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Jimi Hendrix’s Dad Wasn’t a Fan of His Singing

Jimi Hendrix
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

For millions of fans, Jimi Hendrix‘s musical legacy is beyond reproach — but he wasn’t above a little criticism from his father Al, who reportedly thought he would have been better off finding a different singer for the Experience.

According to Jimi’s sister Janie, the younger Hendrix agreed with his father’s critical assessment of his vocals. “Jimi never thought he was much of a singer,” she shrugged in a recent interview with Music Radar. “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.’”

Of course, stressed Janie, that didn’t mean Al Hendrix was being unkind. “He was very supportive of him in the guitar arena, but he was just being honest,” she explained, and when Jimi’s turn for the spotlight arrived, father and son shared a lighthearted moment.

“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,” recalled Janie. “I’m going to change the spelling of my name, and guess what? They want me to sing!’

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

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