Book: Hendrix Used Gay Ruse to Avoid 'Nam
By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 58 minutes
SEATTLE (AP) - Jimi Hendrix might have stayed in the
Army. He might have been sent to Vietnam. Instead, he
pretended he was gay
. And with that, he was discharged
from the 101st Airborne in 1962, launching a musical
career that would redefine the guitar, leave other
rock heroes of the day speechless and culminate with
his headlining performance of "The Star-Spangled
Banner" at Woodstock in 1969.
Hendrix's subterfuge, contained in his military
medical records, is revealed for the first time in
Charles R. Cross' new biography, "Room Full of
Mirrors." Publicly, Hendrix always claimed he was
discharged after breaking his ankle on a parachute
jump, but his medical records do not mention such an
In regular visits to the base psychiatrist at Fort
Campbell, Ky., in spring 1962, Hendrix complained that
he was in love with one of his squad mates and that he
had become addicted to masturbating, Cross writes.
Finally, Capt. John Halbert recommended him for
discharge, citing his "homosexual tendencies."
Hendrix's legendary appetite for women negates the
notion that he might have been gay, Cross writes. Nor,
Cross says, was his stunt politically motivated:
Contrary to his later image, Hendrix was an avowed
anti-communist who exhibited little unease about the
escalating U.S. role in Vietnam.
He just wanted to escape the Army to play music - he
had enlisted to avoid jail time after being repeatedly
arrested in stolen cars in Seattle, his hometown.
"Room Full of Mirrors," titled after an unreleased
Hendrix tune, is being published this summer to
coincide with the 35th anniversary of his Sept. 18,
1970, death from a sleeping-pill overdose. It is
Cross' second biography of a popular musician who died
at age 27; "Heavier Than Heaven," a 2001 bio of
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, was a New York Times best
The new bio is culled from nearly four years of
research, including access to Hendrix's letters and
diaries, along with military records provided by a
collector the author won't name. Cross focuses on
Hendrix's complex personal life and psyche more than
Ever listen to Astro Man? He's definately not gay friendly.,,
I kind of think the author is full of shit!!!!