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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 July 2005, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Hendrix 'quit army with gay lie'
Jimi Hendrix biographer Charles R Cross with his book
Hendrix wanted to escape the army to play music, Charles R Cross says
Jimi Hendrix pretended to be gay so he would be discharged from the army, according to claims in a biography that has used his military medical records.

The rock legend said he left the 101st Airborne Division aged 19 in 1962 after being injured on a parachute jump.

But Room Full of Mirrors by Charles R Cross says army records show he was discharged for "homosexual tendencies".

Mr Cross says Hendrix had a legendary appetite for women - he even had an affair with actress Brigitte Bardot.

But he had told a base psychiatrist at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, he had fallen in love with a fellow soldier, the book claims.

No Vietnam objections

Mr Cross says the star enlisted in the US army to avoid being sent to jail after being arrested in stolen cars in his home town of Seattle.

He did not leave because of objections to the US role in Vietnam, but simply because he wanted to play music, according to the biography.

Hendrix avoided being sent to Vietnam and concentrated on music, becoming one of rock's most revered guitarists.

He became a star in 1966 with psychedelic rock hits such as Hey Joe and Purple Haze, and a legendary live performance.

Room Full of Mirrors is being published to mark the 35th anniversary of his death from a sleeping pill overdose in London in 1970.



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