Rolling Stone names Jimi Hendrix the ‘Greatest Guitarist of all Time,’ followed by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page

Yes, he’s experienced. Jimi Hendrix has been proclaimed the “Greatest Guitarist of All Time” by a panel of musicians wrangled by Rolling Stone Magazine. Though dead for more than 40 years, Hendrix’s fiery and distinct style clearly continues to inspire, and intimidate, six-string pluckers the world over. “His playing was effortless,” wrote Rage Against The Machine axe man, and poll voter, Tom Morello, in an appreciation of Hendrix’s technique that will be printed in an issue of the magazine out Friday. “There’s not one minute of his recorded career that feels like he’s working hard at it — it feels like it’s all flowing through him.” Other guitarists in the vaunted list of Top 100 tip heavily towards British players who rose during the ‘60s, eating up the rest of the top five: Eric Clapton (2), Jimmy Page (3), Keith Richards (4) and Jeff Beck (5). The argument-starting list then gets around to several older American players: bluesman B.B. King (6) and a man who greatly inspired Richards: Chuck Berry (7). From there it zigzags through metal (Eddie Van Halen, 8), Southern rock (Duane Allman, 9) before shuttling back to a British boomer God (Pete Townshend, 10). Beatle George Harrison just missed the top Ten, bagging No. 11. Fleetwood Mac's Lindsay Buckingham brought up the rear at 100. Interestingly, both Keith Richards and Pete Townshend often play rhythm guitar rather than lead. The player often acknowledged as The Rolling Stones’ greatest soloist, Mick Taylor, got no higher than 37. Only two women appear in the top 100: Joni Mitchell (75) and Bonnie Raitt (89). Though known by many for her folk plucking, Mitchell developed some of the most inventive guitar chords employed in pop in the last half century. Voters in the poll included esteemed six stringers like James Burton (who played with Elvis), The Doors’ Robbie Kreiger, Queen’s Brian May and Trey Anastasio of Continue Reading

Legendary rocker Jimi Hendrix’s death is revisited after U.S. manager Levine refutes roadie’s tale

The purple haze surroundiing Jimi Hendrix's 1970 death grows ... purpler. Almost two years after former roadie James (Tappy) Wright first published a book that claimed Hendrix's U.K. manager Michael Jeffery admitted murdering Hendrix, the guitar genius' U.S. manager Bob Levine has come forward to refute the story. And now the former colleagues, who live about two hours apart in Florida, are taking shots at each other.  The British Wright claims the 82-year-old Levine is "gaga" and "making trouble" because "I won't nurse-maid him." Levine replies, "That's another good story!" The 27-year-old Hendrix died on Sept. 18, 1970, in London. An autopsy revealed that he had choked on his own vomit, which consisted mainly of red wine.  According to testimony from a girlfriend, the night of his death, Hendrix had taken nine of her prescription sleeping pills — which may have led to him asphyxiating in his sleep. In the summer of 2009, Wright published a more sinister scenario in his memoir "Rock Roadie: Backstage and Confidential with Hendrix, Elvis, The Animals, Tina Turner, and an All-Star Cast." In the book, which was first published in the U.K., Wright claimed Jeffery, who feared Hendrix was going to drop him, confessed to murdering the guitar god by stuffing the pills into his mouth and washing them down with red wine. (Jeffery died in '73.)  Last week, Levine told the musician's website Music that "Jimi Hendrix was not murdered."  In the words of the website, Levine claimed the story had been "cooked up to sell books."  "Rock Roadie" was published in the U.S. last year and Wright, 67, claims Levine, who worked for Jeffery here, waited until now to speak out against the book as retribution. Levine, who lives in Palm Coast, Fla., suffered a stroke in 2008, and the Orlando-based Wright says the ex-manager "wanted me to baby-sit him" because he's alienated his family and staff. "He used to say, 'If you don't come Continue Reading

Jimi Hendrix re-experienced, on ‘The Valleys of Neptune,’ first release of new material in 10 years

Posthumous albums should come affixed with a field of red flags. Obviously, the artist isn't around to sign off on the project, and the degree to which the star is both financially exploitable and creatively overmined tells fans just how cautiously they should proceed before plunking down any cash.In Jimi Hendrix's case, that's with as much caution as you'd use to defuse an atom bomb. Countless "rare" or "never-before-released" recordings have risen from Hendrix's coffin in the 40 years since his death, either officially or via bootleg. The fact that 10 years have passed since we've seen an official Hendrix release - a stretch broken by the new "Valleys of Neptune" CD - says more about the settling of longstanding lawsuits than it does about the sudden revelation of a creative gold mine.The embattled Hendrix estate finally struck a deal with Legacy Records to reissue his classic work this year, spearheaded by "Valleys." The "new" disk touts 12 "fully realized studio recordings" offering 60 minutes of "never commercially available" music.Technically, that's true, though several songs will be familiar to even casual fans. They include "Stone Free," heard in a less exciting version than the original, and "Red House," which has been issued in scores of versions before.You've got to read the fine print to recognize the rarity of the takes here, many of which are, by Hendrix rehash standards, indeed individual enough to deserve attention. Also, the pieces come from a fascinating time — a four-month stretch in 1969 that featured the final recordings of Hendrix's evolving Experience band. Some of them include new bassist Billy Cox. The result doesn't give a clear sense of where Hendrix was going. Neither does it have the surprise, or coherence, of a "lost" album. But, then, it's frickin' Hendrix, so the screaming guitars, spidery bass and thumping drums can't help but thrill.A retread track like "Fire" may not gain much from the addition of wimpy Continue Reading

