Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

A quibble

Minor, to be sure. But still.

November 27, 1942, Born on this day, Jimi Hendrix guitarist, singer, songwriter who had the 1967 UK No.6 single ‘Hey Joe’, the 1970 UK No.1 single ‘Voodoo Chile’, and the 1968 US No.1 and UK No.6 album ‘Electric Ladyland’. Hendrix who is widely considered to be the greatest guitarist in musical history, made appearances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival.

Bold mine, and just dead wrong, a grossly hyperbolic statement with no reality backing it. I love Jimi, of course, but…”the greatest guitarist in musical history?” Rock and roll history, maybe; not too much argument there from me (other than the supernatural Danny Gatton, perhaps; then again, he himself dubbed his ingenious style “redneck jazz,” so perhaps not). But MUSICAL history?

Surpassing Django, Segovia, Charlie Christian? Joe Pass? George Van Epps? Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Lenny Breau? Chet Atkins?

Umm, no. Just…NO. As a general rule, any reasonably accomplished jazz guitarist can play rings around any rock picker you care to name with vanishingly few exceptions and not a lot of effort or fuss; the classical guys are simply off the scale, and way beyond reach. Note that I say that not as some uninformed kibitzer but as a rock and roll guitarist of some ability, accomplishment, and experience myself, who also happens to be named Hendrix, and for whom Jimi provided much of the inspiration for taking up guitar in the first place way back when.

No insult intended to Jimi, a visionary richly deserving of his status as a rock and roll legend. But much though it may pain me to have to do it, I repeat: no. Just…no.


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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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