Jimi Hendrix: The Life of a Legend

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Jimi Hendrix: The Life of a Legend
Teacher’s Guide to Accompany The Story Trunk:
Jimi Hendrix: The Life of a Legend
Made possible with generous support from Qwest, Wells Fargo and 4 Culture
Table of Contents
Jimi Hendrix: The Life of a Legend
1
Objectives for this Story Trunk
1
Relevant EALRS & CBA
2
Objects
4
Biographical Information
5
Introductory Activity
7
Activity 1
8
Jimi Hendrix Musical Influences
Woodstock, the “Counterculture” and Jimi Hendrix
9
Activity 2
10
Activity 3: Dig Deep CBA
11
Biography
Activity 4: Write a Biography of Someone Who Interests You
12
Conclusion
Activity 5: Write Your Own Biography
15
Recommended Resources
Books and Websites
15
Teacher’s Guide to Accompany The Story Trunk:
Jimi Hendrix: The Life of a Legend
Many people know the music of Jimi Hendrix and have heard at least a few of his iconic songs. His versions
of “All along the Watchtower,” and “Purple Haze” are woven into the fabric of American pop culture. However,
not many people know the history of his life. Jimi Hendrix did not start as a legendary guitarist, or only play the
songs that made him famous during his career. Even people living in this area may not realize that Jimi grew up
in Seattle’s Central District and attended Garfield High School. He performed in many venues on Jackson Street
in Seattle. He toured with Blues and Rhythm & Blues bands in the South long before
becoming famous. He enrolled in the military and struggled to find himself like most
young people do.
So how much do we really know about Jimi Hendrix? This curriculum is intended to
teach high school students about Jimi’s life and how he influenced our past and current
music scenes. Of equal importance, it is intended to inspire all of us, no matter what
our interests or life story, as they learn about what one ordinary Seattle kid was able to
accomplish with a dream, determination and a guitar.
The curriculum is designed to provide a week’s worth of lessons for your classroom. You
are welcome to choose the activities that are most suited to your needs or teach the unit
as a whole.
Objectives for this Story Trunk:
1. Students will examine the life and work of legendary guitarist and Seattle native, Jimi Hendrix. 2. Students will be introduced to the music of Jimi Hendrix and have an opportunity to listen to and examine his musical influences.
3. Students will “dig deep” by utilizing a Dig Deep CBA to examine materials contained in the trunk.
4. Students will review the concept of biography and learn how to research and write one.
5. Students will use research skills and methods to write a biography of a person who interests them or someone who has influenced their life. 1
Relevant EALRS & CBA
EALRs addressed in Activity 1 (page 9):
Grade Level 9
EALR 5. Social studies skills The student understands and applies reasoning skills to conduct research, deliberate, form, and evaluate positions through the processes of reading, writing, and communicating.
5.1 Uses critical reasoning skills to analyze and evaluate positions.
Component
Grade Level 10
EALR 1. Communication The student uses listening and observation skills and strategies to gain understanding.
1.1 Uses listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.
1.2 Understands, analyzes, synthesizes, or evaluates information from a variety of sources.
Components
EALRs addressed in Activity 3 (page 11):
Grade Level 12
EALR 4. History The student understands and applies knowledge of historical thinking, chronology, eras, turning points, major ideas, individuals, and themes in local, Washington State, tribal, United States, and world history in order to evaluate how history shapes the present and future. 4.1 Understands historical chronology. This component is addressed in grades K-12.
4.2 Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.
4.3 Understands that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.
Component
EALR 5. Social Studies skills The student understands and applies reasoning skills to conduct research, deliberate, form, and evaluate positions through the processes of reading, writing, and communicating.
5.1 Uses critical reasoning skills to analyze and evaluate positions.
5.2 Uses inquiry-based research.
5.4 Creates a product that uses social studies content to support a thesis and presents the product in an appropriate manner to a meaningful audience.
Components
Grade Level 10
EALR EALR 1. Writing The student understands and uses a writing process.
