Forty years ago the man made four records and then he died. Since then he’s been suspended in amber, the wild man with the headband and the flaming guitar. I like that version of Hendrix, but it’s terribly unfortunate that a man so complex has been reduced to a single cardboard cutout. Jimi Hendrix was a gifted songwriter and musician who accomplished much more than feedback and fireworks.
So if you’re not a card-carrying member of the Cult of Hendrix, set aside what you think you know and go find these five reasons that everyone can appreciate Jimi:
1) “Belly Button Window”: For your baby sister, even if she hasn’t been born yet. As far as I know this is the only blues song ever written from a fetus’s point of view.
2) “Castles Made of Sand”: Hendrix was an outstanding storyteller, and “Castles Made of Sand” is his finest story song. Goosebump music.
3) “Hear My Train A Coming” (acoustic): The river running through all of Jimi’s music was the blues, and never is that more obvious than hearing the man alone, accompanied only by his own 12-string.
4) “Angel”: Jimi could tear up a ballad. “Angel” and “Little Wing” have been covered by….everybody. Even Sting took the time to ruin “Little Wing.” Did I say that out loud?
5) “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”: So funky it would put James Brown on the good foot.