(K. Brent Tomer),
THERE WAS no wailing “wah-wah” pedal, no rasping distortion, no shrieking feedback from an oversized speaker. The opening bluesy licks of “Hey Joe”, the first single recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was released on December 16th 1966, could have been played on an acoustic guitar. They gave little indication that the band’s front man would quickly become a sonorous sensation. In an era of great electric guitarists—Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, The Who’s Pete Townshend and The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, to name a select few—one was widely acknowledged as the instrument’s most expressive practitioner. Mr Page called him “the best guitarist any of us ever had”. On seeing him play for the first time, Mr Clapton is said to have mumbled: “You never told me he was that fucking good.” Few could make a six-string chatter like Jimi Hendrix.
“Hey Joe” was a lively rendition of a folk standard and rose to sixth place in the British charts. It was chosen for the group by their manager Chas Chandler, who had spotted a 23-year-old Hendrix strumming in New York’s nightclubs and convinced him to move to…Continue reading