3. Writing The student writes clearly and effectively.
3.1 Develops ideas and organizes writing.
3.2 Uses appropriate style.
3.3 Knows and applies writing conventions appropriate for the grade level.
Components
EALR 1. Communication The student uses listening and observation skills and strategies to gain understanding.
1.1 Uses listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.
1.2 Understands, analyzes, synthesizes, or evaluates information from a variety of sources.
Components
2
EALRs addressed in Activity 4: Write Your Own Biography (page 12)
Grade Level 12
EALR 4. History The student understands and applies knowledge of historical thinking, chronology, eras, turning points, major ideas, individuals, and themes in local, Washington State, tribal, United States, and world history in order to evaluate how history shapes the present and future.
4.1 Understands historical chronology. This component is addressed in grades K-12.
4.3 Understands that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.
Components
EALR 5. Social Studies skills The student understands and applies reasoning skills to conduct research, deliberate, form, and evaluate positions through the processes of reading, writing, and communicating.
5.1 Uses critical reasoning skills to analyze and evaluate positions.
5.2 Uses inquiry-based research.
5.4 Creates a product that uses social studies content to support a thesis and presents the product in an appropriate manner to a meaningful audience.
Components
Grade Level 10
EALR EALR 1. Writing The student understands and uses a writing process.
3. Writing The student writes in a variety of forms for different audiences and purposes.
2.2. Writes for different purposes.
Components
EALR 3. Writing The student writes clearly and effectively.
3.1 Develops ideas and organizes writing.
3.2 Uses appropriate style.
3.3 Knows and applies writing conventions appropriate for the grade level.
Components
EALR 2. Reading The student understands the meaning of what is read.
2.1.Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension.
2.2.Understand and apply knowledge of text components to comprehend text.
2.3.Expand comprehension by analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing information and ideas in literary and informational text.
2.4.Think critically and analyze author’s use of language, style, purpose, and perspective in literary and informational text.
Components
EALR 3. Reading The student reads different materials for a variety of purposes.
3.1.Read to learn new information.
3.2.Read to perform a task.
Components
EALR 1. Communication The student uses listening and observation skills and strategies to gain understanding.
1.1.Uses listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.
1.2.Understands, analyzes, synthesizes, or evaluates information from a variety of sources.
Components
3
Objects
Purple vest
Hendrix wore vests like this one when he was famous. After he moved to London, his personal style was highlighted by his brightly colored clothing. He had many of these clothes made especially for him.
1.
2. Leather vest
Hendrix liked to wear leather and suede. He also wore a lot of fringed clothing and beads to remember his Native American heritage.
3. Red bandana
Hendrix wore bandanas like this one which were popular in the 1960s.
4. Colorful scarf
Hendrix wore many scarves like this one to accessorize his original outfits. Sometimes he wore them tied to his pant legs as well as around his neck and on his head.
5. Leather belt
Hendrix wore belts like this to accentuate his personal style. He was very thin, with a 26” waist, and belts were fashionable as well as necessary.
6. Screaming Eagles flag, pin and patch
Memorabilia from his days in the Air Force commemorate the group he trained with for a short time.
7. The Illustrated Experience
Many artifacts such as color reproductions of his letters, drawings and lyrics are contained in folders throughout the book.
4
Biographical Information
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942, in Seattle to Lucille
(Jeter) Hendrix and James “Al” Hendrix. He was later renamed James Marshall by his
father and went by the nickname Jimmy growing up. Young Jimmy (as he was referred to at the time) took an
interest in music, playing guitar and drawing influence from virtually every major artist at the time, including B.B.
King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson. Entirely self-taught, Jimmy’s inability to
read music made him concentrate even harder on the music he heard.
In the summer of 1958, Al purchased Jimmy a five-dollar, second-hand acoustic guitar from one of his friends.
