There was so much happening in 1969 that a little thought in Jimi’s head went almost unnoticed
In the tumultuous world in which he lived there was hardly time for such things, but he did hold a place to describe his nascent vision to a few people he thought might care, and who he thought might become sounding boards to help him refine it. Jimi played and thought from his heart, embraced an almost magical child-like universe in his inner consciousness, and deeply felt the sufferings of others and the insoluble conflicts of the world. It was only natural for a mind and heart like Jimi’s to want to speak to the misery of the brokenhearted, not just in the metaphors of his lyrics and songs and in the healing universal power of music itself, but in real, on-the-ground charity, based on the incredible drawing power he had miraculously achieved on the stage. He wanted to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. In his quiet way he felt that he had been given a gift far surpassing anything he imagined he deserved and sincerely believed he must return the fruits of this gift to those who had given it to him, and of course to the infinite divine energy from which it all sprang and to which he referred again and again in his metaphors and public comments.
“Ya know man, I really want to start like a charity or something where I can give back to the people, especially people who are like me at the bottom of society, but even worse off. Like, I really don’t know how it’s supposed to work or anything, but I know it’s all about love and giving, and I want to do it to show how thankful I am for being allowed to do what I do ya know, that’s really where it’s at. I wanna build and encourage freedom cause that’s what the heart desperately wants, I mean that’s what we all want and that’s what we’re doin' all this for isn’t it?” *Jimi Hendrix
And so it was born in 1969, without a name and without a home, an idea and desire which would eventually reach the ears of Al Hendrix and linger in his own heart until 1988, when he could finally bring Jimi and his life’s work back home, and grant his son’s heartfelt wish to put his name and public recognition to charitable good, by establishing the Jimi Hendrix Foundation.
(* As recounted by Dave Weyer from a 1969 conversation)
Al Hendrix Grant 1988
Since its inception, there was no doubt as to his intent and motivation. By the love and devotion for his son, Al Hendrix established "The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation/Jimi
Hendrix Foundation" as a stand-alone entity for the sole
purpose of continuing the name and legacy of Jimi Hendrix
for charitable endeavors.
Daddy's Guitars 1989
At a special "meet and greet" in San Diego, a humble Al Hendrix told Tom Hagan, the owner of Daddy's Guitars and a current member of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation, that he only wanted to do right by Jimi and do charitable works, he wasn't "interested in the money" but wanted to help and give back to honor his son.
The James Marshall Hendrix Foundation was officially registered as a 501(c)(3) and set its sites on high profile fundraisers and community service. The "Jimi Awards" were established to recognize and support local talent by granting scholarships. The Foundation's focus was soon affected by a lawsuit that challenged the use of intellectual property and its right to exist. Prompted by his close friendship with Al Hendrix, Jimmy Williams a classmate and boyhood friend of Jimi was asked by Al and Leon Hendrix to "clean up" the Foundation and put it back on track, and after winning the lawsuit in 2005, a new Foundation emerged. With new programs like "Music for Life" and "Captain Strata" created by Jimmy Williams, the Foundation was on its way with initiatives that would help communities locally and globally. Eventually, the lawsuit and other strains of rebuilding took its toll and Jimmy Williams retired but not before asking his friend Joe Rosignolo to come in and pick up the pieces.
With an enthusiastic incentive to help protect the legacy of Jimi Hendrix the mission was clear, restructure and rebuild the Foundation. Even though the name Jimi Hendrix was recognizable and extremely well known throughout the world, Joe had to take on the overwhelming task of overcoming the Foundation's lack of exposure and visibility - "nobody knew we existed!"
NHRA North Carolina National's - September 18th, 2015 the 45th anniversary of Jimi's passing, marked the dawn of an incredible milestone for the Foundation. Racing sports history was made, the biggest name in Rock -n- Roll was on a full wrap 25-foot Top Fuel Dragster supplied by NHRA Sports great Connie Kalitta. With this
co-venture, the Jimi Hendrix Foundation gained monumental exposure and momentum and was now visible to the whole world.
But, once again, the Foundation found itself in an intellectual property lawsuit this time caused by a 3rd party contractor who failed to comply with conformity rules of the Foundation. After arduous work and effort not to mention the exorbitant cost, monies otherwise used for good causes, the Jimi Hendrix Foundation recently prevailed - and is now ready, inspired and poised to concentrate all its attention on making up for lost time and getting "back on track".
31 years later, despite the set-back's and a shaky and bumpy ride, the focus of the Jimi Hendrix Foundation is, as it has always been, on developing and expanding initiatives and programs to help the disadvantaged.
Just as Jimi and Al Hendrix intended.