The Real Meaning Behind Purple Haze

The late great Jimi Hendrix and his incredible band The Jimi Hendrix Experience only had a short career until Jimi’s untimely death. Before they hit it big with “Purple Haze”, the first big hit they had was “Hey Joe” released in 1966. It’s a pretty impressive feat considering that the band had only been out and about together for about a month. It was “Purple Haze”, however, that introduced the world to the mind-blowing world of psychedelic rock that solidified Jimi Hendrix’s status as a guitar god. “Purple Haze” was a massive success in the UK mainstream radio as well as in the US.

The meaning of “Purple Haze” is one that is surrounded by mystery and curiosity but with fame and psychedelic rock comes psychedelic drugs, specifically LSD. The name of the song was said to be derived from the “Monterey Purple” variety of the LSD drug. The drug then took on the name of Hendrix’s famous song and was then known as “Purple Haze”. A mind-boggling fact to note though is that Hendrix claimed never event tried LSD yet at the time when he wrote “Purple Haze” but fans find that hard to believe with the song basically portraying an acid trip.

There are countless reasons why Jimi Hendrix became so great and his career skyrocketed in just a short amount of time. Beyond his undeniable guitar playing genius was the psychedelic nature of his music and lyrics. He was also a major figure during the rise of psychedelic rock.

It was also said that “Purple Haze” was inspired by Hendrix’s dream of walking under the sea. In a way, it’s a sort of his own baptism in sound, with the song’s sound being powerfully mystifying, a search of musical spirituality.


Jimi Hendrix once said, “When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do.”