Saturday, September 18, 2010


40 years after Jimi

Jimi Hendrix at WoodstockJohnny Allen Hendrix, was born in Seattle in 1942. Legendary psychedelic-blues/rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix died in London 40 years ago today, at the age of 27.

Maybe you liked Hendrix’s music, or maybe you thought it was just so much distorted noise. Either way, there’s no arguing that he created new ways to play an electric guitar. He used reverberation, distortion, and feedback, not as accidental or undesirable artifacts, but as part of the music he made. Wah-wah, tremolo, phasing effects, and simply striking the guitar to create crashing sounds were all part of it as well. In Jimi Hendrix's hands, an electric guitar became more than just an amplified guitar.

And, of course, it was loud. Sample his version of The Star-Spangled Banner from the close of the 1969 Woodstock weekend.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience only released three studio albums during his lifetime, in 1967 and ’68, but he recorded a lot of material and a number of records came out years after his death.

Why not sit back this afternoon, and soak in some Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Castles Made of Sand, or Electric Ladyland?

Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You’ve got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

1 comment:

Call me Paul said...

I picked up the recently released Valleys of Neptune album a couple of months ago. Sure, there are some alternate versions of songs that probably didn't need alternate versions recorded. At least one of them is (IMHO) almost unlistenable. One or two of them are, however, quite good, and I'm enjoying the previously unreleased songs, too. I'm glad I bought it.