Jimi Hendrix’s final recordings, ‘Valleys of Neptune,’ set for release

Jimi Hendrix is back."Valleys of Neptune," a 40-year-old Hendrix song that was recorded during the legend’s final studio sessions, will appear on an upcoming compilation sharing the same name that hits shelves March 9th, reports Rolling Stone.The song was never commercially released, but it did appear on the 1990 four-disc set "Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story." It will be released as a single on Feb. 2nd.The "Valleys of Neptune" collection also includes 12 tracks recorded during the late guitar god’s last recording sessions while he was working on his posthumously completed "First Rays of the Rising Sun." It features studio versions of Hendrix’s covers of "Bleeding Heart" and Cream’s "Sunshine of Your Love," as well as rerecorded versions of classics "Fire," "Red House" and "Stone Free."The Experience Hendrix Group, run by Hendrix’s sister Janie, is also reissuing all three of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s studio albums and the 1997 release "First Rays of the Rising Sun" on CD/DVD for March 9th."My brother Jimi was at home in the studio. 'Valleys of Neptune' offers deep insight into his mastery of the recording process and demonstrates the fact that he was as unparalleled a recording innovator as he was a guitarist," Janie Hendrix tells Rolling Stone. "His brilliance shines through on every one of these precious tracks."Jimi Hendrix remains Rolling Stone’s Greatest Guitarist of All Time. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Swan song for Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell

Drummer Mitch Mitchell, the last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, died Wednesday of unknown causes. He was 62. The wildly inventive stick man was found dead in a hotel room in Portland, Ore., having recently completed a national tribute tour to the original guitar hero, titled Experience Hendrix. PHOTOS: ROCK BANDS WITH NEW LEAD SINGERSMitchell matched Hendrix's wild riffing and revolutionary leads with his own broad and barreling style. None of the millions who heard his work on the seminal Jimi Hendrix Experience albums will forget the muscularity and jazz-invention of his style. PHOTOS: JET-SET TRAGEDIESThe original band completed just three albums in their fleeting existence - "Are You Experienced"? (1967) "Axis: Bold As Love" ('67) and "Electric Ladyland" ('68). But those works stand among the most revered, and referenced, albums in classic rock history. Mitchell was one of two British members of The Experience. U.K. bassist Noel Redding (who died in 2003) rounded out the band. Together with Hendrix, the Englishmen helped set the mold for all power trios to come. Only one other, contemporaneous power trio, Cream, could match them in the pursuit of marrying the new psychedelia to the roots of jazz and blues. The Experience was formed by Chas Chandler, of The Animals. He discovered the Seattle-born Hendrix in a New York club and flew him to London in the fall of '66 to form the band. Chandler picked out Redding and Mitchell. Though the latter was then just 20 he had already done session work with key Brit acts like The Pretty Things and Georgie Fame.  Born John Mitchell, the musician had also worked as a child actor, appearing on the BBC TV show "Jennings At School." Initially, Mitchell didn't think the Experience would last. "I'll give it a crack," he told Chandler. "I'll have a go for two weeks." After the Experience indeed expired - after a little more than two years - Mitchell did more work with Hendrix before Continue Reading

Mitch Mitchell, drummer for Jimi Hendrix, found dead

PORTLAND, Ore. - Mitch Mitchell, drummer for the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience of the 1960s and the group’s last surviving member, was found dead in his hotel room early Wednesday. He was 61.Mitchell was a powerful force on "Are You Experienced?" the 1967 debut album of the Hendrix band. He had an explosive drumming style that can be heard in hard-charging songs such as "Fire" and "Manic Depression." PHOTOS: ROCK BANDS WITH NEW LEAD SINGERSThe Englishman had been drumming for the Experience Hendrix Tour, which performed Friday in Portland. It was the last stop on the West Coast part of the tour.Hendrix died in 1970. Noel Redding, bass player for the trio, died in 2003.An employee at Portland’s Benson Hotel called police after discovering Mitchell’s body.Erin Patrick, a deputy medical examiner, said Mitchell apparently died of natural causes. An autopsy was planned.Bob Merlis, a spokesman for the tour, said Mitchell had stayed in Portland for a four-day vacation and planned to leave Wednesday."It was a devastating surprise," Merlis said. "Nobody drummed like he did." PHOTOS: JET-SET TRAGEDIESHe said he saw Mitchell perform two weeks ago in Los Angeles, and the drummer appeared to be healthy and upbeat.Merlis said the tour was designed to bring together veteran musicians who had known Hendrix - like Mitchell - and younger artists, such as Grammy-nominated winner Jonny Lang, who have been influenced by him.Mitchell was a one-of-a-kind drummer whose "jazz-tinged" style was a vital part of both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Experience Hendrix Tour that ended last week, Merlis said. "If Jimi Hendrix were still alive," Merlis said, "he would have acknowledged that."Mitchell played for numerous other bands but was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1992.According to the Hall of Fame, he was born July 9, 1947, in Ealing, England.Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell held their Continue Reading

