Crafting His Financial Future

Dear Dad,
I still have my guitar and amp and as long as I have that, no fool can keep me from living. There’s a few record companies I visited that I probably can record for. I think I’ll start working toward that line because actually when you’re playing behind other people you’re still not making a big name for yourself as you would if you were working for yourself. But I went on the road with other people to get exposed to the public and see how business is taken care of. And mainly just to see what’s what, and after I put a record out, there’ll be a few people who know me already and who can help with the sale of the record. Nowadays people don’t want you to sing good. They want you to sing sloppy and have a good beat to your songs.That’s what angle I’m going to shoot for. That’s where the money is. So just in case about three or four months from now you might hear a record by me which sounds terrible, don’t feel ashamed, just wait until the money rolls in because every day people are singing worse and worse on purpose and the public buys more and more records. I just wanted to let you know I’m still here, trying to make it. Although I don’t eat every day, everything’s going all right for me. It could be worse than this, but I’m going to keep hustling and scuffling until I get things to happening like they’re supposed to for me. Tell everyone I said hello. Leon, Grandma, Ben, Ernie, Frank, Mary, Barbara and so forth.Please write soon. It’s pretty lonely out here by myself. Best luck and happiness in the future.
Love, your son, Jimmy (Hendrix) August 1965

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5 Responses to “Crafting His Financial Future”

  1. Flexo says:

    What I like about this letter (if it’s authentic, which it appears to be) has nothing to do with Jimmy’s “business plan.” It shows that at the heart of it, rock and roll was never really about rebellion. Here we have Jimmy, the biggest rebel of them all, trying to win his father’s approval.

  2. Steve Mertz says:

    Flexo-It’s authentic, got it from the NY Times. When the letter was written Jimi was between gigs as a sideman for the Isley Bothers! And his biggest concern was the approval of his father. His father Al, was a single parent, a former boxer and tip jitterbug dancer.

  3. Steve Mertz says:

    PS. When “Are you Experienced” came out his father wrote: “I’d be listening to it, and just when I’d be looking for it to go one way, it’d go another. I thought:”Dadgum! He sure has added to his music.” It was something for me to get used to.” Rock On Jimi!

  4. Anonymous says:

    If Steve had not said it was authentic, I wouldn’t have believed it! What a trip!
    Aaron
    SMA

  5. the fractal brothers says:

    cool, thanks for this. Jimi was the man.

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