Well, I was assigned this blog and really didn’t have much to say about Jimi at all because I can’t put into words what the greatest guitar players sound like. Sort of like trying to put into words any touch, sight or smell; you can never get the right words. So I figured if I did nothing about it, well, you get the picture…or maybe not since words can’t describe a picture.
Anyway, so I got the flu or something else and was taking the medicine to relieve the symptoms and that kind of got me thinking about how great talents have been lost due to just reading a bottle incorrectly. I’ve read several times about how Hendrix died because he took too large of a dose of German sleeping pills. Although in the U.S. we take the entire pill, these German sedatives were designed to be taken in half pill doses and taking entire pills could cause an overdose. I could kind of see how if you didn’t know the dosage you could take too many pills and overdose.
I could write a lot about Jimi’s playing style and rehash thousands of other articles that have done the same thing but think that if you want to get it you have to listen to Hendrix. Listen and appreciate or listen and learn, or just listen to like. Any of the three will get you somewhere which is a true mark of a real great musician. Think about some of the music you listen to and you’ll discover that some of it you can’t really appreciate (Barney’s Greatest Hit’s), learn from (“In the Navy”) or listen to like (Sibelus’ 4th Symphony). However, a composition that accomplishes all 3 hits the mark.
A few lesser known gems of Jimi’s genius:
House of the Rising Sun from In the Beginning. What a great guitar lead in an arrangement way different than the popular one. Stunning melodic moments followed by atonal moments so out there that you need a theory book to figure out what he’s playing.
Somewhere from People, Hell and Angels which will be released this year. This tune was featured on the new Hawaii Five-0 and has some great fuzzy guitar solo work that makes you want to get up and dance.
Power to Love from Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsys. All you need to get this is Buddy Miles hitting the drum hard and yelling YAHHHHHHHHH and you know some serious jamming is about to go on. I can listen to the first minute for the rest of my life and never really probably get everything out of it that is there.
Listen to Jimi and you will learn something, appreciate something, like something. As he wrote in his last lyrics, found on the day he died:
The story of life
is quicker than the wink of an eye
The story of love
is hello and goodbye
Until we meet again.