Hendrix was getting some abuse in a thread there so I began to wonder...

(Please refrain from flaming I want opinions and to each his own guys.)

I give you the music people were listening to in 1966 (World Wide No1's):

The Beatles (the likes of Yellow Submarine and Paperback Writer)
Sinatra (Strangers)
Nancy Sinatra (These Boots...)
Beach Boys (Good Vib....)
Simon and Garf etc

Enter Hendrix...

Imagine yourself in this era of music, a dull time for guitar in the early mid-60's, and along comes a saviour who didn't just make guitarists think about their music but all music listeners.

Let's remove Hendrix from the equation... lets pretend they never rigged Hey Joe to the Number 1 spot... what would we be missing in the guitar world today? You cant even imagine who WOULD have came along but you can imagine for example who maybe wouldn't have picked up their axe...Satch for example who said he picked his up again when he heard Jimi died...stuff like that...

this could be interesting i think...
I appreciate his legacy as an influence and as a catalyst. However, I personally don't enjoy his songs that much, I think they have a lot of personality and soul to them, but from a purely stage performance (when it comes to songs) point of view I don't he even comes close to being the best guitar player in history. He was a big part of a new wave of music at the right time, which of course he deserve credit for, but in retrospect there are far better albums and players out there. Also there are many other catalysts from that era, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to name a few.
Last edited by visionen at Mar 6, 2008,

I agree.

I recognize the skills, but thats about it. It's like, if you play guitar there is some law that you have to like Hendrix or something.

Sorry, but I guess Im breakin the law, breakin the law!
I think part of it is that his most famous work is not anywhere near his most talented. IMO some of his best songs and playing are found in recordings that most people, even many hendrix fans, just aren't aware of.
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Perhaps. I am not more then the average guitar-playing Hendrix fan, but even though he might have unknown song that are great from a technical point of view, I doubt there is anything that can change mine or non guitar playing people's opinion about his music (froma purely listening-pleasure point of view)

Also he seems to out of pure reflex ending up on every (and yes the are always utterly pointless) best guitar player ever-chart, evidence as good as anything on the fact that you cant be taken seriously as a music fan if you do criticize his position as, well number one on those charts.
Last edited by visionen at Mar 6, 2008,
There is a difference between being influential and being a great technical player. He pioneered some things, but that suddenly doesn't make him a better technical guitarist.

I do agree that some of Hendrix's more obscure stuff is more technical than some of his more famous stuff, but his mind bogglingly display of technical abilities were only relative to a time of fairly low end guitar work. If you compare someone like say Eric Clapton to a punk band, he seems amazing, but if you compare him to a high end virtuoso metal lead guitarist, Clapton becomes very mediocre. There are a lot of guitarists much better than Hendrix ever was, and it didn't take very long after he appeared on the scene either.

Keep in mind overrated and bad are not the same thing. Johnny Ramone is a very under rated guitarist (he was better than The Ramones music would indicate, but that was the sound he actually was going for), while on the other hand I think Hendrix is a bit over rated. It doesn't mean I think Johnny Ramone is better than Jimi Hendrix, because over or under rated has to do with perception of them, not a comparison of technical ability to some common denominator.

Odds are if it wasn't Hendrix, it would have been someone else.
Didn't Dylan invite him to a club that he used to play at and Hendrix just showed him up big time?
hendrix is the only one to make a cover song in which the original artist stopped listening to his own version.

*dylans all along the watch tower*. he said when he heard hendrix's version, he stopped listening to his own.. now he plays it like the hendrix version *tries to*
Like Jeff Beck once said, when Hendrix first started playing, people didn't know whether to stand up and cheer or get up and walk out!

He is definitely ONE of the many musicians that transitioned the rock movement.

I for one love his rhythm playing. How he can incorporate his vocals with his guitar is sometimes just great. His live stuff, at times messy, can also be epic. Voodoo Child Slight Return might have my vote for greatest rock song of all time, though. It's just so raw.
Who before Hendrix played like he did? No-one. A huge amount of post-Hendrix rock guitar has been taken or at least heavily influenced by Hendrix somewhere down the line. Guitarists immedeately after Hendrix influenced other guitarists further down the line and its basically about the stlye of guitaring being passed down and transformed into what we have today.
Without Hendrix, that probably would never have happened, which is why he's so well respected, because he was so original.
Unfortunately, alot of people take that to mean he is automatically the greatest guitarist that ever lived.
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Like Jeff Beck once said, when Hendrix first started playing, people didn't know whether to stand up and cheer or get up and walk out!

There's a sketch Hendrix drew of Jeff Beck in a KKK outfit so I don't know if you can really take his opinion
Don't forget The Who and Cream in your list for competitors for Hendrix. Janis Joplin and Albert King were big too.

Anyway. Jimi spawned Stevie Ray, so by that extention I respect jimi on an equal level as SRV.

Jesus, I dont know what I'd be doing with my life I had no inspiration for blues. I probably wouldn't even be playing guitar.
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Hendrix comepletely blew away all the big names of the day when he first appeared on the scene in London, before he was even famous.

The Beatles were awestruck. Clapton was so inspired by Hendrix's performance, that he wrote Sunshine of Your Love. Countless British guitarists wanted to play with him and often invited him onstage to play if he appeared at a club. Bob Dylan, one of the most prolific and incredible songwriters of the 20th Century endorses Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower instead of his own. He was a big thing.

But now people look at him out of context (as I said in the Overrated Guitar Players Thread). It doesn't matter if someone else would have taken his place if he had never been there. The point is: it was him.
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Without Hendrix? We'd still have Joe Walsh and Tommy Shaw. You can make all the threads you want, but fact of the matter is some people just do not like Jimi Hendrix (myself included). Still, we should all respect all of our fellow guitarists, and all of our fellow humans (I imagine Jimi would agree with me on that ).
You can't judge a musical era by the number one singles

Hendrix changed the focus from buying singles to buying albums, which paved the way for album-orientated bands like Led Zepp. So aside from the obvious musical legacy, Hendrix also changed the way that music marketing was conducted too