Jimi Hendrix, (James Marshall Hendrix), 11/27/42 - 9/18/70. Born in Seattle, Washington, Jimi is often considered the greatest guitarist in rock and roll. He is known for playing guitar left-handed and behind his back. He headlined the famous Woodstock Music Festival in 1968. Jimi was the second member of "The 27 Club”. He asphyxiated on his vomit after ingesting a heavy dose of barbiturates.
Most of the great guitarists of our day have been in some way influenced by Jimi. His music is as good today as it was back then. I see kids wearing Jimi Hendrix t-shirts and smile. I don't think he will ever be forgotten. There have always been rumors that he was murdered, but sadly I think he was another victim of drug abuse. Forgot to mention above that Jimi also played with his teeth! Here's a short video clip, if you can dig it.
Jimi Hendrix - Angel
Alan Wilson, (Alan Christie Wilson) 7/4/43 – 9/30/70. Born in Boston, Massachusetts. Alan was the leader, singer and song writer for Canned Heat. He performed at two of the greatest concerts of the 1960’s, The Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Alan died of a barbiturate overdose, many believe it was suicide. He was 27.
What was it about the age 27? Alan was number 2 of 9 of the people I have listed here, but there are many, many more (check out this list on Wikipedia!)that I know of who died at that age. I have two songs by Canned Heat on my iPod, wonder if there would have been more had Alan lived? Suicide and drug overdose is so prevalent among rock musicians. Its hard for a lot of people to understand being so low you don't want to live, but then again there are many of us who do know. I think in this era there is so much more help for depression. Thankfully.
Canned Heat - Going Up To The Country
Janis Joplin, 1/19/43 – 10/4/70. Born in Port Arthur, Texas. Janis grew up in a conservative family. Due to her talent for singing the blues she rose to fame in the 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company and eventually a solo career. Janis was the first female to cross over into rock and roll successfully and inspired many women after her. She struggled with drug addiction and died of an overdose. Janis was the third member of the "27 Club.
Janis. Oh, Janis. I've written about her many times on my other blogs. Her voice is still stand-out unique. She was able to communicate with her voice even when she used no words, just the sounds of an aching heart. Its said that she changed rock music by opening the door for other women. I can't say there has been anyone that has as much soul and passion since, but a few come close. As a person I think many women, myself included, can relate to her longing for love and the disappointments of failed relationships. She had so much to give and was willing to give it all. She did give it all...damn it. I understand, I really do. Especially since my own son is addicted to the same drug. Why is there so much pain in the world? How can a woman surrounded by people feel so alone?
Janis Joplin - Summertime