In June 1967, Jimi Hendrix returned to his native country and transformed the cultural, musical and fashion landscapes. Punctuated by Hendrix lighting his instrument on fire, the U.S. debut performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Monterey Pop Festival propelled the guitarist to the top ranks of international rock royalty. Part of the Coda Groundbreakers Theme.
Every time you look at it, the timeline seems impossible. When Jimi Hendrix played the Monterey Pop Festival, he had already left his hometown of Seattle; trained as a paratrooper and been discharged from the military; moved to Nashville to hustle on the local R&B circuit; backed up giants like Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett and Jackie Wilson; toured as part of the Isley Brothers’ band and Little Richard’s backing group; moved to New York City, where he won Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater and put his first band together; been spotted by Chas Chandler of the Animals, who moved him to London and put him together with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience; blown the minds of British rock royalty including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton; and recorded his debut album, “Are You Experienced,” which reached No. 2 on the U.K. charts.