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Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix didn't live too long, but it was a roller coaster ride of excess. Sex, drugs, rock n roll… a quintessential rocker's life… but one that started early and ended tragically early as well. Read about the talented, temperamental guitarist's life who set the stage (sometimes literally) on fire with his guitar wizardry.

The unearthing of Jimi Hendrix's boast of dodging forcible recruitment in army in those war-dominated era by feigning homosexuality, opens up a virtual Pandora's box about the seedier, wild side of rock, with he himself being one among the wilder men of rock. And, Jimi Hendrix's life epitomised the dominant darkness that loomed large.

Life for Jimi Hendrix was nothing short of a slow, destructive path to annihilation that seems to be eerily scripted, for it followed the well-trodden rock route of booze, drugs and wild living to the hilt. One look at it and you almost miss out that this action seemed packed in such short a life span. He was all of 27 when he eventually succumbed. But, then we must not forget that the whole charade began a tad too early in life. Yes, damn early!

Much before he was in his teens, Hendrix discovered the two main passions that were to dominate his life, music and sex. In the days to come, he'd entangle the two so much, perhaps he also realised the absurdity of it all. It was at the age of nine that he was gifted a guitar by an uncle. The young Jimi took an instant fancy to the new machine and would hold on to it enthusiastically for some amazing experiments.

The other dominant aspect of his life: sex, also happened pretty early. He had categorically boasted, time and again, of his sexual experiences, and had claimed that his first sexual experience occurred when he was a tender 12. Like music, this aspect too went in for some kinky experiments. There's this one incident that starkly puts the point across. At age 15, he got expelled from school. The pointer: cheeking a teacher who ticked him off for holding a girl's hand in class.

Professionally, the early days were pretty uneventful, for he didn't seem to have tasted much success. After a spell as a paratrooper in the US Army, Hendrix drifted from town to town and band to band, playing the guitar with whoever would have him but failing to make a big impression. Throughout the early 1960s, he was a sideman for many groundbreaking R&B artists like Little Richard and the Isley Brothers, before he decided to break free, going solo. In 1966, he moved to London, and in Britain he swiftly found the success that had eluded him in America. He formed his band, the Experience, who for two years was a dominant figure on the rock concert circuit.

But all along, he kept his wild image intact. Wasn't he, after all, one of rock's wild men; his violent stage antics were often more anger than showmanship. At the end of one concert he set fire to his guitar and said afterwards 'Me and this guitar had been in spiritual conflict all evening. I told it to do one thing and it did another. I wanted to kill it. I was ready to tear it apart with my bare hands.'











You can read the rest of our feature on Jimi Hendrix in the August 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

Linkin Park
MIssy Elliot
Kanye West
Foo Fighters
Basement Jaxx
Low Millions
Amit Sana
Fantastic Four
VJ Tina
Van Halen
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