By Dale Evva Gelfand
A bad black child from Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix turned a rock legend who left an indelible mark on American tradition. This biography illuminates the guitarist's existence for college kids with info and pictures.
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Extra info for Jimi Hendrix (Black Americans of Achievement)
Later recalled: When I first met Jimi, he was destitute. I was playing at a club called the Gaslight. , a really funky joint. Jimi was playing there, and I went by one night. He was playing some of my songs.... He was incredible-looking and seemed pleased to meet me. I asked him how I could help, and he said: ‘Get me a gig. ’ So I got him a gig at the Café Au Go Go, and I worked there with him for a month with Jimi playing lead guitar. Hendrix’s reputation attracted a number of famous musicians, including the Beatles (who had come to America to tour and were playing at Shea Stadium at the time), Paul Butterfield and Michael Bloomfield of the Butterfield Blues Band, and Hendrix’s idol, Bob Dylan.
He looked very straight, really, apart from the hair. We didn’t talk much at first.... [Jimi] was very soft-spoken and gave the impression of being very gentle, almost shy. It was immediately apparent that he was a good guitarist; but at that stage I was more knocked out that he could cover so many different styles, as well. You name it, he could do it. I think we did ‘Have Mercy Babe’ first. [Jimi] didn’t really sing, more mumbled along to the music—Chas really had to coax it out of him. 47 48 JIMI HENDRIX Next, the band needed a name.
Hendrix asked if Chandler knew Eric Clapton, the revered British electric-blues guitarist. Chandler said he did and promised an introduction if Hendrix came to England. The two huddled in the basement bar for a long time, hammering out the basics of a deal that would bring Hendrix to London, where he would assemble a band to record and play his own songs. Chandler and Michael Jeffery, the Animals’ manager in England, would be partners in managing his career. Over the next month and a half, while Chandler finished his tour with the Animals, the ball was set in motion to settle everything and to get a copy of Hendrix’s birth certificate from Seattle so that he could get a passport.