Opinion: Jimi Hendrix, and How He Changed Music as We Know It

Tuesday, March 1st, 2021

8:00 PM

While it might seem like a cliche to say that Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitarist of all time. That's exactly what millions of rocker wannabes and successful slayers alike have said since the sixties. Hendrix was and still is considered one of the most revered musicians of the 20th century. Today I sat down with fellow musician Kevin Wood and talked about his lasting influence.

Me: "Hendrix kind of transcended the stereotypes of that era's music scene. He came from a well-off family, so this wasn't a "rag to riches" case. And he was the first African American musician to be dubbed a sex symbol by the media."

Kevin: "You know I'm not old enough to have ever seen him live or remember having any tangible noticings of him. I remember of course picking up the guitar and listing to Hendrix and trying to emulate his approach. He was a unique player, and an architect of a musical era and a time of guitar playing that really spawned what we see now as far as guitar. Without Hendrix in there, our experience with (guitar) would be absolutely different. We had good players before don't get me wrong. But he was the guy, especially for me who took it out on a limb."

Kevin and I went on to talk about Hendrix's influence in his own band 'Malfunkshun'. Between breaks in songs, the band's charismatic frontman Andy would announce the members as well as tell jokes. All the while Kevin would be soloing in Hendrix-like fashion.

His reach was unprecedented. And his works have immortalized his existential significance to the world of music. Hendrix will forever live on through the hands of beginning players, as well as lifelong addicts to the craft.