Jimi Hendrix would have been 80 on November 27, 2022.
To celebrate, over the next few days Guitar Player will be running stories remembering the man who had such a great impact on our world.
And where better to start than with an exclusive video of Grammy-winner Christone "Kingfish" Ingram playing Jimi's blues classic "Red House" on the roof of Hendrix's last-known residence in London, the Hard Rock Hotel (formerly the Cumberland Hotel.)
Filmed on June 10, 2022, the performance celebrated marked Hendrix's second Blue Plaque. An initiative by English Heritage, Blue Plaques adorn buildings that were once occupied by notable historical figures.
Jimi's 1968-69 residence in Brook Street in London's Mayfair already has one. The 2022 plaque – which was unveiled by Jeff Beck and Jimi's sister Janie Hendrix – marks his last London residence at what was then known as the Cumberland Hotel (now the Hard Rock Hotel.)
Just 23 years old, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram is one of the most celebrated blues guitarists in the world today. Earlier this year, his album 662 won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
He appears on the cover of the next issue of Guitar Player magazine.
Jimi Hendrix first moved to London in September 1966 where he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience the following month, and had an immediate impact on the guitar-playing world.
"When I saw Jimi we knew he was going to be trouble," said Jeff Beck. "And by ‘we’ I mean me and Eric [Clapton], because Jimmy [Page] wasn’t in the frame at that point. I saw him at one of his earliest performances in Britain, and it was quite devastating.
"He did all the dirty tricks – setting fire to his guitar, doing swoops up and down his neck, all the great showmanship to put the final nail in our coffin. I had the same temperament as Hendrix in terms of ‘I’ll kill you’, but he did in such a good package with beautiful songs."
A gig at London club The Bag O'Nails on the 25th November laid down the gauntlet. In attendance were Beck, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and more, including singer Terry Reid who commented: “There were guitar players weeping, they had to mop the floor up. He was piling it on, solo after solo. I could see everyone’s fillings dropping out. When he finished there was silence. Nobody knew what to do, everyone was dumbstruck, completely in shock.”
Jeff Beck was devastated. “It wasn’t just his amazing blues playing I noticed, but his physical assault on the guitar; it was an explosive package. He hit me like an earthquake. I had to think long and hard about what I should do next.”
A previously unreleased live album, Jimi Hendrix Experience Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 is out now on 2LP vinyl, CD and on all digital platforms. A new book, JIMI by Janie Hendrix and John McDermott is out November 24.
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Tom Poak has written for the Hull Daily Mail, Esquire, The Big Issue, Total Guitar, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and more. In a writing career that has spanned decades, he has interviewed Brian May, Brian Cant, and cadged a light off Brian Molko. He has stood on a glacier with Thunder, in a forest by a fjord with Ozzy and Slash, and on the roof of the Houses of Parliament with Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham (until some nice men with guns came and told them to get down). He has drank with Shane MacGowan, mortally offended Lightning Seed Ian Broudie and been asked if he was homeless by Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch.