Why was Jimi Hendrix discharged from the Army?
Quick Answer: Broke his ankle jumping out of an airplane.
The more I read about Hendrix, the more I realize how badass he was. From humble beginnings in Seattle, he grew up in a broken home in the 1940s. His mom raised him while his dad was fighting in World War II, and originally named him John Allen Hendrix. Eventually when his pops got back from war he took Jimi, and renamed him James Marshall. (He didn't become Jimi until he moved to London in the 60's. Animals' bassist Chas Chandler shortened it to Jimi. You can totally picture this Austin Powers type of dude named Chas telling Jimi that James isn't cool).
Anyway, rewind a bit, in 1959 he dropped out of high school to join the Army and landed in a group called the "Screaming Eagles". Less than a year later as he was jumping out of planes, he broke his ankle and was granted a medical discharge. After this he followed his passion for music, which was encouraged by his father, and the rest is history.
"Purple Haze" was written in the back room of the "Uppercut Club" in London. No idea if this place still exists, but you can imagine the dark scene illuminated by white smoke, and Hendrix high as hell in just a creative paradise. The song has one of the most (if not thee most) recognizable riffs ever.
Anyway - guy was a legend. Not only for his music but for the fact that he dropped out high school, joined the army to jump out of planes, and then went on to be one of the biggest pop icons ever.