Jimi Hendrix’s sister has detailed the star’s “very quiet, shy” life off stage at a recent Q&A event held in London.
Janie Hendrix and audio engineer Eddie Kramer joined the event hosted by Shaun Keaveny via Zoom last month (November 17). The session took place 10 days before what would have been the iconic musician’s 80th birthday and marked the release of a new live album, ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969’.
During the Q&A, Janie spoke about her brother’s life when he wasn’t on stage. “When he came home, he didn’t have a guitar in his hand,” she said. “He wanted to spend time with the family. We’d have these family forum discussions where we would all sit in a circle in the living room and we’d want to ask Jimi a ton of questions.
“He would call home all the time, but he wasn’t always talking about what he was doing. He just really wanted to know what everyone else was doing because being on the road, he felt like he missed out on birthdays, Christmas holidays, and various events.”
She continued to say that Hendrix “loved to play Monopoly” and the family would stay up all night playing the board game, in which he wanted to use the shoe counter. “It wasn’t like him running around the house yelling and screaming or acting crazy or breaking up things like you would do on stage,” Janie added.
“That wasn’t him. He was very shy and quiet and just wanted to spend time and talk and listen. He was doing a lot of listening, more so than what we wanted because we wanted to hear from him. So that’s kind of what his outside of music life was – just very quiet, shy, soft-spoken.”
Elsewhere, Kramer spoke of Hendrix’s love of music technology, recalling mixing his seminal album ‘Electric Ladyland’ at the Record Plant studio in 1968. “There was a period there where something was funky with the console and the phasing that I was doing,” he said. “Jimi was sitting next to me and we mixed together, as there were no computers in those days, but all of a sudden, there was a sound that by some accident, made a strange thing happen.
“Jim’s guitar, went ‘woooof’ right behind our heads, and we thought, ‘What the hell was that?’ And Jimi looked at me, ‘Can you do that again?’ I said, ‘No, mate I have no idea.’ It was a mistake which I tried to duplicate but could never recapture! And that was the beginning of sounds travelling behind you. Had he lived, he would have been right in the middle of this amazing new technology saying, ‘Hey man, let’s pan the guitar this way.’ Or if it was a studio recording, because he was very sharp and really into the technology, he would have wanted me to pan overhead and around the room which is what I loved to do.”
Last month, Zayn Malik paid tribute to Hendrix ahead of his 80th birthday by sharing a cover of his song ‘Angel’. The former One Direction singer used the iconic guitarist’s original, signature guitar from the song, which was originally released posthumously in 1971 by Hendrix’s estate.