50 years ago tomorrow, 'Are You Experienced' was released in the States, August 23, 1967. Previously released in the UK on May 12, it apparently did not make too much of a splash here until Hendrix performed at Monterey Pop, June 16-18, 1967, where his act and burning of his guitar, a Fender Stratocaster, left much of the audience, which including a lot of rock/pop notables, rather stunned. News traveled slowly in those days. The US release was slightly reformatted tune-wise.
By August, I had been playing guitar in a group and performing around for 7 months. My first encounter with 'Are You Experienced' took place with my bass player. We made it through the 1st side, then had to cool off the record and ourselves, remarking, "It's gonna take a bit to absorb this". We eventually absorbed it, and we and the world of rock musicians were never the same again.
'Are You Experienced' was produced by Chas Chandler, the Animals ex bassist, who had gotten into production and promotion.
But the discovery of Hendrix was not exactly a given. While guitarist Keith Richards was touring the U.S with the Rolling Stones in the fall of 1966, his girlfriend, Linda
Keith, started hanging out at the Cafe Wha? in New York's Greenwich Village. Hendrix was playing there at the time with John Hammond and Randy California.
Linda Keith was taken by Jimi's act and, perhaps perceiving his potential, persuaded the former bassist for the Animals, Chas Chandler, to come by the club one night.
Chandler, by then a band manager, took Jimi back to England and set him up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell and carefully guided the
Experience through the recording sessions that resulted in the first Hendrix album, 'Are You Experienced?'.
The story of the album cover is of special interest:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Are_You_E ... lbum_cover
The Fender Stratocaster was Hendrix's main guitar. However, he could occasionally be seen with a Gibson Flying V. An early picture shows him playing a Fender Jazzmaster.
All the original members are gone now, Jimi at 27, Noel Redding at 57, and Mitch Mitchell at 61. They left a tremendous legacy of rock music that has influenced all musicians of all genres since.