Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix: Musicians Discuss The Legendary Guitarist
Born in Seattle on this date in 1942, today would have been the 75th birthday of late great guitarist Jimi Hendrix. A career cut short at only 27 years old when he died following an accidental overdose of sleeping pills in September 1970, Hendrix nonetheless left behind an unparalleled body of work that will continue to influence rock ‘n’ roll for generations to come.
To celebrate the all-too-short life of James Marshall Hendrix, below is a collection of his fellow musicians and contemporaries discussing the all-time great guitarist. Several videos feature iconic musicians recalling their first interactions with Hendrix, while others share fond memories of their dealings with the eclectic six-string master.
This SiriusXM segment is from an interview with renowned blues guitarists Buddy Guy and the late B.B. King. The pair of talented axemen share their individual tales of meeting Hendrix when he was an up-and-coming guitarist:
In this clip Joni Mitchell discusses Hendrix coming to an early concert of hers with a reel-to-reel tape recorder to capture her performance. Calling him “one of the great innovators and geniuses,” Mitchell also shares advice Jimi gave her many years ago:
Here’s The Band’s guitarist Robbie Robertson revealing his reasoning for referring to his friend as “Jimmy James.” The clip below includes a story about The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones going with Robertson to see Hendrix in the early-1960s that led to Robbie and Jimi’s friendship:
The Stones’ guitarist Ronnie Wood reminiscences about his time living with Jimi – who he says could play guitar right handed just as well as he could left handed. This clip ends with Wood detailing the last time he laid eyes on Hendrix before his untimely death:
King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp talks fondly of his meeting Jimi at one of the band’s concerts in 1969. He tells a remarkable story about shaking Hendrix’s hand in the audio-only clip below:
Late Yes bassist Chris Squire is featured in the video below discussing his first encounter with Hendrix. He goes on at length about opening for an unknown-to-him Jimi with Eric Clapton, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the audience at The Marquee Club, watch here:
Late Motörhead bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister talks about his time as member of Hendrix’s road crew. Lemmy reveals a wild tale about consuming massive amounts of LSD supplied to the roadies by Jimi:
“I was left with that left-handed Stratocaster” an emotional Eric Clapton laments in this video in which he discusses his reaction to Hendrix’s death. Clapton explains he had hoped to meet up with Jimi at a Sly & The Family Stone concert but never linked up on what turned out to be the night Hendrix died. Watch the heartbreaking footage here:
The beginning of this clip showcases Frank Zappa telling a story about Hendrix and Buddy Miles coming to his house. In addition to the obscure tale, Zappa gives his opinion on what he wished Jimi would have done compositionally before he passed away:
Graham Nash talks about going with Hendrix to see Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention and running into The Stone’s Brian Jones. A bright spotlight landed on Jimi and Graham who both had heads full of LSD, listen to the short memory here:
[Originally Published: November 27, 2016]