Jimi Hendrix alien interest started in childhood
Jimi Hendrix became fascinated by aliens at an early age, his brother has revealed.
The guitar icon is said to have been convinced UFOs exist and beings from other planets walk amongst us. His theories were embedded in some of the music he wrote.
Now Leon Hendrix explains those ideas developed while Jimi was still very young – and forced to be “seen and not heard” by dominating father Al.
Leon tells Rolling Stone: “He was born Johnny Allen Hendrix. Everyone called him Little Johnny. He bonded with ‘Johnny’. Then our father came home from the military five years later.
He’d never seen the kid, and he picked him up and said: ‘I’m going to change your name.’ ‘Daddy, why?’ ‘Because that’s the name of your brother’s boyfriend’.”
Hendrix never answered to his new name of James, preferring the nickname ‘Buster’. Leon says: “When we lived in the projects there was a field house where, every Saturday, if you brought a nickel, you could watch 15 minutes of Buster Crabbe in Flash Gordon.
“So one day he came home, put a cape on and said, ‘My name is Buster.’ We’ve been calling him Buster all our lives.”
The fraught relationship with his dad turned young Hendrix into a semi-recluse, says his sibling. But it later gave rise to the musician’s unique singing voice.
Leon explains: “He was always told to shut up when he was a kid. My dad always said, ‘Children should be seen and not heard.’ Jimi was always introverted.
“My dad didn’t like him playing music and that hurt his feelings. He went inside with his art and music – but when he got onstage, that was his time to say, ‘Fuck you’. That was his escape.”
One of Hendrix’s key alien-inspired moments appears in the track Third Stone from the Sun from his Are You Experienced album. It includes two voices discussing a space flight to earth which can only be made out if the track is played at the old-fashioned 78RPM vinyl setting.
Leon says: “You know Ancient Aliens? They should read some of Jimi’s lyrics if they want real proof of intervention. He used to tell me these stories when I was a little kid.”
And he share’s his brother’s conviction: “They’re real – I saw a UFO myself. There’s definitely a connection somewhere.”
Many more anecdotes appear in Leon’s book, Jimi Hendrix: A Brother’s Story, including examples of the young guitarist’s early attempts at technical wizardry.
On one occasion he took his dad’s radio to pieces, saying, “I’m looking for the music.”
“We lost the screwdriver behind the bed and he could’t put it back together. We got a whuppin’ for that.
“He was a genius. When he didn’t have an amp he took an old Decca record player and rewired it so the speakers would produce sound. He said, ‘Leon, hold these wires together’.”