturn Delta''
* 1997 - ''First Rays Of The New Rising Sun''
* 2000 - ''Morning Symphony Ideas''
* 2004 - ''Hear My Music''
* 2006 - ''Burning Desire''
* 2010 - ''Valleys Of Neptune''
* 2013 - ''People, Hell and Angels''

!!Posthumous Live Discography (* = The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ** = Gypsy Sun And Rainbows, *** = Band Of Gypsys. All tracks recorded from 1966 to 1970):

* 1971 - ''Experience''*
* 1971 - ''Isle Of Wight''*
* 1972 - ''Hendrix In The West''*
* 1972 - ''More Experience''*
* 1982 - ''The Jimi Hendrix Concerts''*
* 1986 - ''Johnny B. Goode''*
* 1986 - ''Band Of Gypsys 2''* ***
* 1987 - ''Live At Winterland''*
* 1988 - ''Radio One''*
* 1991 - ''Stages''*
* 1998 - ''Live At The Oakland Coliseum''*
* 1998 - ''BBC Sessions''*
* 1999 - ''Live At The Fillmore East''***
* 1999 - ''Live At Woodstock''**
* 1999 - ''Live At Clark University''*
* 2001 - ''Live In Ottawa''*
* 2002 - ''The Baggy's Rehearsal Sessions''***
* 2002 - ''Blue Wild Angel: Live At The Isle of Wight''*
* 2003 - ''Paris 1967/San Francisco 1968''*
* 2003 - ''Live At Berkeley''*
* 2005 - ''Live At The Isle of Fehmarn''
* 2007 - ''Live At Monterey''*
* 2008 - ''Live In Paris & Ottawa 1968''*
* 2009 - ''Live At Woburn''*
* 2011 - ''Winterland''*
* 2013 - ''Miami Pop Festival''*

!!Non-album singles:

* 1966 - ''Hey Joe'' [[note]]Otherwise available on the US version of their 1967 album ''Are You Experienced'', but not on a UK album[[/note]]
** ''Stone Free'' as the UK B-side
*** ''51st Anniversary'' as the US B-side [[note]]Previously released as an B-side in 1967[[/note]]
* 1967 - ''Purple Haze'' [[note]]Otherwise available on the US version of ''Are You Experienced'', but not on a UK album[[/note]]
** ''51st Anniversary'' as the UK B-side
*** ''The Wind Cries Mary'' as the US B-side [[note]]Previously released as an A-side in 1967[[/note]]
* 1967 - ''The Wind Cries Mary'' [[note]]Again, available on the US version of ''Are You Experienced'', but not on a UK album''[[/note]]
** ''Highway Chile'' as the B-side
* 1967 - ''Burning Of The Midnight Lamp'' [[note]]Otherwise available on their 1968 album ''Electric Ladyland''[[/note]]
** ''The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice'' as the B-side

