15 Crazy Jimi Hendrix Facts: His Real Name, Kidnapping, and More

artists you didn't know were native american famous musicians who are color blind jimi hendrix playing guitar on stage jimi hendrix songs
Image from Shutterstock.

Jimi Hendrix was an American musician who was widely regarded as the most influential guitarist of all time. Although he lived a short life and passed away before his career had a chance to soar, he still made his mark on the music industry.

Known to most for his famous guitar rifts that made other guitarists want to be him when they grew up, Jimi Hendrix knew what he was doing on the electric guitar. The performance people remember the most was his Woodstock rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Are you curious about some of the most interesting Jimi Hendrix facts? Keep reading to find out.

How Tall Was Jimi Hendrix?

jimi hendrix height
Image of Jimi Henrix which is public domain.

This legendary musician was among the biggest influences on many of today’s guitarists. It was reported on his military records that he stood at about 5 feet 11 inches tall.

What Was Jimi Hendrix’s Real Name?

jimi hendrix
Image from Shutterstock.

Born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1942, Jimi Hendrix was given the name Johnny Allen Hendrix by his parents. Later in his life, his father had his name changed to James Marshall. Although he first performed under the name, Jimmy James, he later changed his stage name to Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix Played His Guitar Upside-Down

jimi hendrix
Image from Shutterstock.

This iconic guitarist received his first acoustic guitar from his father when he was only 16 years old. His father also purchased his first electric guitar, which happened to be a right-handed instrument. Hendrix, who was a lefty, chose to flip the guitar upside down so he could play it with his dominant hand.

Related: The 15 Best Jimi Hendrix Songs: Experience Hendrix

The Legendary Musician Was Once Kidnapped

jimi hendrix
Image of Jimi Hendrix from the public domain.

It has been reported that after one of his performances in Greenwich Village, Jimi Hendrix thought he was going to get some drugs with a fan, and instead was held hostage for two days. The kidnappers contacted his manager and made certain demands such as the release of his contract.

His manager did some investigating of his own and found the legendary guitarist within two days without needing to pay for his release. 

Jimi Hendrix Served in the Army

army march
Image by Filip Andrejevic on Unsplash.

Although he had dropped out of high school to pursue a music career, he ended up needing some money to the point he had to consider a job. Jimi chose to enlist in the Army to follow in his father’s footsteps by being a paratrooper. However, after one of his jumps, he broke an ankle and was honorably discharged.

Although American, Hendrix Got His Break in England

british flags
Image by A.Perry on Unsplash.

Jimi Hendrix’s career started slow in the United States with him playing in a variety of clubs and other small venues. It wasn’t until he visited London that his musical career took off due to being noticed by some big names in music.

Hendrix Once Set His Guitar on Fire

jimi hendrix songs
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – OCT 5, 2015: Jimi Hendrix at the Madame Tussauds museum in SF. It was open on June 26, 2014. Image from Shutterstock.

The legendary guitarist was recommended by Paul McCartney to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival in the United States. After performing an amazing set, Jimi Hendrix proceeded to set his guitar on fire as a symbol of dedication to the performance.

The Legendary Musician Could Not Read Music

himi hendrix
Image from Shutterstock

It is difficult to imagine that a phenomenal musician such as Jimi Hendrix would not be able to read music. However, he had no formal instruction and therefore did not have anything except his self-taught ways of playing the guitar, which is still iconic today.

Jimi Hendrix Only Released 3 Albums During His Career

jimi hendrix albums
Image from Shutterstock.

Most people in the music industry find it difficult to imagine the world of music today without the influence of Jimi Hendrix. All of his iconic music, however, came from only three albums that he released during his career. 

These albums were: 

  • Are You Experienced-Released in 1967
  • Axis: Gold as Love-Released in 1967
  • Electric Ladyland-Released in 1968

Many of Jimi Hendrix’s Songs Were Influenced by His Dreams

Image by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The legendary musician often stated that many of his most famous songs were based on dreams that he had. His most famous song, “Purple Haze,” which people often think is about drugs, was influenced by one of his dreams when he was walking underwater.

Mick Jagger’s Brother Once Designed His Clothing

jimi hendrix and mick jagger
Image from Shutterstock.

Jimi Hendrix was famous for not only his amazing guitar rifts but also for wearing some of the most talked about pieces of clothing. For the Monterey Pop Festival, Mick Jagger’s brother, Chris Jagger, is said to have designed the silk jacket that Hendrix wore when he set fire to his guitar.

Related: Jimi Hendrix’s Death: A Tale of the Lost Guitar Legend

Jimi Hendrix Was Hated Large Crowds

a large crowd
Image by Rob Curran on Unsplash.

Although most people view musicians as those who enjoy being in the spotlight, Jimi Hendrix was not that type of person. Even though he loved to perform, he often did so for smaller crowds, which is why he changed his slot at Woodstock to eight in the morning to draw fewer people.

Before He Became Jimi Hendrix, He Played Backup for Some Top Names in Music

jimi hendrix altar
Image by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash.

Playing as Jimmy James before he became the legendary guitarist that most people know him as today, he played backup for some well-known musicians. Some of these musicians included: Tina Turner, Little Richard, and Sam Cooke.

Jimi Hendrix Has a Son

Image by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Although many women during his short career claimed that he fathered their children, he is only known to have one child. James Daniel Sundquist was born to his one-time Swedish girlfriend, Eva Sundquist. His son stays out of the spotlight and lives in Sweden.

Jimi Hendrix Died at Age 27

jimi hendrix grave
Image from Shutterstock.

Jimi Hendrix has been one of the most influential musicians of all time, to have lived such a short life was a tragedy. It has been reported that the legendary guitarist died in his London apartment from an overdose of drugs.

You May Also Enjoy:

Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





million dollar quartet

The Million Dollar Quartet: A Legendary Jam Session

danny keough

Danny Keough: The Famous First Husband of Lisa Marie Presley