Mar 18, 2009, 09:16AM

Burn out, fade away, et al

Take five dead musicians and wonder if they were still alive.

First things first:

(Gets great around the 0:47 mark)


4. Jimi Hendrix

What Was- Hendrix was a guitar god among guitar gods. Clapton, Jeff Beck and Townshend played second fiddle to him. He wasn’t afraid of branching out into other mediums, playing blues standards and even jamming with jazz musician Miles Davis. Both Axis: Bold As Love and Are You Experienced? are utter classics. He was an innovator who also used and respected earlier influences.

What Could Have Been- I think that, since Hendrix was such a chameleon musically, he fully falls into the trap of over-production and, yes, disco in the 70s. Some demo recordings with Bootsy Collins are the only redeeming thing that he did during that entire decade. The 80s were a similarly lost time for Jimi, as he dabbles in the keytar and cuts an album with Flock of Seagulls. But, in the 90s, he has a late-career resurgence, altering the course of grunge and making bands actually learn how to play their guitars before starting bands and increasing the quality of their heavy-handed screeds. He was born in Seattle, after all.

Final Verdict- Jimi Hendrix not dying is mixed. Two lost decades followed up by a major resurgence.


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