Hendrix was one of the most versatile song writers ever! I saw nim first at The University of Alabama; but the most memorable,for me, was the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival, July 4th, midnight, fireworks going off, and he played the Star spangled Banner.
As much as I love Hendrix…I do feel he is a tad overrated as a guitarist. Many people forget about Peter Green, SRV, Clapton and brand Hendrix as the greatest ever. Nice pictures though thanks for sharing.
Hendrix may not have been the most traditionally technically proficient guitarist of his generation, but there is no question in my mind that he was the greatest. He reinvented what could be done and redefined the role of the guitarist in a rock band. A true idiot sevant. Ask Clapton or SRV who they think the greatest guitarist was. SRV wouldn’t even be in this conversation without Jimi. Not to take away from those guys either, though. They are all amazing, but Jimi was Jimi.
Let’s give a nod to Buddy Guy, who is said to have had enormous influence on Hendrix.
Here’s a snippet from the Gibson site. The article is “Buddy’s Buddies: Buddy Guy’s Influence on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan,” by Ted Drozdowski, 07-30-2010.
As for Hendrix, he was a Guy fan and was sometimes observed sitting at the front tables of Buddy’s shows, wide-eyed with a tape recorder on his knees. Guy’s touch, tone and abandon zing through many Hendrix recordings: “Red House,” “Voodoo Chile,” even the solos in “Manic Depression,” with their evil low-toned vibrato and howling feedback trails.
Over the years, an odd kind of symbiosis between Guy and Hendrix developed. Dick Waterman, who managed Guy in the ’60s and ’70s, tells this story: “I started working with Buddy Guy in 1966 or ’67, and he was very flamboyant. He would play his guitar with the microphone stand, lay it over the pipes overhead at Theresa’s, his home club in Chicago, and play it, and play left- or right-handed, flick a handkerchief over the strings to play them. And people started saying, ‘Oh, you got that from Hendrix.’ And we had no idea who Hendrix was. Finally somebody told us he was a guy from London, so we figured he was from Jamaica or Trinidad. Chris Blackwell had just started putting out reggae records on Island Records at the time, so we thought he might be part of that. When Hendrix came to the States and I saw him at [New York City club] the Scene, I was surprised to learn he was from Seattle.”
Later, in concert, Guy began playing “Red House.” And in recent years he has been a part of the annual Experience Hendrix tribute tours, providing a living and fiery testimonial to his own influence on Jimi’s playing.
While I would have loved to have seen a Jimi concert, the cool thing is that we can still catch a live Buddy Guy performance.
Clapton… heh – usually the marker for the difference between casual music fan and serious listener. Pretty overrated if one is extremely serious about creativity, proficiency and innovation in music.
As for Hendrix – definitely a genius. Very skilled technically – must have practiced for extreme amounts of time. Yes, SRV is incredible – basically took what Hendrix did and added a “guitar as a third arm” feel to it, but then again, Prince can do the same thing.
Really though, in terms of proficiency (though decidedly non-technical in terms of true musical theory) – Eddie Van Halen is probably the most interesting since Hendrix.
As a serious listener and long time bedroom player, I have to say that I really hate the idea of “best” or “greatest” guitarist. You can listen to Jimi and hear Buddy Guy in there, you can also hear some Curtis, too. But hey, what about Duane, or a non-blues based guy like Richard Thompson, they are all great and music isn’t a competition. There are so many players that can blow you away.
But I will say that Jimi rewrote the language of the electric, before him no one really demonstrated what amplified sound was capable of….