By Jueseppi B.
These self-adhesive stamps are being issued in sheets of 16
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) was one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. Combining influences from rock, modern jazz, soul, and the blues with his own innovations, Hendrix created a unique style that influenced musical artists of his era and continues to inspire musicians into the 21st century. The stamp celebrating his legacy is being released as part of the Music Icons series.
The artist created the selvage and stamp art with acrylic paint and colored pencils. His choice of colors and designs introduced elements of movement and rhythm with an almost musical flow, paying homage to the 1960s without directly imitating the era’s art.
The stamp sheet, designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve, features a painting of Hendrix’s face surrounded by colorful swirls and small icons that reference song lyrics or aspects of Hendrix’s life.
The stamp art shows Hendrix in performance. The sixteen stamps are arranged in four blocks that resemble a kaleidoscope: With their upper corners meeting, the stamps appear to spin around each other. The quilt-like positioning results in three stamps in each block resting sideways or upside-down. Text below the stamps briefly describes Hendrix’s musical legacy.
Hendrix pushed the boundaries of what a guitar could do, manipulating various devices to produce sounds that could be loud-the quintessential psychedelic music-or melodic and gentle. A master at the controlled use of distortion and feedback, he expanded the instrument’s vocabulary in a way that had never been heard before-or since.
While Hendrix is remembered as one of the most innovative guitar players of all time, he was also a gifted songwriter, combining visionary, sometimes haunting imagery with deft pop hooks.
Rolling Stone ranked Hendrix #1 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and #6 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. His band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The band’s first album, Are You Experienced, is considered by many critics to be one of the best rock albums of all time, and in 2005, the Library of Congress selected it for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings that “are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.”
In 1993, Hendrix was awarded a posthumous Grammy for lifetime achievement.
Through Hendrix’s mastery of the guitar and use of controlled feedback as a melodic element, he revolutionized and redefined popular music. His music sounds as innovative and fresh today as when it was first released, winning legions of new fans.
Rudy Guttierez created original art for the stamp and the stamp sheet. Art director Greg Breeding was the designer.
The Jimi Hendrix stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.
Made in the USA.
Issue Date: March 13, 2014
SKUs featured on this page: 588004
The stamp comes out decades after the musician died in 1970, when a stamp cost just 6 cents. Today, one costs 49 cents.
It is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve and shows Hendrix wearing one of his trademark military jackets and playing a guitar.
“Jimi Hendrix helped found three new genres of music — heavy metal, jazz fusion and funk — and in doing so, left behind an indelible mark on pop music and popular culture generally,” said Joseph Corbett, CFO and executive vice president at the postal service, in a release.
Customers can order the Jimi Hendrix stamps online at the USPS website.
In getting his stamp, Hendrix joins an elite club that already includesJohnny Cash, Ray Charles and Lydia Mendoza; Janis Joplin andJames Brown will be the next inductees.
Slash, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, among other celebrities, will converge Thursday at the stamp’s first-day-of-issue reveal at South By Southwest music festival in Austin.
“Over the years, more people have embraced Jimi’s music,” says Janie Hendrix. “His influence is evident in the music of Raphael Saadiq, Erykah Badu and Musiq Soulchild.”
The ongoing, 25-stop Experience Hendrix tribute tour has recruited rock and blues artists such as Bootsy Collins, Jonny Lang, Buddy Guy, Dweezil Zappa and Billy Cox. The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Krieger have also joined the lineup.
“It’s a three-hour concert, so it’s more like a festival,” Hendrix says. “The artists play two or three songs with each other.”
“I am deeply touched and so are other members of the Hendrix family by the issuance of this stamp, and I wish to thank the United States Postal Service for bestowing one of our nation’s highest honors on my brother Jimi,” Janie Hendrix, the sister of the late guitarist, said in a press statement. “While my brother has been cited many times as being among the most influential musicians of all time, the recognition implicit in his being portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp ranks as an unparalleled honor.”