Angus Young on the closest guitarist to Jimi Hendrix

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Of course, technical ability is a crucial component for any musician, but that isn’t the main reason we listen to music. Angus Young has been using a fairly straightforward formula with AC/DC since the beginning. But because it is so full of attitude and energy, people are able to recognise it right away. Using just a few chords, techniques, and tones, Young has created a renowned sound and style that is wholly unique.

Regarding Jimi Hendrix, the same holds true. Among all the reasons to be amazed by the “Purple Haze” musician, one that stands out in particular is how inventive he was—to the point where we almost take his technical prowess for granted. If he were an athlete, the only thing he would have to worry about would be whether he could run a four-minute mile while juggling.

Few people have reached the level of technical proficiency where they are able to concentrate solely on invention. As far as Young is concerned, only one guitarist compares to Hendrix in that regard. Eddie Van Halen is a creative person, he informed Neil Zlozower. “There were many excellent English players in my childhood years, including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. Naturally, Jimi Hendrix changed the rules when he eventually emerged. Eddie fits that description of an innovator like Hendrix, in my opinion.

Similar to the psychedelic revolution that Hendrix initiated, Van Halen’s arrival caused most guitarists to become fixated on hammer-ons and rapid tapping. Young continued, “He altered the game to fit his playing style.” “Eddie spawned so many imitators when he came along.” Unfortunately, Eddie Van Halen himself recognised that none of the imitators possessed the skills and originality needed to produce something truly unique.

Young went on to extol the “Mean Street” guitarist. He said, “Like Hendrix, suddenly you started to see people wanting to buy the same guitars he played and also play his licks.” In terms of his methodology, he completely defied the rules. His playing was rife with experimentation. Eddie belongs in the same category as Hendrix because he also ventures into that avant-garde territory.” Their avant-garde affinity is actually demonstrated by how much they both appropriated from new-classical.

Young and Van Halen met live for the first time in 1978 when they were both on the same day of the Green bill with Pat Travers, Aerosmith, and Foreigner. However, Young was most impressed by Eddie. It was a mutual feeling. Young continues, saying, “I’ve never rated myself as a guitarist, so I was shocked to hear he liked my playing.”

Young had the utmost musical respect for Eddie and the band and remained a devoted fan of them ever after that performance. “My favourite track is ‘Eruption,'” he said. “In that song, he embodies every characteristic of his playing—a little bit of everything. When Jimi Hendrix emerged, people asked, “Where did this guy come from?” and I believe Eddie experienced a similar reaction. Upon Eddie’s arrival, every guitarist I encountered exclaimed, “You really have to check this guy out!”

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