The Classic Line Jimi Hendrix Had About Bob Dylan’s Voice

by Jeremy Spirogis
The Classic Line Jimi Hendrix Had About Bob Dylan’s Voice

If you look again on the profession of Jimi Hendrix, you see a number of milestones. The first got here following his arrival to London (September 1966), when the guitar heroes of the day (together with Eric Clapton) realized what they have been up towards.

In 1967, Hendrix formally broke via with the discharge of his first Experience album and a spectacular efficiency at Monterey Pop. (Hendrix even wowed Paul McCartney with a “Sgt. Pepper’s” cowl that summer time on the Saville Theatre.)

But Hendrix’s biggest work was nonetheless to come back. That was Electric Ladyland, the final report he made with the Experience. The double album additionally turned the group’s greatest hit and featured their best-charting single, a canopy of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

By that time (’69), Hendrix had lengthy been an admirer of Dylan, the legendary songwriter and singer. However, the primary time Hendrix heard Dylan, he had no concept what to make of him.

Hendrix stated Dylan had quite a lot of nerve ‘to sing so out of key’

Bob Dylan circa 1967 | PA Images by way of Getty Images

In Chris Welch’s biography of Hendrix, the creator recounts a number of conversations he had with the guitar legend previous to his dying. When requested about his key influences, Hendrix cited figures as various as Muddy Waters, Eddie Cochran, and J.S. Bach.

Hendrix additionally spoke of entering into Dylan within the years earlier than he acquired the Experience collectively. “Before I came to England I was digging a lot of the things Bob Dylan was doing,” he stated. But his voice apparently caught Hendrix off-guard the primary time round.

“When I first heard him I thought, ‘You must admire that guy for having that much nerve to sing so out of key,’” he informed Welch. Soon sufficient, Hendrix realized that Dylan was way more than a singer and guitar participant. “Then I listened to the words,” he stated.

By the time he determined to cowl “All Along the Watchtower” from Dylan’s John Wesley Harding album (1967), Hendrix knew precisely methods to carry the tune to life. Dylan later spoke of how a lot that efficiency meant to him.

Dylan thanked Hendrix for what he did with ‘Watchtower’

Jimi HENDRIX, posed in his flat, 1968 | Odile Noel /Redferns

In 2015, after receiving the MusiCares Person of the Year award, Dylan thanked lots of his collaborators and interpreters from through the years. After tipping his hat to Joan Baez, The Byrds, and Nina Simone, he turned his consideration to Hendrix.

“We can’t forget Jimi Hendrix,” he stated. “He took some small songs of mine that no person paid any consideration to and introduced them up into the outer limits of the stratosphere, turned all of them into classics … I’ve to thank Jimi. I want he was right here.”

Dylan additionally famous the primary time he met Hendrix — and the way he wasn’t even singing within the band on the time. “He was just the guitar player,” Dylan recalled. Hendrix fondly recalled that very same night time. “I love Dylan,” he stated in a 1969 interview.

“I only met him once, about three years ago … before I went to England. I think both of us were pretty drunk at the time, so he probably doesn’t remember it.” Almost 50 years later, Dylan hadn’t forgotten.

Also see: When Joni Mitchell Called Bob Dylan ‘a Plagiarist’ and ‘Not Authentic at All’

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