The Guitarist Who Blew Jimi Hendrix Away Was Revealed By Billy Gibbons
Jimi Hendrix discovered his greatest passion, music when he was very young and started to play guitar at the age of 15. He played with many bands and musicians such as Curtis Knight and the Squires, The Isley Brothers’ backing band, and Little Richard with many more before he established his career as a very successful solo musician. He gained great fame and critical acclaim during his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.
Even though he passed away because of asphyxia on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27, which made him a member of the 27 Club, Hendrix had a great influence on his successors with his own way of playing guitar and creating music. Many musicians enjoyed collaborating with Hendrix and never forgot their moments together. One of them was ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons who was once surprised by Jimi’s admiration for a guitarist other than him.
Billy Gibbons Performed Opening Acts For Jimi Hendrix
Before he founded one of the most iconic rock bands in the world, ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons was a member of a psychedelic blues-rock band named The Moving Sidewalks with Don Summers, Tom Moore, and Dan Mitchell. In a short time, the band found a great opportunity that can be defined as a life changer. The Moving Sidewalks performed four opening acts for Jimi Hendrix in one of his tours in the US, in 1968.
Although the band’s performance received very positive reviews from the audience and Hendrix himself, The Moving Sidewalks at the end of the ’60s after Summers and Moore were drafted. In the several interviews that he participated in, Gibbons remembered these moments saying that he felt so lucky about meeting the late musician in person and playing for him before his tragic death. He didn’t forget to give credit to the guitarist that Hendrix was listening to.
Jimi Hendrix Admired Jeff Beck’s Talent
Jeff Beck released his debut studio album entitled ‘Truth’ on July 29, 1968, and his backing band the Jeff Beck Group including Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood started to become more and more famous thanks to this collaboration. The album received critical acclaim and hit the charts all around the world. Not only the critics but also Jimi Hendrix appreciated the album’s style and Beck’s guitar performance and kept listening to it.
In Gibbons words, he said:
“Dynamics are integral to the blues. Jeff Beck saw Hubert Sumlin playing with his fingers and realized that was how he wanted to sound. He’s gotten so good at it; when I was 17 years old and on tour with Jimi Hendrix, every night we would get into a motel and he would stay at the end of the hall with his door always open.
He’d be in there listening to the first Jeff Beck album with Rod Stewart and he asked me, ‘How does Jeff do all of this?’ I told him, ‘Believe me, Jeff is sitting in a room right now, listening intently to your music asking himself how you do what you do!’ It was an eye-opener, seeing Jimi so blown away by other guitar players, as much as they were with him!”
Billy Gibbons revealed that Jimi Hendrix was listening to the record during their tour with the late guitarist and he was blown away. Hendrix wanted to know how Beck was creating these sounds and the ZZ Top legend responded to Hendrix saying that Beck was probably wondering about the same thing about him. It can be stated that Jeff Beck was one of the few artists who were able to impress Jimi Hendrix.