Rolling Stone Magazine has just released its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and Jimi Hendrix is still #1 after all of these years!
David Frick recalls when he first proposed in 2003 that Rolling Stone create a list of the 100 greatest and most influential guitarists in rock, “In the end, I looked at it this way: Jimi Hendrix was Number One in every way; the other 99 were all Number Two.”
Here’s what Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine says, “He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage. On songs like "Machine Gun" or "Voodoo Chile," his instrument is like a divining rod of the turbulent Sixties – you can hear the riots in the streets and napalm bombs dropping in his "Star-Spangled Banner."
“His playing was effortless…He seamlessly weaves chords and single-note runs together and uses chord voicings that don't appear in any music book. His riffs were a pre-metal funk bulldozer, and his lead lines were an electric LSD trip down to the crossroads, where he pimp-slapped the devil.”
Pete Townshend of The Who writes, “I feel sad for people who have to judge Jimi Hendrix on the basis of recordings and film alone; because in the flesh he was so extraordinary…When he would walk toward the stage, nobody would really take much notice of him. But when he walked off, I saw him walk up to some of the most covetable women in the world. Hendrix would snap his fingers, and they followed him. Onstage, he was very erotic as well…There was a sense of wanting to possess him and wanting to be a part of him, to know how he did what he did because he was so powerfully affecting.”
A recently published (2010) book, “Curtis Knight: Living in the Shadow of Jimi Hendrix,’ describes how Rhythm & Blues king Curtis Knight and Jimi Hendrix melded rhythmic sounds from their Black/Native American heritages with R&B, rock and traditional blues and changed rock and roll forever. Knight described Jimi’s guitar audition for his group, the Squires, in 1964 as, “…like a starving, dehydrated person who had just stumbled in from being lost in the desert and suddenly found a banquet of food and water.”
Jimi Hendrix was 27 years old when he died on September 18, 1970, in London. According to Forbes magazine, his recordings still earned $7 million in 2010.
The entire Rolling Stone Top 10 are: Jimi Hendrix: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend..
A comment posted on NYDailyNews.com questions: “'Greatest'. That doesn't mean 'best'. In terms of greatness it's hard to argue against Jimi…[but] is it fair to lump every genre of music together?”
Permission to use painting granted by the artist, Kathy Knight-McConnell. © 1978