in 1988, my grandfather, Al Hendrix, gave my father, his son, Leon Hendrix, the rights to use Jimi for charitable purposes. Experience Hendrix, LLC seeks to eliminate our rights to do so.
We are a small non-profit with one part-time employee, and 4 volunteers. At a time when COVID has weakened our organization to the brink, The Hendrix Music Academy has zero budget to defend ourselves against the powerful lawyers that Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix LLC have dispatched against us.
They are literally asking us to change our name and our website after operating under this name and website since we were incorporated in 2010. They also seek to have us destroy all of the t-shirts, posters banners, logos and other materials that our organization has used to further our mission. They also seek to prevent us from using the name Jimi Hendrix, or any images of him, including his own biological brother’s artwork of Jimi’s face, although Jimi Hendrix is the central reason that we are able and willing to run the Hendrix Music Academy.
In 1988, My grandfather, Al Hendrix gave my father, his son, Leon Hendrix , the right to use the name Jimi Hendrix for charitable purposes. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing since 2009, at the Hendrix Music Academy. Experience Hendrix, LLC seeks for me to remove my father, Leon, from the board of HMA.
Jimi’s fans are responsible for 90% of all of our small donations and musical instruments received for kids. I highly doubt that if we remove my uncle Jimi from our operations, that we will be able to continue. Jimi is the reason that people donate and want to see kids benefit in his name. They are giving to this charity to thank Jimi for whatever he did to enhance their lives. There have been multiple fans to tell me that Jimi’s music had actually saved their lives.
Also, I have a great sense of pride surrounding my Hendrix name and my family, especially my uncle Jimi. It is a part of my personality. I was born with the last name Hendrix and with the Hendrix blood flowing in my veins.
The right to be able to use my own last name is very important to me. So, for her to try to stop me from using my own name is actually very traumatizing. I also have children and grandchildren with the Hendrix name. For them it is also traumatizing that other people are using the Hendrix name while trying to stop us. It’s honestly hard to talk about. It’s very convoluted due to the fact that Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC., was not born a Hendrix and has no blood relation to the Hendrix Family. She received the Hendrix name only by virtue of adoption by my grandfather, Al. Now, even Janie’s five sons use the Hendrix last name.
The first Memorial that we ever presented was Jimi’s 40th Anniversary Memorial in 2010. The Hendrix Music Academy has been presenting annual memorials since then. The Jimi Hendrix 50th Memorial Peace and Love March and Rally was a free public memorial, as all of them are, at Jimi Hendrix Park, and was designed to benefit the HMA. The chosen vendors were local small businesses being run by women of color entrepreneurs and only had to make a symbolic donation of $50 cash or $50 worth of merchandise to the Hendrix Music Academy. Most of the musicians performed without compensation and simply wanted to pay tribute to their hero. There were also many local artists who painted beautiful portraits of Jimi, at the memorial, in the pouring down rain! That shows some of the dedication that Jimi’s fans have to him and our mission.
I have celebrated my uncle’s life during my entire life. I grew up playing around his gravesite as my father spent a lot of time at his brother’s grave and his mother's grave and always had his kids in tow. You see, my dad lost his mother when he was just 10 year old, and he lost his brother when he was just 21 and Jimi was 27. He is still traumatized at the unspeakable loss. He drew beautiful images of Jimi my entire life. It was therapeutic to him. I remember as a small child, enhancing some of his art with my crayons, and he never got upset about it. My dad has given me those works of art to use at the Hendrix Music Academy. Experience Hendrix, LLC. seeks to prevent us from using my dad’s art. I just don’t understand how any of this is harming Janie or her Corporations.
Jimi’s music made the money that put me through college. His music made the money that bought my parent’s first house. If it weren’t for Jimi Hendrix, I don’t know what kind of life I would’ve had. Without Jimi, I’m just a mixed black girl from Seattle. He enhanced my life and the lives of so many of his adoring fans across the world. I owe my uncle a lot and the best thing that I could ever do for him is to teach kids about Jimi, his music and his message of Peace and Love at the Hendrix Music Academy.