Monday, June 23, 2008

iPod Nano and Jimi Hendrix

As summer progresses, I have found it hard to find the time to write anything down here. However, I recently got with the modern times and got an iPod nano for my birthday. I never had a use for one, as I don't ride the bus to work anymore, have a radio at work, and really have not had much time to relax and listen to music.

I have to say that it was about darn time that I got one. I am getting used to mowing the lawn listening to "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" or laying on the hammock listening to Jimi Hendrix.

Which brings me to my rediscovery of Hendrix. You would think that as a guitar player, I would have already soaked all this up. I havn't. I lost most of my Hendrix music years ago, and only own a few live CD's and a beat up old copy of the soundtrack to the film, "Jimi Hendrix."

I now own most of his work, and have been listening to it all, with very open ears. I mean to say that I am hearing things I never noticed before. He was a master of the guitar, and using the studio as another instrument with early use of 8 and 16 track recording. His use of new effects, such as flanging and the octavia were groundbreaking. There was simply no one who could touch him at the time. It is no wonder that most of the big name guitarists were nervous and a bit intimidated by him. However, Clapton, Townsend, and others in England were very open to him and the country as a whole embraced his vision.

I can hear where Prince, Minnesota's own rock star (who used to live up the road from me), got his influence. It is very evident when I listen to Jimi that Prince has borrowed parts of his style, both with vocals and guitar. That is all right with me, as Prince has taken it a step further, and not just be a carbon copy.

I love Robin Trower's music, and have never considered him to be a Hendrix clone. He just took the style in another direction. Same with Stevie Ray Vaughn. SRV borrowed from his influences and went in a new direction. Thank god for him, as he had a BIG part in bringing back guitar rock. I have most of SRV's music on the nano, and have been spending time getting back into him.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Edge Puts His Gibson Explorer Up for Auction

The Edge has sold one of his iconic guitars - a 1976 Gibson Explorer. He bought it used in New York in the mid 70's, and it was supposedly the first in Ireland. This guitar was used on most of the early U2 albums and tours, and continued to be used throughout his career, even as he added different guitars to his arsenal.

I love Explorers, and wish I would have been able to see this guitar. It sold for $130,000, to benefit the Music Rising cause, which is to replace instruments that musicians lost in Hurriance Katrina.

Edge is a great guy to do this. I would think it is hard to give up an instrument that was so important to the U2 sound. He sold his white Les Paul Custom last year, which was another iconic guitar. I would think that the black 70's strat featured in the Gloria and Red Rocks video would be next.

Here is a link to the Gibson website, which talks about it.