!!! "Excuse me while I kiss the tropes!":
* TheAce: As evidenced by the bio at the top of the page.
* AfraidOfNeedles: And very much so. It saved him from heroin, but not from barbiturates.
* AllGuitarsAreStratocasters: Hendrix did play other guitars from time to time, but he preferred Strats for their versatility.
* {{Atlantis}}: Mentioned in "1983...(And A Merman I Should Turn To Be)"
* AncientAstronauts: "Up From the Skies", sung from the perspective of an alien visitor to Earth ("this here people farm") who had been here before thousands of years ago during an ice age, and has come back to observe how things have changed.
* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: In Universe example with "the machine" in "1983...(And I Merman I Should Turn To Be)"
* BadassBoast: ''"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"''
-->''Well I stand up next to a mountain''
-->''And I chop it down with the edge of my hand''
* BrieferThanTheyThink: He became a star with the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and was dead three years later, just like fellow "27 Club" member JanisJoplin.
* TheCharmer: Although he was an interestingly quiet variation, Hendrix was legendary for this, to the point that other musicians were afraid to introduce their girlfriends to him.
* CoverVersion: Many, among the most notable being Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor", The Troggs' "Wild Thing", John Stafford Smith's "The Star-Spangled Banner", Earl King's "Come On", Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode", and Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" and "Like a Rolling Stone".
** CoveredUp: Music/BobDylan himself said that when he first heard Jimi's cover of "All Along The Watchtower", it was so perfectly played that Bob Dylan ''thought'' it was a Jimi-song, and he even prefers Jimi's version over his own original!
*** "Hey Joe" was a cover of a song written by Billy Roberts. The earliest known version was recorded by The Leaves.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: After his death in 1970, Jimi's reputation changed from being a popular guitarist to one of the great legends of Rock.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Hendrix was famous for using his guitar for visual innuendos when performing.
* EpicRocking: "Machine Gun", among others.
* FriendlyRival: To Music/EricClapton.
* GenreBusting: As a black bandleader with (frequently) white sidemen, schooled in blues and R&B and soul but playing rock and constantly reinventing his own music, Hendrix's entire career was about this.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: ''Voodoo Soup'', compiled after his death by producer Allan Douglas, features newly recorded instrumentation by drummer Bruce Gary, who Hendrix never met or performed with, and whose most famous band, The Knack, was formed years after Hendrix had died. ''Voodoo Soup'' was intended as a "official" version of Hendrix' never-completed ''First Rays of the New Rising Sun'' album. Later, the Hendrix family presented a different reconstruction of that album, using the most complete recordings of the songs intended for the album, to avoid making decisions that Hendrix may not have approved of, in sharp contrast to Douglas, who believed that he was completing the album as Hendrix had intended with ''Voodoo Soup''.
* GratuitousPanning
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Actually he was, but he had a slightly irrational belief that left-handed guitars would be less well-made than right-handed guitars, so he reversed the strings on a Stratocaster and played it upside down. The result meant that he didn't sound quite like anyone else.
** At least one biography claims that Jimi was actually ambidextrous, while slightly more southpaw.
** Another claim states that he played upside-down righty guitars instead of lefty guitars so the dials and whammy bar would be easier to reach.
* IconicOutfit: The 'fro and headband.
** ''Anime/AfroSamurai'' has the same Afro/Headband hairstyle.
** Teal'c wore it as a disguise in TheSixties in a TimeTravel episode of ''Series/StargateSG1''.
** Jojo, a character [[{{Expy}} inspired by Hendrix]], wears it in ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse''.
** [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 The Demoman]], yeh great lactatin' wet nurse!
** Those sequined outfits that Randy "Macho Man" Savage wore were made by the guy who designed them for Hendrix.
** The Victorian-era military jacket he often wore is easily recognizable.
* {{Improv}}: Hendrix was a master of it.
* IncendiaryExponent: Smashing guitars not shocking enough? Try setting them on fire first!
* IThoughtItMeant: Hendrix had mentioned to Track Records that he wanted the cover of ''Axis: Bold as Love'' to reflect his "Indian" (read: Native American) heritage. Whoever got put in charge of making the cover completely misunderstood the request, and the album came out with a kitschy take on Indian (read: subcontinent) religious imagery on the cover.
