Hendrix Dad Slated Son's Singing

Hendrix's sister has recalled the moment when the guitar icon told his incredulous father that he was going to sing as well as play guitar.

Ultimate Guitar

Jimi Hendrix's sister Janie has recalled the moment when the guitar icon told his incredulous father that he was going to sing as well as play guitar.

The axe icon didn't rate his own voice - an attitude reinforced by his dad. But when he prepared to travel to the UK ahead of what would be his golden era, the star-in-waiting had a solution to the problem.

Janie tells Music Radar: "Jimi never thought he was much of a singer. My dad was a decent singer and he could be brutally honest. He would say, 'You can't sing, so it's good you can play guitar'. He was very supportive of him in the guitar arena, but he was just being honest.

"When Jimi was going to England he was all excited, telling my dad: 'They're putting a group behind me - I'm off to the big time. I'm going to change the spelling of my name, and guess what? They want me to sing!'

"My dad was like, 'Oh, goodness!' But Jimi said, 'They're all just hollering out there, so I'm gonna holler like the rest of them'".

Janie has gathered a new collection of lyrics written by her brother, many of which were never matched up to music. "No one knows he wrote more than 110 songs", she says. "We unearthed some unpublished songs. We don't have music to those they're just words.

"They're timeless: about times of then, times of yesteryear, times of the future. It's a message. All his lyrics are a message of love. He's sharing dreams he had, how he wants our world to be".

Monkee drummer Micky Dolenz says: "I'm the one who suggested him. I was a fan before he was famous - I'd seen him at the Monterey Pop Festival. I remember being blown away by his skill, his musicianship and his style.

"On tour we couldn't always watch the opening act because we had to be smuggled into the venue. We'd get to watch him sometimes, but mostly I remember the offstage stuff.

"We hung out, we partied, we goofed around. We went to clubs and stuff like that. He was a lovely, very sweet guy".

Meanwhile, Dolenz has recalled how he argued for Hendrix to become the group's touring support act at the height of their fame in 1967.

Thanks to ClassicRockMagazine for the report.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hendrix Dad Slated Sons Singing Is "slated" the new word for "slams"? ...and who wrote (or forgot to proof-read) this article. "Dolenz says..." Who the hell is Dolenz and how does he fit into this story? I started back at the top thinking I missed some part of the article only to find the relevant paragraph at the very bottom. Sorry, but that just involved way too much reading and thinking for a little morsel of irrelevant information.
    the article is referring to Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz. And the article states that. Not sure if it's an edit or not but maybe you missed that part.
    I think it has to do with the origin of the article. Music Radar appears to be based in the UK, so much like "drink driving" is "drunk driving" to us, "slated" is probably used where we (in the U.S.) would perhaps say "panned".
    Doesn't seem that bad. His dad was being honest, and was just giving him a straight answer.
    Jimi's voice wasn't the greatest but it was good enough and when he played guitar like he did nobody even noticed that his voice wasn't all that great
    From the title, I thought Jimi's dad had said worse. Also, can we bring back "slamming"? It was more fun.
    "I'm the one who suggested him. I was a fan before he was famous" Mickey Dolenz: Original Hipster. Dolenz pls.
    his dad probably meant that Jimi wasn't a classical/jazz/motown style singer. Just because he could write songs, shred, and is dead, doesn't mean he was great at everything. Good enough is good enough.
    Janie is Jimi's STEPSISTER. Jimi's mom couldn't raise him, so his grandmother did. After she was hospitalized for tuberculosis a stranger (mrs. Wells) and later-on Mrs. Champs took Jimi under their wings. Jimi's dad (Al) used to send him money. Al Hendrix got divorced and picked up Jimi after the war, remarried, and in the late 60's Janie was born.... so Jimi was allready a musician on the scene, and just had his big breakthrough when Janie was about 3 years old. I'm still amazed that Jimi's estate is in hands of this woman while there's still a bloodline brother (Leon Hendrix) alive. Janie shouldn't act like she lived through it all....
    I don't think he was a great singer in a technical sense but he he crafted something really unique out of his limitations. I think all musicians should remember that being highly skilled does not make you great, its originallity and emotion: two qualities that Hendrix had.
    His dad used to beat him for playing left handed. So he had to play both ways.
    I've a Hendrix biography right next to me. Though I've yet to read it in full, from what I have read, Hendrix's father didn't seem too fond of Jimi himself, never mind his singing.
    Shouldn't it be "Hendrix's Dad"? Kind of like it's "Hendrix's sister" in the first sentence? Give me a break. If you're going to write an error filled article, at least be consistent.
    America put him on the streets. England put him on the stage. Buddy Miles and jimi Hendrix singing Changes though....now thats sweet
    I thought my brain stopped working because I couldn't believe that someone would use slated in an article title. This has to be the weirdest wording of a title on this site.
    I think his voice was a part of "the Joni Hendrix experience " No pun intended lol
    I think his voice was a part of "the Jimi Hendrix experience " No pun intended lol
    Well, we all do listen to Hendrix for his innovative and amazing vocal prowess....