:: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 ::
Time for another round of...

...musical chairs

Today's entry comes courtesy of my older brother, the one who signs his comments "careaga - the OTHER white meat." A true child of the '60s, Big Brotha was a Jimi Hendrix fan of the highest order, and I know of no better person to discuss this guitar wizard than my very own bro.

Visit these other fine Musical Chairs contributors:

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    Now, on to our program:

    Jimi Hendrix: the young Prometheus
    by careaga - the OTHER white meat

    Jimi HendrixPrometheus took fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. I don't know whether Jimi got the fire from Zeus, Lucifer or God, but he gave it to the world and paid dearly for it.

    What I'd like to tell you in the next paragraph or two is not when Jimi was born, his middle name, when he overdosed or where he went to school. Thats what Google is for. What I'd like to convey to you is my personal observations as a young teenager living in San Bernardino, California, the day and days after Jimi Hendrix released his fire to mankind.

    The only music I'll refer to is that on the "Are You Experienced" album because, in my opinion, after that album was released and became an overnight sensation, the corporate suits moved in and made sure that Jimi understood that from that time forward his contract would demand that he sell music to young white kids and not the dope fiends and hippies he had previously catered to. Now, I don't know if that
    last statement is factual or not, its just my opinion as I observed the drastic changes that took place in the upcoming albums. To be quite honest, after "Experienced" there was no fire left in Jimi.

    Whether the "suits" were successful in breaking his spirit...I don't know for sure. Maybe Jimi just 'shot his wad' and didn't have anything left. I do know this. After "Experienced" Jimi started doing blues and rehashes of Bob Dylan and switched from LSD to smack and downers.

    Something changed and the 'fire' was gone.

    Now, lets talk about his music. The "Experienced album" was essentially Jimi Hendrix but even it had some lame songs. C'mon, "Hey Joe" has been rehashed by everybody but Helen Reddy. "Fire" (an unfortunate title) sounds like something SRV would have patched together. "Foxy Lady" was almost psychodelic bubblegum. That being said, the epitome of that collection, "Third Stone from the Sun" and other tracks like "I don't Live Today" (where there is a recording dubbed in at the end of the track where Jimi is ODing and the band is slapping him around to keep him awake) are sounds that, once ingrained into your subconscious mind, will go with you to your grave.

    Jimi was an original. While everyone else was trying to sound like Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck Jimmi was innovating a sound that millions would later try to emulate. Hell, Ike Turner fired him from his band because the Hendrix sound not only pissed him off because of his own incompetence but it actually scared the hell out of him. He feared what he couldn't comprehend so he did the only thing he could do....he fired him. I'll spare you a boring discography but lets just say that Jimi Hendrix was the most "fired" guitar player in the world and, I'm assuming it was always for the same reason: people fearing and/or hating what they couldn't comprehend.

    Jimi Hendrix, even more that the Beatles, taught me the value of a good set of headphones. There is just too much stuff to miss when you hear "Purple Haze" over your grandma's AM radio.

    Please, if you do nothing more to feed your soul than this, please, please get a high bit rate copy of "Are You Experienced" and a good set of headphones, lock the doors, pull the shades, take the phone off the hook and lay back and "listen" to this young Prometheus as he hands you the gift of fire.


    Mr. Nimbus responds:
    I often have disagreements with other people about Jimi and where he was heading as an artist. A part of me feels that he would have eventually become too mainstream and gone the route of post Cream/Blind Faith Clapton had he lived.

    That would have truly sucked.

    However, every album he put out was a true piece of art (with the exception of the "lost" pieces of shit that flooded the market after he died - which was no fault of his).

    Electric Ladyland is a phenomenal album - one of my favorite songs of all time is 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)\Moon, Turn The Tides ... Gently Gently Away. "Axis: Bold As Love" gave us one of the greatest guitar intro ever in "Little Wing" and "If Six Was Nine" certainly could not have been a favorite of the record executives. I agree that Are You Experienced was an epic moment in the history of rock, but I wouldn't sell his other efforts short.

    Great advice about the headphones. For a more visceral experience, playing it loud enough to shake the house always is a worthy exercise.
    Courtney writes:
    I have no rational responses to Hendrix. When I open my eyes and stop floating, maybe I'll talk about him then. Right now, I just want to feel the groove.

    , ,

    :: Andrew 10:17 + ::
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