Shortly thereafter, Jimmy joined his first band, The Velvetones. After a three-month stint with the group, Jimmy
left to pursue his own musical interests. The following summer, Al purchased Jimmy his first electric guitar, a
Supro Ozark 1560S; Jimi used it when he joined The Rocking Kings, his next band.
In 1961, Jimmy left home to enlist in the United States Army and in November 1962 earned the right to wear the
“Screaming Eagles” patch for his paratroop division. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimmy formed
The King Casuals with bassist Billy Cox. After being discharged due to an injury he received during a parachute
jump, Jimmy began working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James. By the end of 1965, Jimmy
had played with several marquee acts, including Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little
Richard. Jimmy parted ways with Little Richard to form his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames,
shedding the role of back-line guitarist for the spotlight of lead guitar.
Throughout the latter half of 1965, and into the first part of 1966, Jimmy played the rounds of smaller venues
in Greenwich Village, during which time he met Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler. Chandler was impressed
with Jimmy’s music and in September 1966 he signed Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to
London to form a new band.
Switching gears from bass player to manager, Chandler’s first task was to change Hendrix’s name to “Jimi.”
Featuring drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, the newly formed Jimi Hendrix Experience quickly
became the talk of London in the fall of 1966.
The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” spent ten weeks on the UK charts, topping out at spot No. 6 in early
1967. The debut single was quickly followed by the release of a full-length album “Are You Experienced,”
a psychedelic musical compilation featuring what would become the anthems of a generation. “Are You
Experienced” has remained one of the most popular rock albums of all time, featuring tracks like “Purple Haze,”
“The Wind Cries Mary,” “Foxy Lady,” “Fire,” and “Are You Experienced.”
Although Hendrix experienced overwhelming success in Britain, it wasn’t until he returned to America in June
1967 that he ignited the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival with his incendiary performance
of “Wild Thing.” Literally overnight, The Jimi Hendrix Experience became one of most popular and highest
grossing touring acts in the world.
Hendrix followed “Are You Experienced” with “Axis: Bold As Love.” By 1968, Hendrix had taken greater control
over the direction of his music; he spent considerable time working the consoles in the studio, with each turn of
a knob or flick of the switch bringing clarity to his vision.
Back in America, Jimi Hendrix built his own recording studio, Electric Lady Studios. in New York City. The
name of this project became the basis for his most demanding musical release, a two LP collection, “Electric
Ladyland.” Throughout 1968, the demands of touring and studio work took its toll on the group and in 1969 The
Experience disbanded.
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The summer of 1969 brought emotional and musical growth to Hendrix. In playing the Woodstock Music &
Art Fair in August 1969, he joined forces with an eclectic ensemble called Gypsy Sun & Rainbows featuring
Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Juma Sultan, and Jerry Velez. The Woodstock performance was
highlighted by the famous renegade version of “Star Spangled Banner,” which brought the mud-soaked
audience to frenzy. The year 1969 also brought about a new and defining collaboration featuring Jimi Hendrix
on guitar, bassist Billy Cox and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles. Performing as the Band of Gypsys,
this trio launched a series of four New Year’s performances on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970
(highlights from these performances were compiled and later released on the quintessential Band of Gypsys
album in mid-1970 and the expanded “Hendrix: Live At The Fillmore East” in 1999).
As 1970 progressed, Jimi brought back drummer Mitch Mitchell to the group and
together with Billy Cox on bass, this new trio once again formed The Jimi Hendrix
Experience. In the studio, the group recorded several tracks for another two LP set,
tentatively titled “First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.” Unfortunately, Hendrix was
unable to see this musical vision through to completion due to his hectic worldwide
touring schedule. Then, tragically, Jimi died on September 18, 1970. Fortunately, the
recordings Hendrix slated for release on the album were finally issued through the support of his family and
original studio engineer Eddie Kramer on the 1997 release “First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.”
From demo recordings to finished masters, Jimi Hendrix generated an amazing collection of songs over
the course of his short career. His music embraced the influences of blues, ballads, rock, R&B, and jazz,
a collection of styles that continue to make Hendrix one of the most popular figures in the history of rock
music.
