Little known facts about Jimi Hendrix 

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.  He was one of the pioneers of utilizing guitar amplifier feedback artistically, and helped to popularize tone-altering pedals like fuzz distortion, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe.

“Jimi Hendrix 1967-cropped waist” by A. Vente is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Here are some facts you might not know about the “Purple Haze” artist. 


His name was changed as a child. 

Born Johnny Allen Hendrix in 1942, Hendrix’s name was changed to James Marshall Hendrix in 1946 in honor of his father, James Allen Hendrix (“Al”), and Al’s late brother, Leon Marshall.


He started playing on a ukulele with one string. 

Hendrix first got his hands on a string instrument while helping his dad with a side job. The client allowed Jimi to keep an old, one-stringed ukulele that was among the items being removed from her home – and he taught himself by ear to play Elvis Presley songs.


He was left handed. 

“Jimi Hendrix Experience-‘You Got Me Floatin”-1967″ by scottallenonline is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

One of the most famous left-handed guitar players of all time, Hendrix adapted by playing his guitar upside down. 


He played backup guitar for some huge stars. 

Hendrix started his professional career by playing guitar for some big names, including Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Isley Brothers. At that time, he was playing under the name “Jimmy James”. 


He jumped out of planes while serving in the U.S. Army. 

Hendrix served in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division as a paratrooper, enlisting in 1961.  He was even awarded the Screaming Eagles patch in 1962 – however, he disliked being in the military, and later that year was granted a general discharge under honorable conditions. 



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