A legend was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle with the name of James Allen Hendrix. He was a true American of Black, White and Cherokee blood. As a child, James who later changed his name to Jimi, was very shy and was raised by friends and family. He grew up in different homes that ranged from city life to living on the Cherokee reservation with his grandmother. With all of the difficulties that he struggled with in his early life he found refuge in music. His father bought him a guitar at the age of 13 and his love for music had begun. He grew up he listening to the music of the 40’s and 50’s and became well aquatinted with the sounds of other eras preserved in his father’s record collection. There was a great influence of blues as well of R;B music that influenced his style and play. He spent what free time he had on the guitar and dropped out of school in 1959 so he would be able to further pursue his dreams. After he dropped out he enlisted in the army and spent this time trying to figure out who he really was.
He followed his dreams and after his discharge from the army he became a musician. For the next ten years Hendrix played with a countless number of bands on the way to his notoriety. His greatest success occurred when he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 66′. With this he exposed to America who he was and what he stood for. During his reign he confidently rose to success with powerful and inspiring music.
He was, “a prolific and profligate creator who left almost everyone who heard or saw him with the distinct impression that the heart center of his work remained tantalizingly out of reach.”1 Jimi Hendrix remains an enigma, an innovator that remains unparalleled in what he brought to the world as well as what he accomplished with his music. How Jimi is perceived rests on his controversial life style and the handful of recordings that he left behind. But if his life is examined one finds a man that is trying to find true love. One who expresses himself freely and encourages others to do the same. “Being an artist is a heavy trip, if you’re totally committed to what you do, you pay a lot of different types of dues.”2 Jimi paid these dues with a struggle with alcoholism and a heavy drug addiction. He like so many other great artist, paid with his life during his constant struggle. But during this struggle Jimi expressed himself and lived a life for others. He came from an age of l!
loving everyone and a constant quest for peace and happiness. He was outspoken in his political views and he used the stage to voice his opinion. Hendrix appeal came from not only his musical achievements but also from what he stood for. He was not a part of any existing musical or social movement, but he was true, he was what America stood for. Jimi Hendrix truly was a “man for others” and this Jesuit philosophy is exemplified throughout his life.
Hendrix was a man that was full of love and he wanted most to attain peace from his music. He followed his soul and it made him holy. St. Paul said, “The greatest gift of all is the gift of love. Make love your aim”.
No one has ever seen God,
but as long as we love each other
God remains in us
and his love comes to its perfection in
This is the proof that we remain in him
and he in us,
that he has given us a share in his
God is love,
and whoever remains in love
remains in God
and God in him (1 Jn 4:12-13,16).
Through the act of love the Holy Spirit makes us Christ like. Jimi Hendrix portrayed love for all people and his beliefs coincided with his actions. During his life he sent the message of love, joy, peace, endurance, kindness, and generosity which all coincide with the benefits of the Holy Spirit.