The Jimi Hendrix Experience

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix Experience in Fenklup.png
The Jimi Hendrix Experience performing on the Dutch music programme Fenklup on 14 March 1967. From left to right: Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell.
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1966–1969, 1970 [6]
Past members

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American-English rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding comprised the group, which was active until June 1969. During this time, they released three studio albums and became one of the most popular acts in rock. Starting in April 1970, Hendrix, Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox performed and recorded until Hendrix's death on September 18, 1970. This later trio was sometimes billed as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience", but the title was never formalized.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Mitch Mitchell English drummer

John Graham Mitchell was an English drummer, and actor who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2009.


Highly influential in the popularization of hard rock and psychedelic rock, [7] the Experience was best known for the skill, style, and charisma of their frontman, Jimi Hendrix. All three of the band's studio albums, Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968), were featured in the top 100 of the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 15, 82 and 54 respectively. In 1992, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Psychedelic rock Style of rock music

Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

<i>Are You Experienced</i> 1967 album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.


Jimi Hendrix arrived in England on September 24, 1966, [8] and with his new manager and former Animals bassist, Chas Chandler, formed a backing band with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. [9] Mitchell was a seasoned London drummer formerly with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. Hendrix chose Redding because of his attitude towards music and his hairstyle. Redding had been a guitar player until that time, but played bass in the band. The name "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" was coined by their business manager Michael Jeffery. [10] The first official appearance of "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" (invited by French singer Johnny Hallyday) was at the Novelty in Évreux, France, on October 13, 1966. [11] Six days later the band played their first UK gig at a private showcase at the Scotch of St James.[ citation needed ]

The Animals English band

The Animals are an English rhythm and blues and rock band, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in the early 1960s. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964. The Animals were known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic No. 1 hit single, "House of the Rising Sun", as well as by hits such as "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", "It's My Life", "I'm Crying" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". The band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm and blues-orientated album material and were part of the British Invasion of the US.

Chas Chandler English musician, record producer and band manager

Bryan James "Chas" Chandler was an English musician, record producer and manager, best known as the original bassist in The Animals. He also managed the band Slade and Jimi Hendrix, about whom he was regularly interviewed until his death in 1996.

Georgie Fame English rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player

Georgie Fame is an English rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player. Fame, who had a string of 1960s hits, is still a popular performer, often working with contemporaries such as Van Morrison and Bill Wyman. Fame is the only British pop star to have achieved three number one hits with his only Top 10 chart entries: "Yeh, Yeh" in 1964, "Get Away", in 1966 and "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" in 1967.

Publicity photo of the band in 1968 Jimi Hendrix experience 1968.jpg
Publicity photo of the band in 1968

Though conceived as back-up band for Hendrix, the Experience, as a unit, gained fame and critical acclaim. Following the lead of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was one of the first groups to popularize the "power trio" format, which limited a rock band's line-up to guitar, bass and drums. [12] Hendrix combined lead and rhythm guitar styles, using fuzz and wah-wah pedals to modify his tone. Mitchell sometimes utilized jazz-influenced grooves, while Redding played simple bass lines that helped to anchor the band's sound.

Cream (band) 1960s British rock supergroup

Cream were a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of lead vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. The group's third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), is the world's first platinum-selling double album. The band is widely regarded as the world's first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold more than 15 million records worldwide. Their music included songs based on traditional blues such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", and modern blues such as "Born Under a Bad Sign", as well as more current material such as "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Toad".

Power trio

A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, leaving out the second rhythm guitar or keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands that are quartets and quintets. Larger rock bands use one or more additional rhythm section to fill out the sound with chords and harmony parts.

Distortion (music)

Distortion and overdrive are forms of audio signal processing used to alter the sound of amplified electric musical instruments, usually by increasing their gain, producing a "fuzzy", "growling", or "gritty" tone. Distortion is most commonly used with the electric guitar, but may also be used with other electric instruments such as bass guitar, electric piano, and Hammond organ. Guitarists playing electric blues originally obtained an overdriven sound by turning up their vacuum tube-powered guitar amplifiers to high volumes, which caused the signal to distort. While overdriven tube amps are still used to obtain overdrive in the 2010s, especially in genres like blues and rockabilly, a number of other ways to produce distortion have been developed since the 1960s, such as distortion effect pedals. The growling tone of distorted electric guitar is a key part of many genres, including blues and many rock music genres, notably hard rock, punk rock, hardcore punk, acid rock, and heavy metal music.

