Sometimes google bombing pays off.
I typed in “jimi hendrix, close up on fingers.” Boom. This happened.
I’ve heard this song before, plenty of times. The audio was the lead off to a 90s jimi comp called “Jimi Plays the Blues or Something.” Evidently there was some debate about whether or not Jimi was a good player of blues and the CD was made to show that he was. That’s such a weird thing for anybody to give a shit about. I am an extraordinarily analytical consumer of pop culture and that concern strikes even me as too arcane to bother with.
Anyway. Watching the video I had so an observation of such magnitude I believed it called for the medium of blogging.
The intro part, where they show the sought after close up on Jimi’s fingers, is fucking stunning. The first thing he plays, the little triplet figure, sounds like a Prince guitar solo. Then he moves through a couple of snaky Robert Johnson folk blues exercises and then they show that he’s playing a twelve string.
For a second I though the string pairs were tuned to fifths. They aren’t. It’s just a testament to Jimi’s feel.
Then Jimi stops and asks for a second take, which is shocking because of how brilliant he played up until then. He restarts and plays the familiar version of the song, kicking off with a strangely atonal intro figure.
It always sounded weird to me and i wrote it off to elusive genius, etc. Now I’m wondering if Jimi just fucked up and rolled with it.
That figure sounds like the original Prince solo triplet only played on the wrong strings. Like Jimi meant to start on the g but got flustered and started on the b string. But then he was either too committed to getting a full cut of the song or self conscious about asking for a first take that he kept on rolling.