Fashion Profile: Jimi Hendrix
Even though he died young, Jimi Hendrix is often considered one of the most influential musicians in recent history.
Born: 27th November 1942
Famous for: Being widely considered the greatest electric guitarist in musical history.
Style Characteristics: Hussar jackets, blouses and bandanas.
Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, the oldest of five children, and grew up in an unstable household (due to his sickly siblings and the death of his mother when he was just fifteen). As a result of such disruption, Hendrix grew up as a shy child.
A young Jimi Hendrix developed his music abilities on a ukelele his father had found and strumming a broomstick in imitation of his idols. After the death of his mother, Hendrix found comfort in teaching himself to play guitar through listening and repeating records.
Hendrix was introduced to blues by his father and was heavily influenced by musicians such as Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters and BB King.
Hendrix played formally in bands such as The Velvetones and The Rocking Kings, however, he didn't finish High School. He later got into trouble with the law and so his music career was put on hold as he was given the option of going to prison or joining the army. He chose the latter and enlisted in 1961.
After leaving the army, Hendrix became involved in various bands once more. His first studio recording was in 1964 when he recorded "Testify" with the Isley Brothers. After collaborating with Ike and Tina Turner, Jimi joined an R&B group in 1965, "Curtis Knight and the Squires".
Many of his recording sessions were advertised as solo albums when Hendrix became famous through the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" with which he released three albums and performed at Woodstock in August 1969.
During his musical career, Hendrix and his friend Eric Clapton popularised the use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock which allowed them to deliver such complex guitar playing.
Hendrix was well known for his uniquely flamboyant dress sense and "Dylan-esque" hairstyle (he was famed for taking a set of hair curlers with him on tour).
Whilst touring in London, he took the opportunity to scour the fashion capitals' streets in search of boutiques such as "I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet" and "Granny Takes a Trip" - both of which were vintage shops. It was here that Hendrix discovered military fashion and in particular, the iconic hussar jacket (worn by many musicians since).
In his early career, photographs show Hendrix wearing scarves, rings, medallions and badges advertising his support for the hippie movement made popular in the 60s.
In the late 60s, Hendrix favoured a style of hat known as "the Westerner", however, he gave it up in 1968 in favour of bandanas to go with his custom made stage costumes (often including waistcoats and shirts with fringeing along the sleeves).
Allegations of murder were made in relation to the death of Jimi Hendrix, however, it is said that he died of an overdose of sleeping pills. He died on the 18th September 1970 in a flat in London.
His career and death grouped him with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones - known as the 27 club as they all suffered drug-related deaths, aged 27, all within a two year period.