Self-taught, Hendrix was influenced early on by blues legends like B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, as well as rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. As a teenager, he played in some local bands in and around Seattle. After serving a couple years in the Air Force (Official reports read, "He has no interest whatsoever in the Army ... It is my opinion that Private Hendrix will never come up to the standards required of a soldier. I feel that the military service will benefit if he is discharged as soon as possible." On June 29, 1962, Hendrix was granted a discharge under honorable conditions.), he found work as a backup guitarist playing for artists like Sam Cooke, Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, The Impressions and King Curtis. He moved to New York City, gained a reputation for his innovative guitar playing, and came to the attention of Animal's bass player Chas Chandler. Chandler, who wanted to get into management, persuaded Hendrix to go to London where he would launch a career as a headline performer.
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