The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jimi Hendrix & Eroica Riesling

A couple of days ago, I was listening to Jimi Hendrix playing “Who Knows” and realized I’ve never done a full review of him and his music, so tonight, I’m rectifying that omission. He was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed to James Marshall) on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. He learned to play guitar as a teenager and grew up to become a rock guitar legend.
Hendrix had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives and family friends. 

His mother, Lucille, was only 17 years old when Jimi was born. She had a stormy relationship with his father, Al, and eventually left the family after the couple had two more children together, sons Leon and Joseph. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in 1958.
Music was a sanctuary for him. He was a fan of the blues and taught himself to play guitar. He got his first electric guitar at the age of 15 and eventually played with two bands - the Rocking Kings and the Tomcats. Struggling in school, but excelling in music, Hendrix dropped out of high school in 1959. He worked odd jobs while continuing to follow his musical aspirations.

 In1961 he enlisted in the army and trained at Fort Ord in California to become a paratrooper. Even as a soldier, he found time for music, creating a band named The King Casuals. Hendrix served in the army until 1962 when he was discharged due to an injury. 

After leaving the military, Hendrix pursued his music, working as a session musician and playing backup for such performers as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, and the Isley Brothers. He also formed a group of his own called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which played gigs around New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood.
In mid-1966, Hendrix was discovered by Chas Chandler, a former member of the Animals, who became his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London where he joined forces with musicians Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to create The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The band continued to tour until it split up in 1969.
 That same year, Hendrix performed at the Woodstock Festival where his rock rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was one of the high points of the festival.
After disbanding the Experience, Hendrix tried his luck with another group, forming Band of Gypsys in late 1969 with his army buddy Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. The band never really took off, and Hendrix began working on a new album tentatively named First Rays of the New Rising Sun, with Cox and Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Unfortunately Hendrix didn’t live to complete the project. He died on September 18th, 1970, from drug-related complications. He was only 27 years old at the time of his passing, but left his mark on the music world as his songs are considered required material for any guitarist worth his salt.

Actually had some decent weather this weekend with temps in the 80’s during the day and 60s at night. Great weather for a summer wine like an Eroica Riesling ($18.00 at Costco) that originates from a partnership between Dr. Loosen of Mosel, Germany and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington State. It’s one of my favorites. Light straw-colored, with a beautiful floral and honeysuckle bouquet, followed by crisp flavors of melon, peach, and pineapple. It has excellent balance, and a long, pure, refreshing finish. Not too sweet, but rather semi-dry and it’s a wonderful accompaniment to the music of Jimi Hendrix. Enjoy!


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