Why Jimi Hendrix Envied Bob Dylan
Many artists decide to pursue a music career after being inspired by others. Listening to a musician or going to the concert of a band sometimes ends up becoming the starting point of famous artists’ careers. When they achieve the success and popularity they aim for, these musicians often pay tribute to their favorite artists by covering their songs.
There have been several instances where some musicians love the songs they cover so much that they wish they had written them themselves. Jimi Hendrix was a fan of Bob Dylan, and Dylan inspired his songwriting. Throughout his career, Hendrix played some of Dylan’s songs and envied him for one thing.
Jimi Hendrix Admitted He Envied A Bob Dylan Song
During his music career, Jimi Hendrix listened to Bob Dylan’s records, especially his ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and ‘Blonde on Blonde.’ Moreover, Hendrix covered Dylan’s songs, such as ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘All Along The Watchtower.’
Hendrix’s rendition of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ appeared on his third and final studio album with the Experience, titled ‘Electric Ladyland.’ After its release, the song ended up being the guitarist’s highest-selling single and received a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 2001.
Speaking about Bob Dylan’s songs, Jimi Hendrix said they were filled with the joy and sadness of life. He then said he was like Dylan because some of the musician’s songs made him feel like he wrote them. According to Hendrix, he could have come up ‘Watchtower’ but wouldn’t be able to finish it as he wouldn’t manage to come up with the words Dylan did.
As reported by Society Of Rock, Hendrix said the following about Bob Dylan and ‘All Along The Watchtower’:
“All those people who don’t like Bob Dylan’s songs should read his lyrics. They are filled with the joys and sadness of life. I am like Dylan; none of us can sing normally. Sometimes, I play Dylan’s songs, and they are so much like me that it seems to me that I wrote them.
I feel that ‘Watchtower’ is a song I could have come up with, but I’m sure I would never have finished it. Thinking about Dylan, I often consider that I’d never be able to write the words he manages to come up with, but I’d like him to help me because I have loads of songs I can’t finish. I just lay a few words on the paper and can’t go forward. But now things are getting better; I’m more self-confident.”
Moreover, Bob Dylan also revealed his thoughts on Hendrix’s rendition. In the liner notes of his 1985 album ‘Biograph,’ Dylan argued that he likes Hendrix’s version of ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ and he has played the song in Hendrix’s style since the guitarist’s death, considering it a tribute.
Dylan wrote the following in the liner notes of ‘Biograph’:
“I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this, and I’ve been doing it that way ever since he died. Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”
Below, you can listen to Jimi Hendrix’s cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower.’