Photograph of Jimi Hendrix with his guitar on fire
The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was held from June 16-18, 1967 and was the first major American appearance for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Jimi Hendrix began playing the guitar when he was only a young boy. Hendrix served in the United States Army as a paratrooper but was honorably discharged after an injury. He played backup for such notables as B.B. King, Sam Cooke, and the Isley Brothers. Hendrix found great success as a musician after he moved to London. While there he released his first single, “Hey Joe”, which displayed both his innovative sound and guitar playing skills. At the end of his performance of ‘Wild Thing” at the Monterey Music Festival, Jimi set his guitar on fire and smashed it on the stage before throwing it into the crowd. Hendrix made a name for himself in the United States at the festival with his technique, style, and stage presence.