September 18th was the 52nd anniversary of the passing of Jimi Hendrix an iconic electric guitar Rock legend who died in London at age 27 of a drug overdose. There are some that believe he was murdered. There are books written to support this claim. I am yet to read one.
I am still mesmerized by his music and performances so many years later. He has been a major influence on many great guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Lenny Kravitz to name a few.
Hendrix, a native of Seattle, was a God-gifted guitarist who had 4-years of success primarily with the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" upon arriving in London at the prompting of his then manager Chas Chandler formerly of the band the Animals. The band produced three albums. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1992.
Hendrix's songs are as electrifying as his performances are legendary, especially his performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock which was a huge music festival in upstate New York on a farm. Hendrix was the headliner. His use and control of feedback was a technique he perfected.
Hendrix's rendition of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" still today is my favorite song. His raw creative musical talents combined with his intensity and passion for playing are evident in many of his most well-known songs such as "Voodoo Child", "Little Wing", "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady" to name a few.
Jimi Hendrix was no overnight success. He was first a guitar player in bands who wouldn't allow him often to do a solo or play too loud. He played with Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner, and the Isley Brothers.
When you listen to other rock guitarists talk about who's the best ever and who influenced them, you often hear Hendrix's name mentioned first.
Hendrix had a soft, soothing voice to go with a sound no one has ever been able to duplicate with the exception of maybe the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn who was an admirer, but for sure had his own identity and was a gifted player himself. Stevie Ray is definitely a Top 10 player on my list of best ever.
If I were to list my three dinner guests, Hendrix would be among them. The best book I've ever read on Hendrix was "Starting from Zero."
I wish I was old enough to see him play. However, I did have the pleasure of meeting his father briefly at the NAMM Show in Anaheim in 1999.
Though it was 52 years ago he passed, Hendrix clearly remains a rock guitar giant who moved so many of us with his music which plays on and often still today.