Jimi Hendrix sex tape emerges through the haze

The pornmeisters at Vivid Video are ready to roll with that Jimi Hendrix sex tape. Execs at Vivid say the rock icon's estate has failed to prove the flick is a fake. The company made a $100,000 "good faith offer" to Experience Hendrix, LLC if it could establish within 60 days that the film was bogus. "We always knew it was real and were confident that the Hendrix heirs would be unable to substantiate their claims," says Steven Hirsch, Vivid co-chairman. The film is said to feature Hendrix getting it on with uber-groupies Pamela Des Barres and Cynthia Albritton. Albritton, who famously made plaster casts of the private parts of Hendrix and other rock gods, vouched for the authenticity of the footage. "Judging from having casted Jimi, I'm convinced that he is indeed the man seen in this film," she said. Oh so coincidentally, Albritton will be taking a cut of profits from the $39.99 video. Yet strangely, she didn't say that she remembered making the tape - which we'll chalk up to the 1960s' ubiquitous herbal refreshments. She did point out that even Hendrix's ex-girlfriend Kathy Etchingham said he was a sex tape pioneer. "He went really crazy about cine-filming," Etchingham told Hendrix pal Curtis Knight. Our calls to the Hendrix estate weren't returned. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jimi Hendrix’ ax lives in Times Sq.

A purple haze settled over Times Square Tuesday as an original Jimi Hendrix guitar made its new home at Manhattan's Hard Rock Cafe. Hendrix's white Gibson SG guitar, played during his appearances on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1969, will be on display at the restaurant until June. The guitar was put in a glass case at the restaurant's entrance, next to a commemorative plaque and a purple-framed portrait of Hendrix. Hendrix's Gibson is the one of the most valuable pieces of memorabilia owned by the company, said Hard Rock's Director of Operations David Miller. "It's priceless. It's an incredible piece of history," Miller said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Alleged Jimi Hendrix sex tape, circa 1968, to be released

LOS ANGELES - Vivid Entertainment is releasing a sex tape allegedly starring Jimi Hendrix.The Los Angeles-based adult entertainment company said they obtained the footage of the music legend shot in a hotel room about 40 years ago from a memorabilia collector.The footage features Hendrix engaging in various sexual acts with two women, according to a statement released by Vivid. The company said they consulted with several experts to authenticate the footage.Hendrix died of a drug overdose in 1970. Seattle-based representatives for Hendrix's estate did not want to comment about the tape.Vivid Entertainment was also responsible for the release of celebrity sex tapes starring Kim Kardahsian and Pamela Anderson. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jimi Hendrix estate disputes sex tape

LOS ANGELES - The estate of Jimi Hendrix says it questions the authenticity of a sex tape released this week allegedly starring the deceased musician."We strongly dispute the claimed authenticity and affirmatively state that Experience Hendrix is neither involved in, nor have we authorized the distribution of this film," Experience Hendrix, the company that controls the rights to Hendrix's music and likeness, said in a statement released Thursday.Experience Hendrix called the distribution of the tape a "callous attempt to trade on the image and reputation of a deceased artist who is unable to defend himself against such an outrageous and baseless assertion. We are highly offended by the disgraceful portrayal."In response, Vivid Entertainment co-chairman Steven Hirsch released a statement saying Experience Hendrix's statement "is not in any way a refutation of the authenticity of 'Jimi Hendrix the Sex Tape.' Vivid took considerable time and spent a substantial sum of money to authenticate the footage and we are very comfortable that this is the real thing."The 11 minutes of footage, reportedly shot in a hotel room about 40 years ago, features a man who appears to be Hendrix engaged in various sexual acts with two women. Vivid released the footage online and on a 45-minute DVD, which also features interviews with women who claimed to personally know Hendrix.Charles R. Cross, author of the Hendrix biography "Room Full of Mirrors," previously said he had seen the film and doubted the man is Hendrix. Cross said the face and nostrils of the man depicted in the video don't match the guitarist, and the man in the tape is wearing more rings that Hendrix was known to wear.Hirsch said in his statement that "it's worth noting that the primary nay-sayer about the tape is so-called expert Charlie Cross. How can Charlie say it 'doesn't add up?' I'd like to know what he means by that since he told me personally that he only saw about 30 seconds at the beginning of the footage Continue Reading