In July 1970 Jimi Hendrix played one of the strangest concerts of his career: on the side of a volcano in Maui. The story behind that gig is the subject of a new documentary Music, Money, Madness ... Jimi Hendrix in Maui, which arrives on November 20th alongside the double album Live in Maui. Order your copies here.
Jimi Hendrix may have released just three studio albums before his untimely death on September 18th, 1970 — Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland — but it's impossible to overstate the guitarist's impact on popular heavy music. His otherworldly musical alchemy broke boundaries and inspired generations of musicians — everyone from Kirk Hammett and Mark Morton to Zakk Wylde and Lemmy Kilmister have sung his praises.
Virtuoso guitarist and Rob Zombie collaborator John 5 counts himself among these Hendrix acolytes. We talked to John 5 about the mind-blowing moment he discovered the late guitarist, how Hendrix impacted his creative development and why he still listens to one of the guitarist's first there records at least once a month.
DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU HEARD JIMI HENDRIX?
JOHN 5 I remember it clearly. I was watching cable TV — that just came out — and they were showing Woodstock the movie and there was nothing else to watch so I watched it and I saw Jimi Hendrix. It completely blew my mind. I couldn't believe it— it was a total epiphany and changed my life forever.
DID YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HENDRIX SONG?
My favorite song I remember was "If 6 Was 9." I just loved that song, everything about it. I learned it right away and played it every day and also played it at the school talent show.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT COVERING A JIMI HENDRIX?
I think the most difficult thing about learning a Hendrix song is learning it correctly. He [uses] such unique chords and sounds — he was such an innovator and a genius. It's not just learning the right notes, it's learning how to execute them as well.
DO YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO HENDRIX?
I definitely still listen to the Hendrix albums, at least once a month. It's mainly the first three records Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. These albums shaped my life [and] my education of music — and will live on as long as I live.
JIMI HENDRIX IS WIDELY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL GUITARISTS EVER. WHAT DOES HE MEAN TO YOU?
Jimi Hendrix is like a family member to me that's how close his music and his life was to me. I listened to him every day, studied his music … his style, everything about Hendrix. I was obsessed and devoted my life to learning his catalog and how he played.