Don't you be talkin bout Jimi...You can't hear Jimi...

I tried to think of an analogy that would best describe the music of Jimi Hendrix in the context of his time. When the Beatles sang, "All you need is Love", and the Doors sang "Light my fire", Hendrix came along and played "Purple Haze", "Foxy Lady" and "Hey Joe" among many others. The guitar work exceeded that of his musician peers. Looking at "Little Wing" and "Vodoo Chile", in contrast to what other bands were creating within that same year, showed a style that was way before its time.
In 1968, as Christmas approached, I asked my parents for the "Are you Experienced" album. The album pix was a sight to behold. I knew nothing of the music or the band. I was listening to Petula Clark, Herb Alpert, and the Beatles. I couldn't imagine anyone looking as outlandish as the "Experience".
On my little record player, I set down the needle and began to listen. On a dark, cold night, as the wind whipped across the snow and the stars shown bright, "Third Stone from the Sun" began to play. It was completely different from anything that I had ever heard and I choked back a laugh. With a slight grin upon my face, I lay back upon my bed and looked up at the stars. Like fertile ground, I absorbed the sound deep within the pores of my mind.
I had an epiphany that day. My mind shifted. Beyond that point, I was never the same. It was something that I could not articulate. In trying, the message was lost.
Only those that know, know.


Rowan said…
i never would have had you figured as a Hendrix fan!

I personally like Hey Joe bestest...just thought you might be wondering.
Anonymous said…
As an African-American, who grew up in the Black Church and had many family members who were great singers and musicians, when I first heard the Axis Bold as Love album, I thought it was horrible. I could not understand the appeal of this guy making a lot of noise and singing off key. Then when I received a guitar (acoustic) and tried to play like Jimi Hendrix, I had a newfound respect for Jimi. I had a paradigm shift that affects me to this day. What I did not understand until that moment of truth is that music is not stuff that sounds good, no more than art is stuff that looks good. Music is painting a picture with words and sound so that those who partake of it can come close to understanding (if they are open) how you feel at that moment. That's why I went from Jimi to Jazz and Blues which to this day is how I express my feelings in words and sound. Music is my life and Jimi is the heart that keeps me alive.
Tim said…
Anon - I am so glad that you dropped by. At last, a brother that hears brother.