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I’m Not Actually Related To Jimi Hendrix

March 17, 2009

I’ve just had a sort of ass-kick. Some information has come my way that has shattered decades of belief.

I grew up thinking I was a distant cousin of Jimi Hendrix. My father’s family has always said we’re related; I look at old photos of Jimi and I can even see a resemblance. And, of course, he and I have the same hair. I even play guitar just like him, only without the talent, skill and ability. And also right-handed.

Anyway, this story has been bounced around for years and years. Tonight, I was finally set straight, by a random remark from my cousin Umar. He and I are the same age; his mother and my father were siblings, but geography hasn’t allowed us to be as close as we should have been. Especially since he was on 21 Jump Street and Wiseguy and Stargate: Atlantis and so on. I used to see him on TV and say “Hey, that’s my cousin,” at which point whoever was in the room with me would say “Oh, shut up.”

Umar and I were chatting tonight and I mentioned the Hendrix thing, and he told me it’s his father who’s Jimi’s cousin. His father’s side of the family is the Hendrix clan, not mine. So Jimi and I have a cousin in common, I guess, but I’m not actually related.

At first, it was a bit of a bummer. But then I thought about it: does it really matter? And I decided it didn’t. I told Umar “This makes you my most famous cousin, then.” Which it kind of does, although I have a cousin who creates award-winning wedding cakes and another who was in a band with David Foster.

Really, does it matter? What are cousins, in the end? To me, they’re my overall structure. I’ve talked about my concepts of brotherhood before, here and at Weather Station 3, but cousins are a whole other story.

I love my cousins, all 150 or so of them, factoring in my cousins once removed and second cousins and so on. We’re a diverse bunch, tied together only by DNA but also by friendship and respect — whether long-distance and occasional, or regular and routine. They have always been part of my life, and they always will.

I also have a cousin who gave his life in Afghanistan: Pte. David Byers. He’s my most important cousin. Sorry, Jimi Hendrix.

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3 comments

  1. Though I know non-coms don’t salute each other, I salute Pte. David Byers.

    Now, when will Umar be joining us on Starbase 66? 😉


  2. So you’re not related to Kuna Kinte or Jimi Hendrix. Bummer.

    I have a cousin who was a director on 21 Jumpstreet. He may have directed your cousin. We have 6 cousins of separation.


  3. Wow thats interesting. You know what dude, if you feel you are related in your heart you are related to Jimi!



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