Visually, they set the trend in psychedelic clothes and hairstyles (following his bandmates' Bob Dylan 1966-style hairdos, Mitchell got himself a permed copy). Their early performances, such as at The Bag O'Nails in London, were attended by some of the biggest names in the English rock scene, including members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and guitarists Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. The Who's Pete Townshend admitted, "[Jimi] changed the whole sound of electric guitar and turned the rock world upside down". Clapton agreed: "after Pete Townshend and I went to see him play, I thought that was it, the game was up for all of us, we may as well pack it in." [13] The group came to prominence in the US after the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, [14] one of the first major rock music festivals. [9] The band's performance ended with Hendrix famously setting his psychedelically painted Fender Stratocaster on fire. [10] After the festival they toured with the Monkees, but left the tour two weeks later, reportedly due to lack of audience response. [10]

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

The Bag ONails Live music club and meeting place for musicians in Soho, London, England

The Bag O'Nails was a live music club and meeting place for musicians in the 1960s and situated at 9 Kingly Street, Soho, London, England.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and they experimented with a number of musical styles in later years, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

The cover of the US edition of Are You Experienced by graphic designer Karl Ferris Are You Experienced - US cover-edit.jpg
The cover of the US edition of Are You Experienced by graphic designer Karl Ferris

With the Experience, Hendrix recorded several hit singles, such as "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", [14] "The Wind Cries Mary", "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" and "All Along the Watchtower", and three successful albums: Are You Experienced , Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland . By April 1969, however, Hendrix's deteriorating relations with Redding were coming to a head, and he felt his musical development was hampered by the trio format. [15] The original group held together long enough to fulfill their existing engagements, culminating in the Denver Pop Festival on June 29, 1969. After hearing that Hendrix was planning to expand the Experience lineup without first consulting him, Redding quit the group and returned to England.

Hey Joe song written and composed by Billy Roberts

"Hey Joe" is an American popular song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard and has been performed in many musical styles by hundreds of different artists. "Hey Joe" tells the story of a man who is on the run and planning to head to Mexico after shooting his unfaithful wife. The song was registered for copyright in the United States in 1962 by Billy Roberts. However, diverse credits and claims have led to confusion about the song's authorship. The earliest known commercial recording of the song is the late-1965 single by the Los Angeles garage band the Leaves; the band then re-recorded the track and released it in 1966 as a follow-up single which became a hit. The best-known version is the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1966 recording. The song title is sometimes given as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?" or similar variations.

Purple Haze original song written and composed by Jimi Hendrix

"Purple Haze" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and released as the second record single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on March 17, 1967. As a record chart hit in several countries and the opening number on the Experience's debut American album, it was many people's first exposure to Hendrix's psychedelic rock sound.

The Wind Cries Mary song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

"The Wind Cries Mary" is a rock ballad written by Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix and Mitchell experimented with a larger ensemble that included bassist Billy Cox. Sometimes referred to as Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, they performed at the Woodstock Festival in August 1969. By November the lineup split and Hendrix returned to the trio format with Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. After recording the Band of Gypsys album and an aborted performance in January 1970, Miles was fired. Michael Jeffery (now Hendrix's only manager) called Redding and Mitchell about reforming the Experience. Both agreed to participate in a tour. Hendrix was open to having Mitchell rejoin, but reluctant to bring Redding back into the fold.

Poster for a concert at the IMA Auditorium, Flint, Michigan, 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience IMA Auditorium Flint 1968 poster.jpg
Poster for a concert at the IMA Auditorium, Flint, Michigan, 1968

In early February 1970, Jeffery set up an interview with Rolling Stone magazine to announce the return of the group, published on March 19, 1970 in Rolling Stone as "J.H.: The End of a Beginning Maybe". Redding waited for weeks to hear back about rehearsals for the upcoming tour, and when he finally spoke with Mitchell's girlfriend, he learned that he had been replaced by Cox. Before the tour started, Hendrix called it "The Cry of Love Tour". The group itself was referred to as "Jimi Hendrix" and sometimes the "Jimi Hendrix Experience".

The trio toured and recorded in the US from April until August 1970. At the end of August, the European leg of the tour began, as a headliner at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. During a break in the tour, Hendrix died on September 18, 1970. [9] In 1992, the Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [8] Noel Redding was found dead in his home in Ireland on May 11, 2003. [16] While touring in the US, Mitch Mitchell was found dead on November 12, 2008 in his room at the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon. [17]



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<i>Electric Ladyland</i> 1968 studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

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  4. Potash, Chris, ed. (1996). The Jimi Hendrix Companion: Three Decades of Commentary. Schirmer Books. p. 66. ISBN   978-0-02864-609-1. With drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding [Jimi Hendrix] formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. They were the first of the super high energy bands — the epitome of acid rock.
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  6. 1 2 3 During the April–September 1970 tour with bassist Billy Cox, the trio was sometimes referred to as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience"
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  16. Vintage Amps Bulletin Board • View topic – Hendrix Bassist Noel Redding Dead At 57
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  18. Hendrix also sometimes played bass, piano, harpsichord, glockenspiel, recorder, and makeshift kazoo
  19. Redding sometimes played guitar