OSF and Jimi Hendrix
Band of Gypsys – Hendrix – Who Knows
When I was 12 years old and still living in Denver, my cousin Rowena, who was 17 and visiting us from out in Los Angeles, brought home this record album by a guy named Jimi Hendrix. The album was “Smash Hits”. And the guy playing this amazing music was black. My entire life changed on that one day. Not quite a year later I was listening to the radio when I heard Jimi had died.
My life changed again.
The thing I loved most about Jimi was that he refused to be anyone but Jimi. Some in the black community expected – almost demanded – that he be one way. Whites demanded that he be another way. But in the end, Jimi was Jimi, and he was greater than any single label any narrow-minded idiot – black or white – felt should be his calling card. Jimi answered to Jimi when it came to his music and how he navigated the world, and it’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned. And am still learning at this late date.