Monday, August 11, 2008

Echoes of a genius

Driving dirt roads in a big and heavy vehicle like the Fuso Szulc is a straining affair for truck and driver.
There are some ways to make it lighter.
One is to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
This limits the noise, dust and heat.
The driver is physically more comfortable.

The other way to make it a more pleasant experience is to play some good music on the radio-CD player.
This diverts the thinking from imagining things that may go wrong.
The driver is mentally more comfortable.

Fourteen days ago the Fuso Szulc returned to the lagoon called “Estero del Tomate” and that was almost two hours on a very bad dirt road.
But it was together with Jimi Hendrix.

On October 16, 1968 an album was released by a band called “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” titled “Electric Ladyland”.
It was the third and last album of this band.
In September 1970 Jimi Hendrix died in London, U.K. of asphyxiation in his own vomit, mainly red wine, in the apartment of his Swedish girlfriend Monika Dannemann.

What makes the music of Jimi Hendrix so interesting is that besides the easy songs, made to have a hit and money, he liked to experiment.
He was fascinated by the electric guitar and what sounds could come out of it.
Hendrix was the first to develop the technique of guitar feedback and overdriven amplifiers.
For this he had for example tracks on “Electric Ladyland” recorded 43 times before he was satisfied with the result.

Remarkable was also that he liked to be surrounded by friends and get them involved.
During the time in New York working on “Electric Ladyland” he invited to the studio friends like Dave Mason, Chris Wood, Steve Winwood and Jack Casady who all collaborated to make “Electric Ladyland” one of the best rock albums ever made.

The strongest point of Hendrix was that he went beyond being a rock and roll musician.
A lot of what one hears on “Electric Ladyland” is not songs as we expect them from a rock album.
They are sounds, creating a specific atmosphere.
No rhythm, no text: just echoes of a genius.

If somebody has listened carefully to Jimi Hendrix and the way he played the electric guitar, one will come to a surprising conclusion.
The guitar solos during his life were new and innovative.
And as of then, in rock and roll music, all guitar solos are a second hand imitation of Jimi Hendrix.
Except for Robert Fripp of course.

This is a specific aspect of people who have experienced the 60’s and 70’s.
In those days in the arts so much was created and produced that was original, innovative and progressive.
So much was truly new.
As of then, in the arts, especially music, it is imitating, repeating and copying of what was created in the 60’s and 70’s.

Jimi Hendrix and his music are representatives of a time when a revolution took place.
In all kinds of fields of the society monuments tumbled down and new towers were build.
These new towers have become the monuments of today.
To tumble too eventually, but for the moment they are still too strong.


To learn more about the album "Electric Ladyland" of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, click on:

To learn more about Jimi Hendrix himself, click on:

To learn more about the guitarist Robert Fripp, click on:


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