Reflections on Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Warning: This article may change your perspective of Hendrix forever!

Like MANY other people in the world we recognize Jimi Hendrix as the most influential guitarist in all of Rock Music, including Metal. The first time Jerry heard anything by Jimi, it just happened to be “High, Live and Dirty” which featured a VERY high Hendrix barely keeping within the bounds of any music a sober person could recognize. Jerry bought the original LP and has since lost it, but now it has become a collector’s edition.

Hendrix High Live’n Dirty Back
Hendrix High Live’n Dirty Back Cover

The song “FHITA” certainly raised eyebrows, but since then, we haven’t learned much more about “High, Live and Dirty” except that it seems to be Hendrix’s worst effort at music and it never seemed to be intended for an album release. Listen to more of High, Live and Dirty here. The whole album is akin to a train wreck, you knot it is bad – but you can’t stop looking. Yet after his untimely death in 1970, just two weeks before Janis Joplin’s untimely death, the world hungered for more music from Jimi. Despite its problems “High, Live and Dirty” is still an incredible view into the Rock world of the early 1970s.

Guitar World Article

This 1991 interview in Guitar World (if you haven’t already read it first) will change everything you think about Jimi Hendrix and will forever alter the way you view him perform and the way you listen to him. Especially this excerpt which is a quote by Ritchie Blackmore:

I was impressed by Hendrix. Not so much by his playing, as his attitude. He wasn’t a great player, but everything else about him was brilliant. Even the way he walked was amazing.

Ritchie Blackmore: Guitar World 1991

Guitar Playing as a Intellectual Endeavor

Hendrix taught us the value of guitar as an ‘intellectual endeavor’ instead of a ‘skills endeavor.’ Perhaps most guitarists play with their skill while Hendrix (and others) played with their head. Once this differentiation is made, the world of music opens up to vastly greater dimensions. Syd Barrett starts to make more sense, and you can even tell the intellectual uniqueness of Dimebag Darrell in greater detail with a better understanding of Hendrix.

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Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.

Jimi Hendrix