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1970: 'He spoke through his guitar'
Jimi Hendrix collapsed and died suddenly during a party in London on 18 September 1970.

The 27-year-old American-born musician was credited with revolutionising guitar-playing and modern music in his few short years.

He rose to fame in Britain with his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Following his death, his father, Al Hendrix, set up a company, Experience Hendrix, which aimed to preserve Jimi's legacy.

Your tributes to Jimi Hendrix:

I was only nine years old, but I was already a fan, as my older brother had bought me "Smash Hits" the year before on my birthday.

We were on the way to the airport to pick up my brother, who had a one-week pass from service in Vietnam, when I heard a news flash that Jimi had died.

To me, Jimi remains the single most important influence on the entire music scene.
Joe Calles, USA
By this time, I was already a fanatic, trying to convince anyone who would listen that this man was phenomenal.

I also was aware that Hendrix's music was helping my brother cope with the stress of war.

So, I was the one who broke the news to my brother, and to this day, I can still see the look on his face when I broke the news.

It was as if a family member had died.

I have been a fan up to this very day, having just purchased the newly released "Live at Woodstock" DVD.

To me, Jimi remains the single most important influence on the entire music scene, and there will NEVER be another like him.
Joe Calles, USA

I was a young kid on a vast university campus in Texas, fresh off the boat, so to speak, from Jamaica.

A classmate lent me a tape with "Smashing of the Amps" and "Roomful of Mirrors" on it. My life hasn't been the same since.

I walked around that campus for more than four years, with a fresh supply of batteries for my Walkman and a backpack of cassettes sharing space with my engineering books.

You'll always be loved and missed.
Arthur Z, USA

I was just 17 when the news came that Jimi Hendrix had died.

Although I was much more into folk than rock and roll, I remember feeling that Hendrix's death was a milestone of some sort.
Jack Albrecht, USA

I was in London when our record company called me and told me of Hendrix's death.

I was shocked. He was just getting started and was playing better than ever.

I was in a band called Free at the time and had to break the news to our guitarist, Paul Kossoff. He idolised Jimi. We used to sit hunched over a record player listening to the guitar solos.

He never really recovered from Jimi's death.
Simon Kirke, USA

I can remember exactly where I was when I heard that Jimi Hendrix had died. I was on a bus going to Hounslow Bowling Alley.

I'd like to add that geniuses are not always appreciated in their time of life, as was my case when Jimi was playing some very complex and difficult-on-the-ears music.

However, over the years I've acquired a much more complex and difficult-on-the-ears taste in music. Jimi is a genius, and in Portuguese I say "Sua musica vai viver sempre".
Abraco Robert Mickailides, Brazil

I'm only 19 so I never got to see Jimi, but he changed what I listen to.

I used to listen to top 40 rock/pop/hip-hop, Whatever was on MTV.

After I listened to Jimi Hendrix's album Band Of Gypsies I just threw out all the CDs I owned. I just couldn't listen to them anymore.

I then started to learn the guitar and now I love to play. Jimi Hendrix opened me up to all kinds of different music. In conclusion I do not watch MTV anymore, and it's thanks to Jimi.
Gabriel Gras, USA

My friend, Ros, and I went to London from Hemel Hempstead to see the film "Woodstock". When we arrived in London, we saw posters advertising the Evening Standard with the headline "Jimi Hendrix Dead".

We were stunned.

During the film, when Jimi's contribution was shown, everyone stood and applauded.

Whenever I hear a Hendrix song, I recall that evening.
Sue Kington-Smith, France

I was a teenager in the 1960s growing up and attending school at a British Forces Education School in Germany.

Like all my peers, I was addicted to pop music. I loved the way the music made me feel and react. The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Kinks. These were my Gods.

But I never really thought about the mechanics of the music, just the great songs.

Then came the thundering realisation that the guitar was not just something that Harrison, Jones, Townsend etc played. It was an instrument that, when handled by a genius, could actually talk, scream, shout and cry. That Ggenius was Hendrix.

He put the idea of "musician" into my head, a concept I'd always thought only belonged to the stuffy music of my parents.

When he played, he spoke through his guitar, and when he died a major force in music died with him.

RIP Jimi. And thanks for what you gave us.
Barry Dyke, UK

I was very young, and I heard this phrase in a song "Are you experienced?"

My friends thought it was a great song about drugs and freedom and they were ready to explore that.

But I was convinced the phrase meant not are you experienced, but do other people experience you?

So, there it was. Already Hendrix had injected me with the true seeds of revolution, to look at the world and see it the way you want to.

He had lifted up one of the great shrouds of life - and taught me to look beyond the machinery (going through the motions of everyday life), and look at the processes, which we use to interpret life and how we ultimately take in everything around us.

¿The swan does not change; we must change the way we look at it.¿ (Rilke)
Mark Compton Bowers, USA

Although, I was only seven-year-old at the time, I was 'experienced' as my mother and father were both fans of modern music.

I distinctly remember being in the Food Mart with my mother, listening to the radio that was broadcast over the PA, when news came of Jimi Hendrix's passing.

I remember the older kids in my neighbourhood saying how great a guitarist he was, and years later when I myself became a guitarist, I was to learn how true that was.

Jimi quite simply, reinvented modern guitar playing as we know it. Taking from the blues, his creativity and tone set the bar that became the standard for rock guitar. His creations became the language with which all modern guitarists speak.

There has never been another musician, before or since, that has made this type of impact in rock music. Fly on, little wing.
Tom Guerra, USA

I can remember exactly where I was when I learned that Jimi Hendrix was dead.

My band was playing at the Bag O' Nails club in London, and we were walking about outside during a break.

We saw the news billboard and were stunned.
Phil Wade, Eyes of Blond, Norwich

As a guitar player yet to make his mark, but possessing a unique style, I can testify that Jimi Hendrix is undoubtedly the greatest electric guitar player of all times.

He could play funky, he could tear it up, and he could play deeper than the ocean and then send you into psychedelic space. His writing was poetic and visionary, and his persona exotically mysterious.

Guitar players have come and gone since 1970, but none have come close to reproducing the force of nature that was Hendrix and thirty-five years on the chasm left by his death has widened and remains unfilled.

Prior to his passing he talked about his music in terms of an electric church and I have been fully-paid up disciple for 20 years. One of many.
P Cafferty, Scotland

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Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was just 27-years-old when he collapsed and died


Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix was on a promotional tour of England when he died

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