The music of Jimi Hendrix comes to life

jimi-hendrixBy Carol Doberstein

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things don’t seem the same
Actin funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky
Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m up or down …

This is a popular song with music and lyrics by the late, great Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix, November 27,1942 – September 18, 1970 was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is often considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music by other musicians in the industry. Hendrix won many prestigious rock music awards in his lifetime, and has been posthumously awarded many more, including being inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Recently Jimi Hendrix has been in the news. Just last week the US Postal Service announced they are paying tribute to one of Rock and Rolls’ most legendary figures with the latest in its line of Forever Stamps. The stamp became available on March 13, 2014 with psychedelic artwork by artist Rudy Gutierrez. Hendrix is depicted with Stratocaster in hand and wearing his iconic military jacket. Also announced this week by his sister, Janie Hendrix, she has partnered with a company to produce a feature film chronicling the life story of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. The company was founded by the late guitarist’s father James “Al” Hendrix. The anticipated biopic will have access to the full catalog of original music.

Janie Hendrix is currently handling the annual all-star Experience Tribute Tour that I just attended last week at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI. Originally conceived in the summer of 1995, the Hendrix family’s first sponsored tribute concert was born. These tribute concerts have continued each year and have grown from one date and city to several dates and cities. This year I celebrated the music and legend of Jimi Hendrix and witnessed a three and a half hour show of great guitar playing and songs by great musicians together on one stage. Dubbed the concert event of the year, and I can second that, these great musicians made the music of Jimi Hendrix come to life. Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bootsy Collins, Zakk Wylde, Dweezil Zappa and others had us on our feet clapping and yelling for more great music. The great sounds of guitar playing and the great songs of Hendrix took me back to my high school days when I would listen to his music in my bedroom, or in the car tooling around with friends. “All Along the Watchtower,” “Foxy Lady,” “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe” and others, brought me back to my high school days of long hair, bell bottom jeans, platform sandals, and great high school friends I have now lost contact with.

Sometimes a road trip to a music concert needs to do this so you can relive those old memories that are buried deep in your brain but come to the surface as soon as those old songs start to play.

Thank you to the great musicians who brought this memory back to life. What a night to remember!

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