Biography courtesy Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
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Introductory Activity:
Play a piece of music by Jimi Hendrix (maybe the instructor’s favorite!)…
Ask your students:
Who is this musician?
What do you know about him?
What do you associate with him?
Do you think his music influenced future artists? How?
KWHL Chart
Using a KWHL chart, discover what your students already know about Jimi Hendrix and what they would like to
learn about him.
K
W
H
L
What do we want What do we want How can we find out What did we learn?
know? to find out? what we want to learn?
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Activity 1
Listen to the enclosed CDs of Jimi Hendrix’s music, and then to those of his musical influences, links to which
are provided below.
Discussion Questions:
How would you describe Jimi’s music?
What type of special effects do you hear? What do they sound like?
In _______________________________ (a song of your teacher’s choice), what do his lyrics say? What type
of message is Jimi trying to send to the listener?
Of the other musicians we listened to, who do you think particularly influenced him? How?
Can you hear the influence of Jimi’s music in other artists that played after Hendrix? Who?
Are there any musicians today who sound like him?
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Jimi Hendrix Musical Influences
Influences
BB King
“The Thrill is Gone” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fk2prKnYnl
“Lucille http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8QxOjuYHg&feature=related
Muddy Waters
“Manish Boy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5IOou6qN1o
Contemporaries
Cream/ Eric Clapton
“Strange Brew” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftgytmgQgE
“White Room” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRqipuLFXek
Buddy Guy
“First Time I Met the Blues” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_rd8y8A2oE
”Red House” clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfPgTo-vAAM&feature=related
Influenced
Prince
“When Doves Cry” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucZRore0-EE&feature=related
Stevie Ray Vaughn
“Texas Flood” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWlw7nozO_U
“Pride and Joy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWlw7nozO_U
Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Can’t Stop” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfOdWSiyWoc
“By the Way” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnfyjwChuNU&feature=related
Eddie Van Halen
“Women and Children First” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ckFuURIWXc
“Fair Warning” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ergk9eF7398 9
Woodstock, the “Counterculture” and Jimi Hendrix
The Woodstock Music Festival took place over the weekend of August 15th–18th (and into the morning of
the 19th), 1969. It was held at a dairy farm owned by a man named Max Yasgur in upstate New York. Over
500,000 people attended the festival, even though it rained most of the weekend, and food, shelter and other
facilities were in short supply. The musicians ranged from folk artists Joan Baez and Richie Havens to blues
and psychedelic rock musicians Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Sha Na Na, and finally, Jimi Hendrix.
Hendrix was one of the first musicians asked to perform, and was offered the closing spot. He performed
Monday morning, as bedraggled concertgoers were leaving. Nevertheless, his performance was electrifying.
The terms “60’s counterculture” relates to a movement that came about mainly in the 1960’s in the United
States, when many young people began to question the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam, race relations, women’s
rights, traditional family values, and the meaning of authority generally. Many new cultural trends emerged,
including new forms of music such as “pop” and “rock & roll.”
Activity 2
Show students the entire, or portions of the DVDs “Jimi Hendrix – Live at Woodstock.” Discuss how Woodstock
generally, and Jimi specifically, reflected the “countercultural” lifestyles many people were experimenting with at
the time. Discussion questions can include:
hy does music bring large groups of people together the way Woodstock did? Was it just the music, or was
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there something else that brought so any people from around the world to one place?
Having seen the DVD of Jimi Hendrix playing at Woodstock, in what ways do you think he represented the
counterculture? What did you notice about his performance that was exciting or especially interesting?
Would you have gone to Woodstock if you could have?
Have you attended any performances in your life that made you feel like you shared a lifestyle or point of view
with those around you?
Do you think the countercultural movement of the 1960’s has had an influence on your own life? If so, in what
ways?
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Activity 3
Dig Deep CBA
Using the artifacts in the trunk and the background material they have read, have your students develop a
historical question they want to answer about Jimi’s life. Some examples are:
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Do you believe that Jimi’s music was truly groundbreaking? Why?
