Jimi Hendrix Became Private James Hendrix On May 31, 1961

Private Hendrix, 61 years ago on 31st May 1961

It all started when Law enforcement authorities twice caught Hendrix riding in stolen cars and when given a choice between spending time in prison or joining the Army, he chose the latter and enlisted.

After completing his basic training at Fort Ord, California, the Army assigned him to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed him at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

In November 1961, fellow serviceman Billy Cox walked past the service club and heard Hendrix playing guitar inside. Cox, intrigued by the proficient playing, which he described as a combination of “John Lee Hooker and Beethoven”, immediately checked-out a bass guitar and the two began to jam. Soon after, they began performing at the base clubs on the weekends with other musicians in a loosely organized band called the Casuals.

That’s the story of Private Hendrix, 61 years ago.

Credit: Facebook Wall; College of Rock and Roll Knowledge.


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