By: Renee Grant
Jimi Hendrix, regarded by most as the greatest guitar player to ever pick up an ax, was an incredible performer. Watching him and his Fender was a sight to behold, at times it was hard to tell where Hendrix ended and where the guitar began; the two were always one.
Amazingly, while we’ve watched Hendrix command music festival stages and heard the strings of his guitar wail and moan as if it had emotions of its own, it’s very rare to have seen the legend play an acoustic guitar, if at all.
A clip from the 1967 film Experience has surfaced and it’s pretty epic; in the nearly five-minute video, Hendrix plays an open-tuned 12 string guitar, making it seem absolutely effortless. The most amazing part? He did the video in just one take.
The filmmaker responsible for Experience, Peter Neal, says of the moment, “Just before we left we asked Jimi if he would mind playing some acoustic blues. We’d decided to ask him to do that beforehand and since I had this 12-string guitar, I took it along thinking it would be more interesting for him than an ordinary 6 string.
I noticed how Jimi kept looking at it and then he asked me if he could play it. I said that I’d hoped he would, so he picked it up and launched into that number. We didn’t have much film left at that point, and so I told him that he’d have to do it in one take but it was just one of those magic moments that happen sometimes.”
Experience is the first movie ever made about Hendrix and the only to be released during his lifetime.
Do you think Jimi is the greatest guitarist that ever lived, or do you think someone else deserves the distinction? Debate the greats in the comments!