Tom Morello on why Jimi Hendrix was number 1 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists

Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage. On songs like "Machine Gun" or "Voodoo Chile," his instrument is like a divining rod of the turbulent Sixties – you can hear the riots in the streets and napalm bombs dropping in his "Star-Spangled Banner."

His playing was effortless. There's not one minute of his recorded career that feels like he's working hard at it – it feels like it's all flowing through him. The most beautiful song of the Jimi Hendrix canon is "Little Wing." It's just this gorgeous song that, as a guitar player, you can study your whole life and not get down, never get inside it the way that he does. He seamlessly weaves chords and single-note runs together and uses chord voicings that don't appear in any music book. His riffs were a pre-metal funk bulldozer, and his lead lines were an electric LSD trip down to the crossroads, where he pimp-slapped the devil.

There are arguments about who was the first guitar player to use feedback. It doesn't really matter, because Hendrix used it better than anyone; he took what was to become Seventies funk and put it through a Marshall stack, in a way that nobody's done since.

It's impossible to think of what Jimi would be doing now; he seemed like a pretty mercurial character. Would he be an elder statesman of rock? Would he be Sir Jimi Hendrix? Or would he be doing some residency off the Vegas Strip? The good news is his legacy is assured as the greatest guitar player of all time.


A Video History of the Guitar Wah Wah Pedal

Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World tells the story of the wah wah effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day. Musicians, engineers, and historians discuss the impact of the pedal on popular music and demonstrate the various ways it has been used, as well as how its evolution has improved the ability of artists to express themselves musically. The film features interviews with Brad Plunkett, the inventor of the pedal, plus many other musical luminaries such as Ben Fong-Torres, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Buddy Guy, Art Thompson, Eddie Kramer, Kirk Hammett, Dweezil Zappa, and Jim Dunlop. These professionals explain how a musical novelty transcended convention and has become timelessly woven into the fabric of modern pop-culture.

Jimi Hendrix Videos

Third Stone from the Sun


Crosstown Traffic


Johnny B. Goode


Rainy Day, Dream Away – Still Raining, Still Dreaming


Like A Rolling Stone @ Monterey Pop


Dire Straits & Bob Dylan – All Along the Watchtower


Bold As Love (Instrumental)


Hound Dog (acoustic)


Acoustic blues (Hear my train a comin)


via Barry Ritzholtz

Tiger Woods and Jimi Hendrix: Artists

I agree with Bomani Jones at ESPN (excerpts below): Tiger Woods is an artist using golf clubs, like Jimi Hendrix used his guitar to make music. Sadly, Jimi didn’t achieve success until he was 23 and he died at age 27, so we only have four years of his work to enjoy.

Link: Page 2 : Tiger couldn’t quite deliver this time

…I don’t watch golf for sport. I watch golf for Tiger; he transcended sport a long time ago. He’s still not the Gandhi-like figure his dad, Earl Woods, thought he would become. Yet it doesn’t even feel right to compare him to towering athletic greats like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Instead, he’s an artist nonpareil.

The most comparable figure to Woods is Jimi Hendrix. Like Jimi on the guitar, Tiger has an instinctive feel for the game that makes him a virtuoso, one who makes everything look easy. Add to that the power and intensity that gives his game its unmistakable soul and personality, and it’s easy to see he’s the Jimi of the 21st century — he’s better at what he does than anyone else on Earth.

(If you don’t know Jimi’s music, check out this link: Jimi at Woodstock).

Looking at Tiger as an artist makes it OK for me to watch golf only if Tiger is playing. Rooting for him isn’t like rooting for the house in blackjack. It’s rooting for Hendrix or The Beatles in ’68, Stevie Wonder in ’78, Prince in ’85 or OutKast today.

It’s not cheering for "the genius." It’s cheering for "genius." It’s hoping for continued greatness — wanting to be treated to another classic, to be blown away by his ability to meet expectations that would seem unrealistic if they had not been met so many times before, and to see it done in a new way.

Tiger had that chance on Sunday. He had never come from behind on Sunday at Augusta. His final rounds at the Masters have been more about coronation than competition. But this one could have been different. And when he led after two holes, it seemed like another classic was on its way.

But it wasn’t.

His first 12 holes were uneventful, if not boring. Breaking his 4-iron on the 10th made for an interesting replay, but that was about it. Tiger didn’t play badly. He didn’t play well. He just played.

It wasn’t until the 13th that things got good. Woods trailed Johnson by three strokes, and he needed an eagle on 13 to have a realistic chance to win. His approach shot had to get near the cup, or Tiger’s tournament essentially would have been over. So what did he do? He hit a shot that looked like something from the golf equivalent of H-O-R-S-E — over the creek, past the hole, roll back real slow, three feet from the cup.

Ever bought a CD from your favorite artist, listened to half of it without hearing a single track worth repeating, and then been blown away out of nowhere by one stunning verse or solo? That shot on 13 was that solo, that brilliant moment which gave hope that expectations would be met — that something memorable would happen, that Tiger would blow us away again. That he wouldn’t disappoint.

But disappoint is exactly what he did.

Is that unfair? Of course. Sheesh, Tiger finished second in a major. That’s pretty darn good. But from guys like Tiger, pretty good just doesn’t feel right.