Biography

Rock/R&B/psychedelia superstar Jimi Hendrix was actually left-handed, obliging him to learn to play the guitar while holding the instrument upside down. An excellent student, Hendrix was nonetheless kicked out of school in the 11th grade; he would later claim that this was because he was seen holding hands with a white girl. After serving as an Air Force paratrooper, Hendrix played backup and lead electric guitar with several bands. In 1966, he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. The release of the group's first album, 1967's Are You Experienced?, preceded its first public appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Like most of his contemporaries, Hendrix never entertained thoughts of a movie career; his big-screen appearances came by way of such concert films as Popcorn (1969) and Woodstock (1970). In 1973, audiences were treated to no fewer than three Hendrix film appearances: Jimi Plays Berkeley, Keep on Rockin': Jimi Hendrix, and Rainbow Bridge. All were released posthumously; three years earlier, 27-year-old Jimi Hendrix had died in London of a drug overdose. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi