Being the monolithic rock icon he is, Jimi Hendrix didn’t really need a nickname. Just “Jimi” is fine. But before he became the ultimate guitar god he was just another quirky axeman with enough eccentricities to garner some crazy nicknames from his family, friends and peers.
All of these nicknames were actually given to Hendrix during his lifetime, according to the book Becoming Jimi Hendrix. After going through this list, we think we’ll just stick with “Jimi”.
His family gave him this nickname growing up because his favorite actor was Buster Crabbe (pictured above), who portrayed Flash Gordon in a few movies in the 1930s and ’40s.
2. “The Bat”
This could have also stemmed from his obsession with Flash Gordon, but his roommates at the time called him “The Bat” because he always wore capes. Could just be a style thing too, considering some of his stage outfits.
Jimi was famously soft-spoken, and that combined with his boyish, innocent looks earned him this nickname from his time in the Seattle band The Rocking Kings.
Going right along with Jimi’s soft-spoken demeanor, his roommate at the time named him after the famous pink mountain lion from Hanna-Barbera.
5. “The Creeper”
Jimi lived with the Isley Brothers in Englewood, New Jersey for a while at the start of his career, and the guys nicknamed him this because he would move very quietly around their home.
6. “Egg Foo Yung”
This is arguably the weirdest, most obscure nickname for Jimi. Etta James came up with it because he would eat this Chinese dish every single night when he worked as a performer in Harlem.
7. “Maurice James”
Jimi actually gave himself this one. He told Little Richard that was his name, for whatever reason. Good thing it didn’t stick.
8. “Jimmy James”
This was Jimi’s nickname when he toured with Joey Dee and the Starliters. It’s funny to think of how odd a name “Hendrix” might have sounded at the time, considering how it’s now pretty much synonymous with rock & roll.
Every rock star is a little crazy; it’s sort of a requirement to become rich & famous. Well, Jimi used to sleep with his guitar and basically spend every waking moment with it when he worked in Nashville. So his fellow musicians in the area called him “Marbles” because they though he had lost them.
Maybe he had, but look where the guy ended up. As far as we’re concerned, he couldn’t sleep with his guitar enough.