Was Hendrix overrated…?

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Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 20 Jan 2024, 18:56

I was watching the final episode of series 2 Reacher, and the closing scene, during a shootout, Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit was playing loudly over the tannoy system [I can’t be arsed/assed to change the grammar]

and Reacher turns to Neagley and says 'What no Hendrix?’

and Neagley responds: 'I agree with Swann, he was overrated'

was Swann, who was a guitarist, correct….?





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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby robertff » 20 Jan 2024, 19:20

C wrote:I was watching the final episode of series 2 Reacher, and the closing scene, during a shootout, Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit was playing loudly over the tannoy system [I can’t be arsed/assed to change the grammar]

and Reacher turns to Neagley and says 'What no Hendrix?’

and Neagley responds: 'I agree with Swann, he was overrated'

was Swann, who was a guitarist, correct….?

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Don’t think you’ll find many among the cognoscenti who would agree with that sentiment. It would have been interesting to see what he would have come up with had he lived.

The albums which have been put together following his death don’t do the first three justice and show him to be a little less extraordinary but the first three were fab and show his capabilities.

Anyway it’s only a dumb programme what would the writers know about Jimi?


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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby mudshark » 20 Jan 2024, 19:31

Overrated as what?
As an innovator of noisy and rather annoying (to my ears) music? Probably not.
As a guitarist? Definitely.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Six String » 20 Jan 2024, 21:19

It’s not really possible for Jimi to be overrated.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 20 Jan 2024, 21:23

Yes, I’m with Swann - he was overrated

Incidentally Rob, the author really knows his music as does Reacher

He makes reference to quality music in virtually every Lee Child/Reacher book I have read and I have read 25

Reacher loves his blues and tries to visit live music venues when he can

Sorry to come back to you in this one Rob - I promise it won’t happen again

So yes, Swann and Muddy are correct

Band of Gypsys [sic] and the posthumous album with ‘First Rays’ in the title are my faves

For what it’s worth I have the first seven posthumous albums

I never play the first three proper albums at all - not for decades except when we did an Axis PSL which I didn’t really enjoy much




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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 20 Jan 2024, 21:30

“Ask Rory Gallagher……”

No gimmicks - playing behind his back, playing with his teeth and setting fire to his guitar and all that nonsense

I can think of half a dozen I would rate higher

Many better - but putting that aside I don’t believe Jimi deserved the accolades he achieved



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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 20 Jan 2024, 21:34

Next you’ll be telling me Keith Moon wasn’t an overrated tubsman…..!



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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby ChrisB » 21 Jan 2024, 00:10

Absolutely not. We're approaching this question based on "do we like him", whereas guitarists will sit there, opened mouthed at his technique and overall ability. When he burst onto the scene, NOBODY had ever heard the guitar played that way. He was a complete innovator. I'm no fan of Hendrix (I own a " best of" and that's it), but I also play guitar and know, even if I was more than half decent, I'd never be able to emulate what he could do

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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 21 Jan 2024, 02:45

ChrisB wrote:Absolutely not. We're approaching this question based on "do we like him", whereas guitarists will sit there, opened mouthed at his technique and overall ability. When he burst onto the scene, NOBODY had ever heard the guitar played that way. He was a complete innovator. I'm no fan of Hendrix (I own a " best of" and that's it), but I also play guitar and know, even if I was more than half decent, I'd never be able to emulate what he could do


Agreed, this sums it up really well for me.
Well played ChrisB.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby mudshark » 21 Jan 2024, 03:44

So I think that's the consensus: great innovator, but certainly no Frank, Rory, or John Mclaughlin in terms of ability.
Best ever, pound for pound, you may ask? Of course, very much in the ear of the beholder. For me: Rory. That's very much because I've seen and heard him play up close and personal backstage after a concert in Holland. Just on acoustic/steel. Just couldn't figure out how he did what he did. Which is probably why his posthumous "Wheels Within Wheels" is my favorite album (with Irish Tour of course, but that goes without saying).
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby GoogaMooga » 21 Jan 2024, 04:58

C wrote:No gimmicks - playing behind his back, playing with his teeth and setting fire to his guitar and all that nonsense


You can't really hold the gimmicks against him, he hated having to do them, but the audience wanted it. His mistake was to try them out on stage in the first place, they became a trap and a burden.

