VIP Jimi Hendrix

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Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music." It's hard to argue with that.

Jimi Hendrix, who served in the army and played guitar for Little Richard on the chitlin' circuit, became Experienced with LSD in 1996 or '67. Before that, according to Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix by Charles Cross (2005), "his experimentation was significantly limited by his dire financial circumstances to cannabis, hashish, amphetamines, and occasionally cocaine." After 1967, he regularly smoked cannabis and hashish, and used LSD and amphetamines, particularly while touring, notes the book Are You Experienced? by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby (1996). According to Cross, by the time of his death in September 1970, "few stars were as closely associated with the drug culture as Jimi."

Hendrix appeared in front of the Toronto Supreme Court in 1969 to answer charges of hashish and heroin possession. Admitting he had used pot, hashish, LSD and cocaine a handful of times, he told the judge he had "outgrown" drugs. The jury found him not guilty.

The term "purple haze" from Hendrix's famous song reportedly refers to LSD, sold in purple capsules called Delysid by the pharmaceutical company Sandoz. According to Room Full of Mirrors, Hendrix said after trying LSD he played colors, not notes, and "saw" the music in his head as he played. (The Grateful Dead concurred, as did Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD in 1943.)

"Liquid Experience," an energy drink that borrowed its name from one of Hendrix's albums, debuted in April 2007. In 2014 it was announced a US Postage stamp would be issued in Hendrix's honor.

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