Tuesday (November 27) marks 70 years since the birth of Jimi Hendrix, the man who changed electric guitar and rock and roll forever. One of the strongest testaments to his legacy is that many of his disciples have gone on to make music that doesn’t resemble much of Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, or any of his other recorded output.  

A good example of this is Kirk Hammett. An seminal figure in the early ’80s Bay Area thrash metal scene, Hammett was an early member of Exodus before replacing Dave Mustaine (later of Megadeth) in Metallica. And while the music of that scene only has a passing resemblance to Hendrix, Hammett has often paid tribute to the man by playing bits of Jimi’s “Little Wing” in his guitar solos.  

Hammett told CBS Local that Hendrix is “My favorite guitar player of all time.  He was a really early influence.  When I was 5 or 6, I heard his music. When I was 14 or 15, I became obsessed with him.  Hendrix was the one.”

While he is a fan of the man’s entire career he is quick to name his favorite Hendrix performance: “I would say that specially his performance at Woodstock is what inspired me to pick up a guitar.” That concert, of course, has been immortalized on the Jimi Hendrix Live At Woodstock CD, DVD and BluRay. 

Hammett and Metallica release a new live DVD, Quebec Magnetic, December 10.  Hammett’s new book, Too Much Horror Business, is out now. 

Brian Ives, CBS Local 


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