The Story Behind Jimi Hendrix’s Name
Jimi Hendrix at the Dick Cavett Show - Youtube
It’s not unusual for celebrities to change their real names in favor of their stage names— the ones where they’re quite known for and the ones who brought them their fame and success. For them, stage names give a certain clandestine to their work and fans would not dare to disrupt the privacy of their idols.
It would take us a long time to enumerate all the celebrities who are merely using their pseudonyms (David Bowie, Prince, Axl Rose, and Slash to name a few). Instead, we’ll bring forth to the discussion the name of this iconic guitarist that had been attached to the annals of rock history. The one man who blew everyone’s mind when he proved that guitars are one of the most powerful instruments in music. That man was none other than Jimi Hendrix.
Perhaps, you might be shocked that the greatest guitarist of all time was only carrying his stage name. Born on November 27, 1942, with his real name John Allen Hendrix, he spent his days living in Seattle, Washington. Four years later, his parents would eventually change his name to James Marshall Hendrix. James Hendrix would move to New York, where he would eventually find his luck.
Now an aspiring musician, James would adopt the moniker “Jimmy James,” circulating his performances around the city. At one point, he met Linda Keith, the then-girlfriend of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards. Keith was immediately enthralled with Jimmy James’s power over the guitar that she’d invited him for a drink and the two became acquaintances. It was Keith’s idea to introduce Jimmy James to Chas Chandler, who was looking for someone’s career to manage.
Chandler and Hendrix’s meeting became a pivotal moment for their careers and Chandler helped Hendrix pick a name where he felt the guitarist is at his best. That’s when the exotic name “Jimi” came in and Hendrix began to use his surname once more. The rest is history.