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Were there experiences in his childhood or young life that you think influenced his success as a musician? How?
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Are there any musicians working today that you think are as influential as Jimi was? Who are they and why are they important?
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Jimi lived during a time when many people were experimenting with different ways to live. How did this “counterculture” influence Jimi and his music? Then have your students prepare a paper or presentation on the question they have chosen (students may
develop their own question, also) in which they state a position on the question, and provide reasons for their
position. They should include:
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An explanation of how at least three primary or secondary sources support what they believe; and
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evidence for their position using two or more of the following social science perspectives:
– geographic
– cultural
– political
– economic
– sociological
– psychological
In their paper or presentation, they should refer to three or more credible sources that provide relevant
information AND cite those sources within the paper, presentation, or bibliography.
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Biography
How do you tell the story of someone’s life?
A biography is the true story of someone’s life, told by a third person. Biographies are often written about
a person who had an important place in history, or a current celebrity, but less well-known people have
fascinating lives and stories to tell as well. The biographer’s job is to find out as much about that person’s life as
possible and condense it into a form people can read.
Activity 4:
Write a biography of someone who interests you.
After covering the elements of a biography with your students (below), have them research and write the
biography of a person who interests them or someone in their life who has influenced them in some way.
Quick “How to Write a Biography” Tips!
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Find primary and secondary sources.
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Read other biographies on the subject.
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Find a theme that differs from current biographies.
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Research the subject’s historical time.
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Get authorization from the subject or his/her estate.
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Take some limited artistic license, but keep it factual.
Introduction
Step 1: Finding Sources
Finding sources of information is the most important part of writing a biography. Sources can be primary,
secondary or tertiary (you can think of them as “first,” “second” and “third” sources).
Primary Sources are anything written by the person during the time they were alive. They may have written a
book, letter, or article. Today, emails and blog postings are also primary source materials. So look for:
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Letters
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Emails
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Blog postings
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Journals
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Published work, such as books, articles
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Interviews
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TV appearances
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Fact based articles
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You can also interview people who are experts about that person. These interviews are primary sources.
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Secondary Sources are fact-based interpretations of someone’s life. These include:
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Interviews with close friends or acquaintances
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Editorial articles
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Other biographies
You can also research the time in history that person lived. For instance Jimi Hendrix achieved his fame in the
United States in the 1960s. Many sources exist about this time in history that would provide context for Jimi’s
life.
Tertiary Sources are general sources that include your subject. These can include:
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Encyclopedias
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Almanacs
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Textbooks
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Bibliographies
You can also research the time in history that person lived. For instance Jimi Hendrix achieved his fame in the
United States in the 1960s. Many sources exist about this time in history that would provide context for Jimi’s
life.
Please note that online sources, like Wikipedia, which contains user-generated content, are not always
accurate. However, some ideas for other references may be gained by looking at these sites.
Step 2: Getting Authorization
There are two major types of biographies: authorized and unauthorized. Authorized biographies are ones that
have been approved by the subject herself, or if he or she is deceased, by her family or representative (her
”estate”). An unauthorized biography is one that has not been approved by the subject or the subject’s estate, if
he or she is deceased. (The Publishing Law Center: Publication of an Unauthorized Biography). It can be difficult to get
access to primary sources if you do not first get approval from the subject’s estate or relatives. However, it is
not mandatory to have these credentials. In order to get access to private records or to conduct interviews you
should consider: Contact Subjects
Contacting a subject depends if he or she is still living. If the subject is still alive, you should contact him/her
via email or telephone. Access Washington: Request an Informational Interview. Obviously, if the person is very
famous, this will be difficult, so you will need to contact the subject through other means, such as her agent
(literary, sports, etc.), publisher, or website.
