Yeah, ok, every guitarist who came after Jimi Hendrix was influenced by him, just as every punk band on Earth owes a debt to Iggy Pop and the Ramones. But I wanted to narrow it down to people who often see the name Jimi Hendrix pop up in reviews of their own work. Or who simply play in his spirit.
10) Lenny Kravitz: Well, I didn't say this list was going to be pretty. Lenny Kravitz isn't in league with Jimi, but he's done plenty of guitar-shaking and wah-wah making to give you the impression that he'd love to be held in the same company.
9) Eddie Van Halen: Eddie is one of those guitar players who learned how to take Hendrix's influence to his own personal level. Listen to his guitar work on Women And Children First and Fair Warning and tell me that isn't some avant-garde blues and funk going on behind what is supposed to be an arena rock band. It's what Congress calls the Nuclear Option.
8) John Frusciante: I could easily list a bunch of guitar player's guitar players like Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen and call it a day, but I wanted to pick guitar players who managed to fire up a great band liked by people who don't know (Bo) diddley about the guitar. Frusciante powered the Red Hot Chili Peppers and has an incredibly collection of solo albums that find Crazy John turning over the Earth in searching of a lost chord and finding blisters on his fingers.
7) Richard Lloyd: Television's Richard Lloyd is one of the only people to have ever received guitar lessons from a guy who received guitar lessons from Jimi Hendrix. To commemorate this once-removed fact of immortality, Lloyd released the album The Jamie Neverts Story, which features Richard crawling all over his favorite Hendrix tunes.
6) Prince: As a gifted multi-instrumentalist who can play the guitar the way his Darling Nikki pleasures herself in a hotel lobby with magazines, Prince has suffered from making too much music and being too much of an egocentric creep (in a field jammed with egocentric creeps). But if you find yourself a solid Prince fan, he or she can pick out what you need to hear and you should be on your way. Just pay Prince for it or else he gets testy.
5) Robin Trower: Whenever I would conduct interviews with modern day guitar whiz for various guitar magazines, the one name that constantly came up was Robin "Twice Removed From Yesterday" Trower. Trower never had Hendrix's appetite for innovation, but he loved Jimi's deep, heavy blues-canyon tone and he took it over Hendrix's Rainbow Bridge to his own Bridge Of Sighs. Pictures of Trower from this period make it look as if he wouldn't make it a much longer career than Jimi's. Yet he has survived.
4) Frank Marino: At the beginning of his career with his Canadian band Mahogany Rush, Frank Marino was considered to be an amazing guitarist who sounded an awful lot like Jimi Hendrix. To add the weirdness, Marino was said to have received a visitation from Jimi Hendrix in conjunction with a bad acid trip, a story that Marino now insists is not true. For some reason, we believe him.
3) Stevie Ray Vaughan: One of the smartest things Stevie Ray Vaughan did in his too-short career was cover Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." By doing so, Vaughan hit people over the head with the fact that he was a talented guitar player that deserved attention. Simply recording your own music didn't cut it in the 1980s. Radio needed a reason to take note and so did much of the audience and being able to go fret-to-fret with Jimi Hendrix is one reason to take note. Another is to act like a jerk. British rock stars are better at that.
2) Leigh Stephens (Blue Cheer): Well, he couldn't play like Jimi Hendrix but he could make it sound like it was raining bombs like Hendrix, since he loved his fuzzboxes and wah-wah pedals without restraint. What were the punk bands that followed but bands filled with guitar players who wanted to sound like Jimi Hendrix but didn't have a chance in hell? So they stacked their Marshalls accordingly.
1) Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic): Just one listen to "Maggot Brain" should tell you what you need to know. Hazel was one intense guitar player and one of Plainfield, New Jersey's finest exports (that's considered North Jersey as opposed to Springsteen's South Jersey, which is really all "central" if you want to get technical.)