I do believe he was an innovator. When he burst upon the scene in London in 1966, nobody had heard playing like that, all kaleidoscopic, psychedelic, and LOUD. His first gig at the Bag O'Nails, Clapton was there and was blown away by his playing.

I don't have it all and I don't need it all. There have been so many posthumous releases, I have lost count. Do I play him much? Not really.

As cynical as it may seem, his premature death at 27 only added to the myth.

I really can't say what is essential in his back catalog, but among the posthumous releases, "First Rays" is the one that works best for me.

Jimi Hendrix is not about the songs, but "Crosstown Traffic" is pretty good.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby LMG » 21 Jan 2024, 11:55

To be pedantic, this debate here raises the issue that Hendrix might well have been the best guitarist ever to walk the planet, but still overrated as a recording artist. In that Jefferson Airplane might be preferable music to have played over a tannoy to accompany one's shooting of other people.

Regardless of his merits as a guitarist per se. I personally do not feel this, and will not bore you with my views on Hendrix.

I am not confident enough to enter into discussion of whether an artist is 'overrated' or not these days. I do not understand what it means to be rated in 2024.

My personal history with rock and pop music skews my perspective.

Given that one cannot go to the shops, for instance, without seeing two persons born in recent decades each wearing a different Joy Division t-shirt, churches devoted to the worship of the Buckingham-Nicks line up of Fleetwood Mac hold services thrice daily, and if you mention you have seen The Stooges perform live then people want to snip a fragment of your clothing to cure their ailing loved ones.

Yet virtually no one has heard of Boston or Little Feat, and if you ask each person on a bus about Aerosmith you will harvest only one vague and puzzled hint of recognition.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby ChrisB » 21 Jan 2024, 12:55

75 - Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple/Rainbow)
74 - J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
73 - Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf)
72 - John McLaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestra/Miles Davis)
71 - Franco Luambo (from Republic of the Cong/Zaire)
70 - Django Reinhardt
69 - Robbie Robertson (The Band)
68 - Les Paul
67 - Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine)
66 - Ry Cooder
65 - T-Bone Walker
64 - Carrie Brownstein (Sleeter-Kinney)
63 - Richard Thompson
62 - Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac)
61 - John Mayer
60 - Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley)
59 - Robert Fripp
58 - Alex Lifeson (Rush)
57 - Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth)
56 - Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
55 - Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones)
54 - Bonnie Raitt
53 - Trey Anastasio (Phish)
52 - John Lee Hooker
51 - Tom Verlaine (Television/solo)
50 - Elmore James
49 - PJ Harvey
48 - Curtis Mayfield
47 - The Edge (U2)
46 - Frank Zappa
45 - Steve Cropper
44 - Johnny Ramone (The Ramones)
43 - Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)
42 - Vernon Reid (Living Color)
41 - Bo Diddley
40 - John Fahey
39 - Chet Atkins
38 - Angus Young and Malcolm Young (AC/DC)
37 - Pete Townshend (The Who)
36 - Elizabeth Cotten
35 - Eric Clapton (Bluesbreakers/Cream/Blind Faith/Derek & The Dominoes/solo/COVID-19)
34 - Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
33 - Brian May (Queen)
32 - Jack White (White Stripes/solo)
31 - George Harrison
30 - Neil Young
29 - Eddie Hazel (Parliament/Funkadelic)
28 - David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
27 - Buddy Guy
26 - St. Vincent
25 - John Frusciante
24 - James Burton (Ricky Nelson/Elvis/Emmylou Harris)
23 - James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
22 - Albert King
21 - Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)
20 - Stevie Ray Vaughan
19 - Freddy King
18 - Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave)
17 - Mother Maybelle Carter (Carter Family)
16 - Robert Johnson
15 - Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)
14 - Prince
13 - Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
12 - Jimmy Nolen (James Brown)
11 - Carlos Santana
10 - Duane Allman (Allman Brothers/Derek and The Dominoes)
9 - Joni Mitchell
8 - B.B. King
7 - Nile Rodgers (Chic/Diana Ross/Sister Sledge/David Bowie)
6 - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
5 - Jeff Beck
4 - Eddie Van Halen
3 - Jimmy Page
2 - Chuck Berry
1 - Jimi Hendrix

The top 75 0f Rolling Stone greatest guitarists , compiled 2023. In the list from 2016, same guitarist was number 1. It is what it is.

