Born on November 27th, 1942, as Johnny Allen Hendrix (changed later to James Marshall Hendrix), Jimi Hendrix, like most other artists, had quite a hard-learned life of growing up; outlined by the early loss of his mother, racial prejudice, living in various people's houses, and having felt a tiny tinge of a petty world of crime that lugged him into the army briefly. The outline seemed to have faded quite a lot by his passion for music.
His first guitar, given to him by his father, intensified his musical inclination and his long hours of listening to Chuck Berry and the like, and practicing. He was to open up a newer sanctuary of music, the stage, Woodstock, and a swinging scene of 'purple-hazed' frenzy of drugs, lovers, life, and all their highs and lows that seemed, sometimes, like alien-wanderers on interplanetary landscape of the real, imagined, and the intensely felt. Here are some quotes by Jimi Hendrix that would suffice for your own estimate of his intensely felt perceptions about life, the world, love, and music, which as he knew contained every essence of all these three.
Quotes on Love
"The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye."
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar."
"You don't have to be singing about love all the time in order to give love to the people. You don't have to keep flashing those words all the time."
"You have to forget about what other people say, when you're supposed to die, or when you're supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things."
Quotes on Music
"Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."
"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded."
"In World War II all these countries were completely against each other, complete opposite. Now we're getting them all together, through the idea of music."
"When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild and freak out and do anything they want to do."
"I try to use my music to move these people to act."
"I wish they'd had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would've been straightened out."
"Rock is so much fun. That's what it's all about - filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows."
"Music makes me high on stage, and that's the truth. It's like being almost addicted to music."
"Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction."
"See, that's nothing but blues, that's all I'm singing about. It's today's blue."
"My goal is to be one with the music. I just dedicate my whole life to this art."
Quotes on the World
"Be respected as being new, and probably a decent change or a help for the human race or whatever, instead of keep carrying the same old burdens around with you."
"When I finally do get into it, the whole world's gonna know about it."
"I think it would count more, if we did less personal appearances."
"Sometimes the music people put you into these big, rush things."
"All they did was let me do what I wanted to do, one of them kind of scenes."
"To be with the others, you have to have your hair short and wear ties. So we're trying to make a third world happen, you know what I mean?"
"With any new civilization... they have to have their own officers and police and governments and all that."
"When we go to play, you flip around and flash around and everything, and then they're not gonna see nothin' but what their eyes see. Forget about their ears."
"You have to give people something to dream on."
"The artist draws the people. The whole idea is for people to dig themselves, just mingle around meeting different other people. That's cool."
"Some people should just start ideas and other ones should carry them out."
"White collar conservative flashin' down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me, they all assume my kind will drop and die, but I'm gonna wave my freak flag high."
"It's funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life."
Quotes on Drugs
"Are these all psychedelic? I don't even know what that word means, really."
"Purple Haze all in my brain, lately things don't seem the same. Actin' funny but I don't know why. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky."
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."
"Businessmen they drink my wine, come and taste my herb."
"Astro Man says something about living in peace of mind. Well, Astro Man will leave you in piece."
Quotes on Life
"All I'm gonna do is just go on and do what I feel."
"All I'm writing is just what I feel, that's all. I just keep it almost naked. And probably the words are so bland."
"Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually."
"I believe everybody should have a room where they get rid of all their releases. So my room was a stage."
"You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven."
"There was a period when I stopped talking so much, because I was just going through certain things. I just did the gigs and just stayed in, tried to stay away."
"I'm trying to get more into other things, where reality is nothing but each individual's way of thinking."
"I guess it would be if I wanted to, just lay back and predominantly write songs when I can't go on a stage any more."
"Spiritually, it's always there. It gets better and better all the time. One of these days I'll just finally release all that out."
"After a while I started getting aware too much of what was going down. It started to bring me down a little bit."
"I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man."
"I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around."
"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
"I was trying to do too many things at the same time, which is my nature. But I was enjoying it, and I still do enjoy it."
"If I had anything to say I'd have a say to everybody."
"If I'm free, it's because I'm always running."
"I wanted to be listened to. I don't know if they were or not, though."
"I didn't know it was anger until they told me that it was, you know, with the destruction and all that."
These quotes possibly give you an insight to the genius that he was. Loving, needing what he desired, and doing and playing on the lines of no boundaries; and in the midst of it all, getting his music in the center of it was all what Jimi Hendrix, one of the best guitarists of all time, did best. Whether it was in a daze or a haze, it managed to set the stage on fire. Having lived a life of 27 years, filled to capacity of a heightened state of the wholeness of a rock-star and a desirous being, this great man died in his girlfriend's apartment choked after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, washed down with wine (according to one well-known version of the cause of his death) on September 18, 1970.
Jimi Hendrix did bring out the best in the electric guitar, and the electric guitar in turn, brought out the best in him. Paul McCartney says, He was very self-effacing about his music, but then when he picked up that guitar he was just a monster.