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Jimi Hendrix rocks at 70

Happy Birthday Jimi
Happy Birthday Jimi
Peter Switzer

I can not think of another musician who has made such a profound impact on rock music as James Marshall Hendrix, born November 27, 1942.

This November 27th marked what would have been the 70th birthday of the 1969, you know, the original one, Woodstock Music & Art Fair headliner, Jimi Hendrix.

It was 43 years ago that bands such as The Who, Mountain, Crosby Stills and Nash, Johnny Winter, Richie Havens, Santana, Ten Years After, Sha Na Na, and so many more ground breaking musicians crossed that stage and unimagined musical milestones even as the stage itself was sinking into the unyielding mud caused by copious amounts of rainfall all weekend. All weekend.

With the Monday morning mist glistening early, Hendrix took his white '68 Fender Stratocaster to the stage and proceeded to pry open a fresh can of Star Spangled Banner which pushed and pulled, whispered and cried, then exploded like the fury of a hurricane into the tone drenched valley, etching yet another zenith in music history over the rolling fields of the little town upstate, Bethel, NY.

As if a ten thousand watt power tube rocket was pushing him towards the next break though or six string masterpiece, Jimi was here, and gone just as quickly. He left the height of the blues rock explosion smoldering.

He departed as the point man with a churning imagination, insatiable need for discovery, bold experimentation, and musical talent like no other even thought possible in the electric analog world, now long gone.

Jimi remains the bedrock of every rock guitar tone, riff, and phrase we hear today, and forever more. His likes will never be seen or heard again.

Certainly if Jimi were alive today, he would have taken his music to yet another uncharted galaxy, keeping us headphones on, turned up to 11, grooving on the multi faceted virtuosic sounds which would be transcending everything within the next universe and beyond.

Happy 70th Birthday Jimi.


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