Rock music was transformed by the innovative guitarist and composer Jimi Hendrix. He contributed to the development of a new vocabulary for the electric guitar through his inventive use of feedback, distortion, and wah-wah pedals as well as his virtuosic playing and experimental soundscapes.
From heavy metal to psychedelic rock, Hendrix’s influence can be heard in the work of numerous artists, and his influence on the genre is immeasurable.
At the age of 15, Jimi Hendrix, a self-taught guitarist, began playing the guitar. He mimicked the sounds he heard while listening to blues and rock records to learn how to perform. Jimi Hendrix performed in a number of ensembles in his early days.
Jimi Hendrix shot to fame in 1967 with the release of his debut album “Are You Experienced?” and went on to become one of the most important and renowned guitarists in music history.
While he has influenced so many artists in the world, he also had his fair share of favorite musicians. Even musical stars have their own role models and sources of inspiration.
Other musicians, artists, or even non-musical personalities who have had an effect on their lives and careers can be considered as these influencers. Here are five favorite artists of Jimi Hendrix.
Few musicians today, or even in the 1960s, can deny not being in some small way, either directly or tangentially, influenced by the Liverpool band.
Jimi Hendrix also admired the Beatles’ experimental approach to music and their use of studio effects. He even talked about them while talking with Steve Baker in 1967.
He said, “Oh, yes, I think it’s good, They’re one group that you can’t really put down because they’re just too much. And it’s so embarrassing, man when America is sending over the Monkees – oh, God, that kills me!”
He added, “I’m so embarrassed that America could be so stupid as to make somebody like that. They could have at least done it with a group that has something to offer. They got groups in the States starving to death trying to get breaks, and then these fairies come up.”
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 1967 psychedelic masterwork by The Beatles, was especially beloved by Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix gave a tribute performance of the album’s title track at one of his first UK concerts, where Paul McCartney was present, in honor of the record and the heroic group behind it.
One of Hendrix’s most notable figures was Bob Dylan. Dylan served as an enormously lyrical source of inspiration for numerous other performers throughout the 1960s and beyond.
Jimi Hendrix frequently expressed his admiration for the musician and was touched by his songwriting.
One of Hendrix’s most well-known tracks is “All Along the Watchtower,” which Dylan wrote and that Hendrix was known to cover.
Bob Dylan himself began playing the song in the manner of Hendrix because of how distinctively Hendrix performed it. Hendrix not only covered Dylan’s tracks but he was also influenced by his lyrics, which he thought were poetic and full of vivid imagery.
Bob Dylan’s narrative approach had an impact on Hendrix’s own songwriting, and he frequently incorporated Dylan-like aspects into his lyrics.
He even commented about him in 1967.
He said, “All those people who don’t like Bob Dylan’s songs should read his lyrics. They are filled with the joys and sadness of life, I really dig him, though. I like that Highway 61 Revisited album and especially ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’!
Jimi added, “He doesn’t inspire me actually, because I could never write the kind of words he does. But he’s helped me out in trying to write about two or three words ’cause I got a thousand songs that will never be finished. I just lie around and write about two or three words, but now I have a little more confidence in trying to finish one.”
“When I was down in the Village, Dylan was starving down there, I hear he used to have a pad with him all the time to put down what he sees around him. But he doesn’t have to be stoned when he writes. Although he probably is a cat like that – he just doesn’t have to be.”
He told Rolling Stone, “The first guitarist I was aware of was Muddy Waters, I heard one of his old records when I was a little boy, and it scared me to death because I heard all of those sounds. Wow, what is that all about? It was great.”
Waters, the ‘Father of Chicago Blues,’ was a significant component of the jigsaw that helped build rock ‘n’ roll in the 1960s. Among the famous groups to pay tribute to the legendary guitarist are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks.
A British rock group called Cream, operating in the 1960s served as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix allegedly became so inspired by Cream’s guitarist, Eric Clapton, that he attended several of the band’s performances and even took some of Clapton’s playing cues.
Jimi Hendrix’s use of bluesy melodies, distortion, and feedback—all aspects of Cream’s music—shows how Cream influenced him.
Hendrix and Clapton, whom he knew and occasionally jammed and performed with, were known to share a mutual admiration for one another.
Most infamously, during a concert by Cream in October 1966, Clapton invited a young Jimi Hendrix to the stage.
Baker once talked about Hendrix.
He said, “Jimi done a TV show once. Stopped and went into playing [Cream song] ‘Sunshine’ [of Your Love]. You know, he really dug Cream, Hendrix, and us basically had created this very large audience of people who were turned onto instrumental, vocal, loud – whatever you wanna call it – music.
Rock ‘n’ roll, I guess, with Blues in it. I was very proud to be a friend of Jimi Hendrix, and he encouraged me a lot. I think he is not with us because nobody cared about him enough and I think nobody cared enough about us then either.”
Robert Fripp, the guitarist for King Crimson, was questioned about the rumor that Jimi Hendrix shook his left hand during a Q&A session for Patricia Fripp’s Intriguing Stories: The Inside Secrets documentary.
He answered, “Yes, he did, Hey, shake my left-hand man; it’s closer to my heart,” said Jimi Hendrix.
This initial encounter took place after Hendrix visited a King Crimson concert on June 2, 1969, according to Fripp.
He was having so much fun that he just had to shake the creative guitarist’s hand. Many years later, in a bookstore, Fripp ran into the in-law of Michael Giles, the original percussionist of King Crimson.
She was present the night Hendrix and Fripp shook hands and seated at the table next to the legendary American guitarist.