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    After a lengthy stint on the Chit'lin Circut, touring with such acts as the Eisley Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, and Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix found himself in Greenwich Village with no group and no direction.  It was 1966 and the times were turbulent both politically and socially.  Jimi started a group call Jimmy James and the Blue Flames and began playing around the Greenwich Village scene.  He always dressed with a lot of style when he was out at Nightclubs in Downtown Harlem.  "Jimi didn't mind looking freaky, like I don't mind it!" blared Little Richard, "He had my big toe shooting up in my boot!"  Since he was such an excellent musician and often times flamboyant showman, playing with his teeth and behind his back, Jimi must have thought it only appropriate to blend his own personal sense of style  with his overall persona.  In fact,  velvet pants and band jackets came to be staples of Jimi's garb.  After a long period of struggling to make musical steps, Jimi was finally discovered by Animal's bassist Chas Candler and brought over to England to record in 1966.


Jimi is on the right jamming on the Chit'lin Circut

     London was considered The Fashion Mecca during the late 60's.  All the super-groovy beautiful people were there when Jimi arrived.  He instantly amazed everybody with his abundant creativity, yet  humble demeanor.  His  new band "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" was at the cutting edge of music and style when "Are You Experienced?" was released in 1967.  Jimi's album quickly rushed up the charts just behind The Beatles revolutionary album "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band."  In fact,  when Jimi was playing shows in London,  in front of members of The Rolling Stones, The Cream and The Beatles, he would often belt out scorching cover versions of  "Sgt. Pepper's" and "Sunshine of Your Love."  All the time, Jimi's fashions were changing,  becoming more colorful and outrageous like his sound.  Designers were now making clothes for him and sending them to him from all over the world.


Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell as pictured on "Are You Experienced."


"The Experience"

     Jimi continued recording at a voracious pace and extensively touring and throughout Europe and America.  After his big American debut at the Monterey Pop Fest, his first big U.S. tour was actually with The Monkees!  While Hendrix  was living up to his larger-than-life billing, the pressures being placed on him were mounting.  "He liked to always look groovy in the clothing he wore and was self-conscious of what people thought of him," said one of the Ghetto Fighter Allen twins, with whom Jimi roomed early on and later recorded with on numbers like "Earth Blues."  After four rigorous years of touring and recording, Jimi's untimely death occurred.  He blazed onto the scene and blazed out just as quickly.  Music and fashion would never be the same.
By: Evan W. 


Jimi at Royal Albert Hall, London


Relaxing during an interview

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