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Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix lives on in special ‘Experience’

American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix performing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience Monterey Pop Festival CaliforniUSA June 18 1967. (Bruce Fleming/AP

American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix performing with The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Monterey Pop Festival, California, USA, June 18, 1967. (Bruce Fleming/AP Images)

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‘Experience Jimi Hendrix,’ with Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Zakk Wylde and more, 7:30 p.m. Mar. 14, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Sold Out. Note: Tickets remain for April 4 in Milwaukee and April 6 in Peoria. Visit

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Updated: March 15, 2014 9:13PM

When Jimi Hendrix passed away in 1970 at the ripe young age of 27, he left behind a legacy as one of the best guitar players that ever lived, championed for both his innovations in manipulating the electric guitar and forever changingrock ‘n’ roll. Now, on the advent of the upcoming release of a new biopic starring Outkast’s Andre 3000, the 8th annual multi-city Experience Hendrix Tour comes to town, bringing together an all-star list of guitarists including blues legend Buddy Guy, his prodigies Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Black Label Society founder Zakk Wylde, original Band of Gypsys member Billy Cox and nearly 10 more prominent players who will together revisit the material that made Hendrix famous.

Three of the night’s featured acts comment on Hendrix’s lasting impressions, their chance encounters and the songs you can expect to hear.


The legacy: “I don’t think anyone will be able to do what he did [again]. Every guitar player you run into nowadays learned something from him. With that wah-wah pedal he led the way with those special effects, and I don’t think there’s many guitar players who doesn’t use those today.”

Crossing paths: “I had the chance to spend time with him the last three years of his life. The first time was when I was playing the Newport Jazz Fest in 1967. I heard whispers that Jimi was in the crowd, and someone was there with reel-to-reel tape to capture it. I now have that video in my club. A few times after that we plugged in together in New York. I was surprised to hear him tell me that my playing gave him ideas for his own music; but he was so creative, much more than I.”

The songs: “I know how to hit a few licks of ‘Voodoo Child’; I’ve also recorded ‘Red House.’ I don’t like to play the same songs every night, but I’ll be happy to play anything they ask me to.”


The first introduction: “I knew of Hendrix through my parents; they both had the opportunity to see him live in Shreveport where I’m from. My dad was also in radio, so Hendrix was an artist played on a regular basis in my house. …Since I put my band together when I was 15, I’ve had an encore rendition of ‘Voodoo Child.’”

Special moments: “I’ve been able to play with every single musician that was a member of his bands, both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys. I was also one of the only guitarists since Jimi to publicly play his white Stratocaster®, the one he played at Woodstock, so that’s the next best thing to playing with the man himself.”

The songs: “Generally we do ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ which is a cover I recorded on my second album. Then we do a song called ‘Come On,’ followed by a medley of ‘Voodoo Child.’”


The tribute: “I’m such a fan I named my son, Hendrix Halen Michael Rhoads Wylde.”

The introduction: “My old guitar teacher, Leroy, was the one who turned me on to Hendrix. As a kid I was a huge Elton John fan. Blame it on Top 40 radio. But when I took lessons, it was all Hendrix. The first song I learned chord-wise was ‘Hey Joe.’ It was a breakthrough for me.”

Golden records: “Could you imagine if Jimi had all the equipment we have today? Those albums wouldn’t be as good if he had all this crap at his disposal. That’s the reason why those records came out how they did. … Jimi will always be the chosen son of electric guitar and there’s nothing wrong with that because he’s amazing.”

The songs: “Look out for ‘Purple Haze,’ ‘Manic Depression,’ and ‘Spanish Castle Magic’ with Kenny [Wayne Shepherd].”

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