Whether you’re a fan of rock music or not, you must be familiar with the name of Jimi Hendrix. Born in 1942, Hendrix was an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. And, even though his mainstream career didn’t last for more than a few years, he is considered one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century and one of the most influential guitarists of all times.
Here you can read some interesting facts you may not know about Hendrix, his habits, and his career.
His musical influences
There were plenty of talented guitarists before Hendrix, but only a few managed to impress him. He cites as inspiration musicians such as B.B. King, Eddie Cochran or Elmore Jones. However, it was Muddy Waters that made Hendrix truly be aware of the instrument he was playing.
In an earlier interview, the musician admitted to listening to one of Waters’ old records when he was a child and claiming he was truly impressed by all the sounds a guitar can make. It was that precise moment that captivated Jimi’s attention and helped him turn into a rock legend after years of practice.
He couldn’t read the music sheets
Most people are not aware of Hendrix’s modest origins and his lack of interest in anything related to music theory. Although a brilliant guitarist, Hendrix was mainly a self-taught artist that didn’t even know how to read the notes. In all his songs he based solely on his talent and musical ear.
However, he was a true visionary and decided to communicate using words and colors instead of notes. He developed his own color code with each color describing a certain feeling. He used purple for anger, jealousy or rage, and green when he was thinking of envy.
Therefore, he would often use paper or tape to record all his musical ideas.
He took his inspiration from his dreams
Most musicians are inspired by their childhood memories, political events or their personal lives. However, Hendrix was always fascinated by his dreams and, in time, this became his number one source of inspiration.
In a 1967 interview, Hendrix admitted writing one of his most famous songs, “Purple Haze”, after a dream he had.
An interesting personal life
Apart from the genius on stage, Hendrix also lived an interesting personal life. He was allegedly the father of two children – a daughter and a son, but there were no paternity tests taken.
Hendrix also got into trouble with the police in various occasions throughout his life. He was arrested for destroying a hotel room, for driving without a driver license back in his teen years and for drug possession.