Iconic musician Jimi Hendrix will always be known as one of the talented artists of all time, but there are some little-known facts about this rock star that might surprise you. Here, PPcorn present 15 facts you didn’t know about Jimi Hendrix.
Number Fifteen: He Wasn’t Always Jimi Hendrix
“Jimi” was actually born Johnny Allen Hendrix. Jimi’s mother and father did not have a very good relationship, so when Jimi went to live with his father after he gained custody, he father renamed him James Marshall Hendrix. He didn’t actually spell his name “Jimi” until 1966.
Number Fourteen: He Played the Broomstick
Before Jimi got his first guitar, he would pretend he knew how to play guitar using just an old broom. He was even rumored to have brought the broomstick to school with him, and he would often dance with it.
Number Thirteen: He Also Played the Ukulele
Though you could argue his first instrument was the broomstick, his first real instrument was the ukulele. However, it was a special ukulele – he found it in the trash, and it only had one string.
Number Twelve: He Dropped Out of High School
Though Hendrix went on to become wildly famous and successful, he never even finished high school. He dropped out before he enlisted in the military.
Number Eleven: He Used the Military to Avoid Prison
Speaking of the military, the only reason Hendrix enlisted was to avoid prison. Hendrix was caught in stolen cars on two occasions when he was growing up. He had to choose jail or the military, and he made his choice.
Number Ten: There Are Numerous Conspiracy Theories About His Death
One conspiracy theory, in particular, alleges that Hendrix was actually murdered. The conspiracy theory states that his girlfriend at the time, Monika Dannemann, made him overdose.
Number Nine: He Belongs to the 27 Club
Also related to his death, Hendrix is a member of the 27 Club, the group of famous artists who died at the age of exactly 27. Other members of this club include Amy Winehouse and Jim Morrison.
Number Eight: His Childhood Wasn’t Easy
Hendrix had a very tumultuous relationship with his mother. Many people think this is because his mother was an alcoholic.
Number Seven: He Used Music as a Religion
Hendrix classified the music he played as part of the “electric church.” According to him, he wanted his music to be part of a safe place that anyone could access and experience his music in a sort of religious way. He liked the idea of music bringing people together without judgments.
Number Six: He Was an Autodidact
Did you know Hendrix taught himself how to play guitar? He first learned on the one-string ukulele we mentioned in part one, but he then realized he could teach himself even more on an actual guitar. He had never taken a single guitar lesson in his life.
Number Five: He Couldn’t Actually Read Music
Speaking of guitar lessons, Jimi Hendrix never learned how to read music. He learned how to play by ear, rather than by reading notes on a page.
Number Four: One of His Most Popular Songs Is a Cover
His hit song, “All Along the Watchtower,” was actually written and recorded by Bob Dylan less than one year before Jimi Hendrix covered it. After Hendrix died, Dylan began playing the song the same way Hendrix did as a tribute to him.
Number Three: He May Have Had Two Children
Hendrix definitely has one son – James Sundquist. However, he may have a daughter as well, Tamika Hendrix. However, there has never been DNA testing to prove that Tamika is Hendrix’s daughter.
Number Two: He Loved Comic Books
Hendrix would often reference comic book characters when talking with friends. In addition to Spider-Man, Hendrix was also a fan of Batman.
Number One: He Wrote a Screenplay
It’s true! This man truly was a genius. His screenplay, written entirely by himself, was called Moon Dust. The main character, named The Powerful Sound King, was based on his own personality. Other characters in the screenplay were based off of Spider-Man characters.