Steven Van Zandt Thinks Jimi Hendrix Didn’t Receive Enough Credit For His Songwriting
E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt recently joined BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce for an interview during which he revealed the tracks of his years. While talking about Jimi Hendrix, Van Zandt claimed that he is not credited enough for his songwriting talent.
With his distinctive guitar playing techniques and unique talent, Jimi Hendrix is, without a doubt, among the most influential guitarists of all time. Although his music career spanned only four years, this was enough for him to create a legacy of his own in this short period of time.
Hendrix began playing guitar when he was 15 years old. After playing gigs with the Isley Brothers’ backing band and Little Richard, he moved to England in late 1966. This change of location was a turning point in Hendrix’s career as he rapidly achieved remarkable chart success with his hits ‘Hey Joe,’ ‘Purple Haze,’ and ‘The Wind Cries Mary.’
In an interview with BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce, Steven Van Zandt revealed that one of his favorite tracks is Jimi Hendrix’s ‘All Along The Watchtower.’ He then began praising the guitarist by saying it’s incredible what he achieved in such a short time after moving to England.
Van Zandt claimed that Hendrix is also a great songwriter, but nobody talks about his songwriting talent. According to the musician, Hendrix not only completely transformed guitar-playing techniques and created something new but also turned out to be a great singer and songwriter.
During the interview, Steven Van Zandt said:
“Jimi Hendrix was the fourth of the guitar players from Mount Rushmore, of the 60s guitar players. Jimmy would be the best of them all. Just an absolute, incredible, unexplainable transformation from this R&B backup guitar player just six months earlier. You know, playing with the Isley Brothers and Little Richard, and then suddenly he goes to England and becomes this ridiculously great guitar player and writer.
People don’t talk about his writing often enough. He’s an amazing songwriter. I mean, where the heck did that come from? Literally, within six months or a year, a complete transformation. It’s one of the most amazing things that we have ever witnessed in our business.
He not only would transform guitar playing and take whatever Eric Clapton and Jeff Backman and all the blues guys were doing and take it to some new psychedelic place, but he turned out to be a terrific singer. Actually, and a great songwriter. It’s amazing.”
You can listen to the interview and ‘All Along The Watchtower’ below.