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50 Years Ago: The Jimi Hendrix Experience Form

Hulton Archive, Getty Images

On Oct. 6, 1966, the Jimi Hendrix Experience were born. Former Animals bassist Chas Chandler had caught a performance by Jimmy James & the Blue Flames while hanging out in New York City in the summer of 1966. Very impressed with what he heard and saw, Chandler convinced James, soon to be recording under his own name, to come with him to England where he would manage his career and make him a star.

Hendrix arrived in the U.K. in September, and Chandler introduced him to bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. They soon became the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Their first actual rehearsal took place on Oct. 6, 1966, which, call it irony or coincidence, was also the date that LSD was declared illegal in the U.S.. The band rehearsed for a week before hooking up with French pop singer Johnny Hallyday for a four-date French tour.

The impact of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in England was immediate. Fans, including fellow musicians such as Eric Clapton, Brian Jones, Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend, spread the word on this new musical force. By the time of the release of the band’s debut single, “Hey Joe,” in December, Hendrix was fast on his way to becoming a legend.

See Jimi Hendrix and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’60s

Next: Top 10 Jimi Hendrix Songs

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