* ItsRainingMen: Before he became a professional musician, Hendrix served in the [[SquadNickname 101st Airborne Division]] as a paratrooper. He never saw combat and wasn't exactly a great soldier, but it contributed a lot to his popularity among American troops in TheVietnamWar.
* LastChorusSlowDown: Noticeable in "Voodoo Child".
* LyricalDissonance
* MixedAncestry: Hendrix had Cherokee heritage from his mother and Black heritage from his father.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Ranging from 2 (''Castles Made Of Sand'') up to 5 (''Purple Haze'', ''Cross Town Traffic''), an unusually broad range especially for the period. Pretty much any later music in the range of 5-7 owes Jim Hendrix a debt for opening these levels up to widespread use.
* MurderBallad: "Hey Joe"
* MusicOfNote: Hendrix's reputation has steadily grown since his death, to the point where he now routinely tops polls of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.
* NowThatsUsingYourTeeth: Using them to play guitar!
* {{Precursor}}: "Up From the Skies", [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation perhaps]].
* RatedMForManly: As Creator/BillHicks once put it...
-->''"'''This''' guy had a dick. Like an anaconda head, swinging in the wind."''
* RefugeInAudacity: The original cover of ''Electric Ladyland'' was simply a large group of nude women (that's front ''and'' back cover). This cover somehow managed to survive being used in the UK, but the USA (and later CD) version of the album uses Karl Ferris' psychedelic portrait. Interestingly enough, ''none'' of these were approved by Hendrix: he had explicitly told his record label that for the cover he wanted a Linda [=McCartney=] photo of him with some children, but the label proceeded to ignore him and pick what ended up on the final product.
* RockersSmashGuitars: Set them on fire, actually.
* TheRockStar:
* RockTrio: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
** And Band Of Gypsys.
* RunForTheBorder: "Hey Joe" ends with the title character planning to do this.
* SelfDeprecation / DeadpanSnarker: His onstage banter was filled with both. His liner notes on the back cover of ''Axis: Bold as Love'' said "Jimi Hendrix writes his own songs and almost sings them."
* SeriousBusiness: His songs and likeness were the most difficult to license for GuitarHero: World Tour, and part of the deal was that it would be impossible to use his characters to play songs he didn't sing. Even before then, the original Guitar Hero had a cover version of "Spanish Castle Magic" that had to be an instrumental, because even Jimi's voice is serious business to his estate. However, Hendrix was finally brought to the series in Lego Rock Band, with "Fire" appearing as it's full, original studio version with vocals and no sign of Jimi himself (Lego or otherwise) in sight. Later, the entire contents of "Axis: Bold as Love" album came to the RockBand Music Store.
** "Crosstown Traffic" is in ''VideoGame/RockBand 3'' and more DLC kept coming. At this point, Harmonix has managed to include a huge chunk of his discography.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll (it eventually led to his untimely [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix#Death death]] from an apparent drug overdose).
* SignatureSoundEffect: Actually a Signature Chord: Hendrix loved the sound of the 7#9 chord and used it all over songs like "Purple Haze", "Stone Free", "Voodoo Chile" and his version of "Killing Floor", to the point where musicians sometimes refer to it as the "Hendrix chord".
* SomethingBlues: "Earth Blues", "Country Blues", "Catfish Blues" and "Slow Blues"
* TheSouthpaw: Actually contributed slightly to his sound. He frequently used a Fender Stratocaster, which has one of the pickups tilted. This gives each string a slightly different sound. As a lefty, however, Hendrix reversed the order of the strings, thereby reversing the order of the differences and giving his music a unique feel.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: "She's So Fine" from ''Axis: Bold As Love'' has Noel Redding on lead vocals and "Little Miss Strange" from ''Music/ElectricLadyland'' have Redding and Mitch Mitchell sharing lead vocals. Both songs are written by Redding.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: "Castles Made of Sand", "The Wind Cries Mary", "Angel", "Little Wing", "Bold as Love", "Drifting".
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Despite his clear technical skills, he was closer to the Performer end of the spectrum. Had virtually no formal musical training, could barely even read music, but was blessed with natural talent and near-perfect pitch - which was just as well since his playing style frequently made him go out of tune. (Nearly all live Hendrix albums feature him tuning up ''in mid-song''.) Of course, [[PayingTheirDues all those years as a sideman in R&B bands]] didn't hurt.
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''Electric Ladyland''
* TheUnfairSex: Defied in "Hey Joe"
-->"Huh yes I did I shot her\\
You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town\\
And I gave her the gun\\
And I shot her"