The Day the Jimi Hendrix Experience Formed
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were born on Oct. 6, 1966.
Former Animals bassist Chas Chandler 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 to come with him to England where he would manage his career and make him a star.
Soon recording under his own name, Jimi 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. (Call it irony or coincidence, but that 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.