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Sure do I know about Hendrix for a long time. But, musically, he never reached me really. As the media celebrate 50 years of his death, I came to invest some time and listening. It started with a documentary on TV that was followed by some research on his music catalogue. This morning, I had Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland spinning. Axis just started what I knew from Van Halen I. The music still sounds very fresh and modern to my ears. Hendrix sure deserves being as influencial as were the Beatles, if not more. Just wonderful.

So, is it that I'm getting older that has me looking into the past? Or is it the way I'm listening today, playing guitar myself, that I didn't in youth times? Recently, I find myself digging into vintage music and keep buying original vinyls.

For sure, Hendrix would have had provided the world with even more great guitar playing if he'd been surviving much longer if not still be living and touring. What kind of turns would his music had taken over the years, compared to where the Beatles went in their later years? How would he have had reflected the 80s hair metal, Van Halen etc.? He seemed to be rooted in the blues however.

Let us know, what are you experienced?

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Jimi was VERY rooted in the blues, yet by the time of his death, he was moving towards a heavy funk sound...he would have loved the 70s...

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3 hours ago, gorch said:

So, is it that I'm getting older that has me looking into the past? Or is it the way I'm listening today, playing guitar myself, that I didn't in youth times?

You are listening differently. 

By now we have heard the people influenced by the people who were influenced by Hendrix, and maybe another generation or two.  Just listening to Hendrix and comparing him to all the new guys or other good guitar players from our youth is worthwhile.  He really did stand out. 

Like all blues based players, Hendrix would have been pushed aside for a while in the 80s.  He would have still been making money, though. 

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Hendrix was always this mystery enigma when we were kids. As we did not know what a great guitar players sounded like, the fact that we heard and read that Hendrix was the best simply made him the best guitarplayer ever, in our book. This was when I was around 12. We listened a lot to Crash Landing, as it was the only Hendrix album we had available at that time - at a friends house. Later I got to know that it was a posthomous release with a lot of overdubs by other musicians. But it made an impact, and I still like that album, for what it is.

I listened to Jimi just the other weekend when I was at home. His music still has the magic. And his playing, now that I understand what I am hearing, is awesome. What a touch and feel. 

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15 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

"Classic rock" radio stations must have caused someone out there to never want to hear certain Hendrix songs ever again. 

Verily, verily. It would help quite a bit if these corporate program directors would dig a bit deeper in the Hendrix catalog and play something other than "Purple Haze", "Fire", "Watchtower", and "Hey Joe".  Seriously, when was the last time you heard, say, "Love or Confusion" on FM radio?

 

 

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I won't bore everyone with the whole story of my Hendrix introduction, but the Cliff's Notes version is, I went to work at Shoney's as a bus boy in 1979 (15 years old) and one of the cooks, a former hippie in his 50's, found out I played guitar (honestly, I didn't yet, but I had a Sears guitar in my room and could play cowboy chords if that counts).  He starts going on and on about Hendrix this and Hendrix that and seeing Hendrix; honestly, I didn't know what to make of it. 

Next day I come in and he hands me a paper sack with a half dozen eight-track tapes and one cassette.  They're all Hendrix bootlegs, nearly worn out but still audible.  There was also eight-track #2 of 3 (I think) of "Woodstock" (the one with Hendrix' performance).  I didn't have a cassette player in my car, so that one I had to listen to on my little cassette recorder at home.  The cassette, as it turns out, was Axis: Bold as Love.

I couldn't get enough.  I don't know that I played anything else in my car until "Exit... Stage Left" came out in, what? Late '81?

But to @Biz Prof's point, the programming directors' move to keep the more bombastic and familiar songs in rotation really does the public a disservice as they fail to show what an amazing composer Hendrix was.  There are pop sensibilities, fantastic melodies and great musicianship in the "other" songs.  Songs like "Wait Until Tomorrow" and "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" (Whitney Houston's mom on backup vocals doesn't hurt) didn't require guitar gymnastics - they're great songs.

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Hendrix' influence on me as a kid and as guitar player are profound. I've often said that KISS made me wanna pick up a guitar but Hendrix made me wanna learn how to play it.

I listened to him incessantly in the late 70's and 80's. His music was always something of a wondrous and frustrating enigma to me. I could learn the notes he played (just barely) but never even came close to the mojo he imparted to them, the magical wonderful way they were engineered both organically and mechanically. He was the perfect storm of feel, finesse, raw energy, psychedelia, and even some progressive aspects.

Interestingly enough, as I grew older he started being relegated to the "have to be in the mood to listen to him" category. Some of his deeper and rarer recordings don't interest me unless I'm in that particular mood. I chalk that up to tastes changing (to a degree) and having burned out on the better part of his catalogue already.

 

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I also think Hendrix would have done great things in the 70s. Maybe he would have stayed with rock, or gone more blues. Maybe he would have gone more towards the disco, but hopefully more towards the skilled musician side. There's so much he could have done, so many possibilities.

I wonder how he would have viewed the MTV generation. I watched the ZZ top documentary, and to say that the music video transformed their careers would be an understatement. I'm not saying it made their careers, but the trajectory was completely altered, even though they are so rooted in Texas blues.

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