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Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

Last night I was listening to Richie Havens, one of my favorite voices, and his cover of All Along the Watchtower came on. I knew that it originated with Bob Dylan– and then Hendrix owned it– but I truly didn’t know how many versions of it there are.

If you believe the Battlestar Galactica mythology, this song trickled through the ether 150,000 years before Dylan and saved the human race. If you watched the series finale of the reboot, you understand why that pervasive melody turned out to be key to the human and Cylon existence. According to what we know in the here and now, Dylan released it in 1967, and The Nashville Teens were close behind.

Curious about its chronology, I found this list of many different versions. Most of us know the Dylan, Hendrix, Dave Matthews, U2, Neil Young, Springsteen, and Eddie Vedder versions. But there are so many more! The BSG version was the first to use an electric sitar, harmonium, and an astoundingly loud party horn called a zurna. When Seattle-based artist Aaron English released his version, it had similar flavors– and it sounds amazing.

Is it best stripped down or embellished?

Is it best on a guitar? Or is it best with a sitar?

How is it most extraordinary? Is it best with Bryan Ferry?

Have you heard it in a casino? Did it rock hardest with Frank Marino?

Which artist performed this the snazziest? Was Humam Ammari’s version, overall, the jazziest?

Is it best with a string quartet? Which genre of music hasn’t attempted this yet?

The song is timeless and always relevant. There is endless debate over the meaning of the lyrics. They’re deep, profound, disturbing, incomplete. Is it about the music industry? Business? A conversation between Jesus and the tempter?

Ultimately, it’s Dylan. You’re not supposed to understand completely. Or you do, deep down in your soul, but you can’t quite articulate why.

But you and I, we’ve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin’ falsely now
The hour’s getting late

Dylan

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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On a recent Saturday a friend and I decided to visit the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in Renton, Washington. Hendrix was a Seattle native who was originally buried in a simple grave in Greenwood Memorial Park following his death in 1970. More recently he was moved to this amazing site which is a fitting tribute to a musical genius.

The marble used is stunning, as is the domed design.

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The lyrics to Voodoo Child.

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There is a polished sundial and the stones around the memorial look like they belong on a concert stage.

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Inside the memorial the panels are covered with lipstick. Germs! It’s also probably not good for the stone either.

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I wondered if this was his original grave marker. He was so young. I don’t have any love for the lifestyle that took him so early on, but he was a pioneer and a true artist who paved the way for future innovations.

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Other Hendrix relatives are buried here as well.

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Hendrix had a tumultuous upbringing and a lot of turmoil in his short life. He died before I was born but his music has always been a part of my life.

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It’s funny how most people love the dead, once you’re dead, you’re made for life. -Jimi Hendrix

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Richie Havens

Gary Jackson over at A Time for Choosing has posted a nice tribute to Richie Havens, who passed away yesterday at the age of 72.

Remembering Music Legend Richie Havens.

Havens had one of those voices you just can’t forget. There was such energy and power and soul driving his music. So many “artists” today seem hollow at the core despite the outer glitz and glamour, but the convictions and causes of Richie Havens shone through in his performances. I’m reminded of the spirit behind the voice in Havens’ collaboration with Peter Gabriel, The Time of the Turning, (more…)

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One word:

WOW.

Had I not heard this performance in a church, I would have been on my feet yelling “WHOOOOOO!!!! YEAH!!!!!” during some of the blazing guitar solos. Next time I think I will. Who cares what anyone else thinks. I love good music.

Today I had the privilege of hearing the band Gungor live. This eclectic Denver-based group is making waves in the Christian music world, and music aficionados in general should take notice. They’re that good. (more…)

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