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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby LMG » 21 Jan 2024, 13:29

CHUCK BERRY at number 2??????

Wow - a hefty part of being on that list depends on how influential one is.

Mind you, apparently Allan Holdworth and Bert Jansch were having a drink together and a fan brought an earlier version of that Rolling Stone list for them to see. The fan was outraged on their behalf that neither appeared anywhere on the list.

Holdsworth replied 'Hold on now, I've done my best to master my axe, of course, but I'm no Chuck Berry, and The Edge mops the floor with me'.

'And I'm certainly no Joni Mitchell, either', muttered Bert, and he gave up playing for six years until approached by an independent label and coaxed into recording again.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Moleskin » 21 Jan 2024, 13:45

Hendrix was a great guitar player who put all his technique to the service of the song. A lot of great guitar players don't, or can't.
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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 21 Jan 2024, 13:49

ChrisB wrote:We're approaching this question based on "do we like him"


Not at all - I 'like' Jimi otherwise I wouldn't have bought all his studio and live albums including seven of the posthumous ones.

I 'like' The Who too but Moon was also overrated also

There were underrated musicians and overrated musicians - it got nothing to do with whether one likes them or not.

I 'like' Soft Machine but Robert Wyatt is overrated as a tubsman (thankfully, John Marshall came to the rescue - he is vastly underrated)

I digress, but let's see Moon or Wyatt drum along to the this, it's only 3 minutes long:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5AdkYRm344&t=71s

Now that's tubs

Whether you like somebody or not is immaterial - some folk do not deserve the accolade they receive - Hendrix is one


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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby ChrisB » 21 Jan 2024, 14:19

Let's use the Monkey/typewriter/Shakespeare analogy and apply it to my adequate guitar playing. Lock me in a room for five years with all of Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton albums, and I would be able to play them note perfect at the end of that time. Give me Hendrix, and I wouldn't know where to begin

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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby Swiftie » 21 Jan 2024, 15:09

ChrisB wrote: Give me Hendrix, and I wouldn't know where to begin


Nonsense lad - you’re talking about Zappa

Admit it, Swann and Neagley are correct



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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby ChrisB » 21 Jan 2024, 16:52

I'm defending a man I'm not even a fan of :D

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Re: Was Hendrix overrated…?

Postby robertff » 21 Jan 2024, 16:54

C wrote:
ChrisB wrote: Give me Hendrix, and I wouldn't know where to begin


Nonsense lad - you’re talking about Zappa

Admit it, Swann and Neagley are correct

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Crikey, give it up C.

There have been so many ‘best guitarist’ polls over the years and of all the ones I’ve seen Jimi Hendrix has been at number 1. Now you can disagree if you want to, that is your prerogative but to use some characters in a pretty mundane and highly predictable TV series smacks of desperation.

As for the grim fictitious Reacher being adept at knowing something about the blues and guitarists, all of that could be researched by the writer Lee Child to try and give the robot - sorry man, some humanity. I have read two or three of his books, actually two and a half, thought the writing was so appalling and predictable that I couldn’t read on any further, but to use him as any justification for demeaning the standing and ability of Jimi Hendrix is poor. As has been mentioned earlier, even his peers were in awe.

To be honest I don’t really care very much but in the face of it you are ‘pissing in the wind’ and arguing against perceived wisdom and widely acknowledged opinion.

Oddly, we know you love Rory Gallagher, (by your own admission you even named your son after him) but in guitarist rating polls he either comes pretty low down in the pecking order or doesn’t appear at all, I guess all those pollsters must be wrong.

With regard to Keith Moon he was the very best drummer for the Who, as Daltrey said ‘can’t live with him can’t live without him’.


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