Legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix taught himself to play guitar during his youth in Seattle, Washington. Because he was left-handed, he developed a very unusual technical style that involved playing the guitar upside down, as well as using the right thumb to create unique chordal fingering patterns.
Hendrix further developed his flamboyant playing style while he was working with the Isley Brothers in 1964, when he added playing the guitar with his teeth, behind his back, and with one hand to his performance repertoire. His experimentation with electronic effects such as feedback and sound distortion resulting from high volume levels began in 1965, while living in New York City's Greenwich Village.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience came together in 1966, after Hendrix' new manager Chas Chandler, former member of the group the Animals, took him to England. Hendrix, along with bass guitarist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell formed the group. The band became the opening act for the British band Cream, and gained a great deal of attention. The group's first American appearance was the highlight of the Monteray Pop Festival in June, 1967.
The group's first album, "Are You Experienced?" (1967) combined both Hendrix distinctive guitar sound and experimental studio effects which Hendrix pioneered. Hendrix continued to explore electronic sounds effects in subsequent albums, and by his third album "Electric Ladyland" in 1968, he had created a highly complex, psychedelic sound. (Manic Depression, from the 1968 Winterland Festival - Audio 5:21)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience disbanded briefly in 1969. Hendrix
performed at Woodstock that summer with his new group, The Band of
Gypsies, and recorded one album with them. The original Jimi Hendrix
Experience rejoined in the summer of 1970 to record new material, just
before Hendrix died of an accidental drug overdose in September of