If the subject is deceased, you need to find contact information about the subject’s estate. If the subject did not
leave behind a significant estate, you need to contact relatives. Again, this can be done through a publisher or
you can find relatives or acquaintances online or via a printed directory. About.com: Top Ten Ways to Do a Free
People Search On the Web Yellow Pages: Find a Person.
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Researching Without Authorization
If you are unable to interview your subject in person, or gain access to personal files, you will have to look
elsewhere for source material. The main places to conduct research are:
The library, including both book and periodical resources (Cornell University Library: The Seven Steps of the Research Process).
The Internet: About.com: Top Ten Ways to Do a Free People Search On the Web
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Fieldwork: such as visiting the subject’s hometown or other places where the subject lived. The American Folklife Center: How to Do Fieldwork
Important Note: An unauthorized biography can result in legal action, even if there is nothing libelous (unjustly
describing someone in an unfavorable light) in the biography. The subject can sue for invasion of privacy.
However, unauthorized biographies are also protected by the first amendment. It is probably a good idea to talk
to a lawyer before starting an unauthorized biography.
Step 3: Conducting Interviews
As you conduct your research into a person’s life, you should have a number of questions in mind. Your goal
is to prove a thesis, rather than just dryly list facts about a person’s life. As you continue researching a subject,
your thesis will expand, or even change.
Step 4: Writing the Biography
The trick to writing a successful biography is to bring your subject “alive.” Avoid merely listing a sequence
of dates - a biography is meant to be an objective look at a person’s life filtered through the biographer’s
interpretation (WritersServices.com: Writing Biography and Autobiography). Of course you don’t want to
fictionalize, but the biographer can take some artistic license. So long as you have ample evidence from your
research, you can elaborate to some degree, for example, as to what the subject might have been feeling or
thinking at a certain point.
Here are the main points to determine about a subject’s life (About.com: How to Write an Interesting Biography):
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Important dates in the person’s life
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How the historical time impacted the subject.
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How he/she impacted history.
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How he or she learned from life experiences.
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Major events in the person’s life.
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Most influential relationships.
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Major and minor accomplishments.
Generally, biographies are written in chronological order. However, it’s not uncommon for the biography to begin
with a major event from the person’s life and then backtrack to how it all began.
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Conclusion
Biographies can be several volumes or just several pages. Condensing a lifetime into a written document can
be challenging! But if you research a biographical subject through a wide variety of sources, you’ll be able to
write an authoritative, and hopefully entertaining, biography.
Activity 5:
Write Your Own Biography
Taking into consideration what you have learned about writing a biography as a result of studying Jimi
Hendrix—all that you learned about him from artifacts, pictures, and his music—tell your own story. Put
together a collection of objects, pictures and documents that make up your “biography.”
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Which objects represent you best?
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Would other people know this about you?
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Which pictures of you or others are most important to you?
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What do they say about you or help tell the story of your life?
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Are there any documents that teach us about you?
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Do you have your birth certificates, announcements, newspaper articles or online postings?
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What activities or passions do you pursue in life? Sports? Music? Art? Volunteering? Spending time with friends?
Put all of these items together and write your own biography. What would you be remembered for at this time?
What do you hope to accomplish in your life and how far have you already come?
Everybody’s story is different and important, whether they are famous or not.
Recommended Resources
Books
Black, Johnny. Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience, Thunder’s Mouth Press, New York, NY. 1999.
Hendrix, James A. My Son Jimi. AlJas Enterprises, L.P. , Seattle, WA. 1999
Hendrix, Janie and John McDermott. Hendrix an Illustrated Experience, Atria Books, New York, NY. 2007.
Hendrix, Janie. Jimi Hendrix: The Lyrics, Hal Leonard Corporation, Milwaukee, WI. 2003
Shadwick, Keith. Jimi Hendrix: Musician, Backbeat Books, San Francisco, CA. 2003
Willix, Mary. Jimi Hendrix: Voices from Home, Creative Forces Publishing, San Diego, CA. 1995
Websites
www.blackpast.org
www.empsfm.org
http://www.jimihendrixmemorial.com
www.jimihendrix.com
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