Forty years after his death, Jimi Hendrix continues to inspire six-string samurai. Even at his most bizarre and outlandish—for instance, my favorite sci-fi apocalyptic war song of all time, “1983 … (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”—Hendrix is imminently listenable.
Arguably the premier Purple Hazer tribute is a biennial touring extravaganza called Experience Hendrix, which returns to The Joint on March 6. Featuring bassist Billy Cox (from Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys project), Surfing With the Alien svengali Joe Satriani, and Texas ax-slinger Eric Johnson, Experience Hendrix is a rock guitar lover’s wet dream. Watching the combination of diverse talents—Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Living Colour, Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford and Los Lobos—as they perform classics such as “Little Wing” and “If 6 Was 9” is a spiritual occasion. During the last 20-odd years, “wanking” wasn’t cool. I’m happy to say that’s over; it’s once again hip to play guitar with soul, as this concert will prove.
It’s a big Hendrix week, actually. Were you on the Strip New Year’s Eve? Notice a Hendrix impersonator playing guitar with his teeth in front of Harley Davidson Café? Turns out he goes by the stage name Jimi Taylor (jimisimage.com), and is established on the “bike” circuit. For example, he rocked Feelgoods March 3 on “Hot Rod & Bike Night,” and he’s flying out to perform March 6 at the Daytona Beach Bike Week in Florida. He even provided the live-action motion for Guitar Hero IV’s Hendrix avatar.
By the time you read this, you’ll already have heard: Another famous pop-music act, the Eagles, added an April 24 date at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The band’s spring tour is ostensibly in support of 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden. Singer/drummer Don Henley admitted the double album is the Eagles’ last, but perhaps new songs will be road-tested? Let’s see. Tickets went on sale last Saturday.
For whatever reason, readers seemed to enjoy my holiday iTunes playlists. March 4 is National Poundcake Day, so I’m spinning—what else—Van Halen’s “Poundcake,” the band’s last really great radio hit. Also, March 9 is the plastic toy doll Barbie’s birthday (she turns 51 this year, and still has a great figure), which means Shonen Knife’s “Twist Barbie” is on heavy rotation.