The guitarist Mick Jagger called “the best thing I’ve ever seen”

Mick Jagger

It’s difficult to be impressed when a band has sold millions of tickets and records during a six-decade career. They have surpassed the combined sales of nearly every other band. Mick Jagger is among those who have benefited from this type of career. He rose to the top as lead singer of The Rolling Stones and stayed there. He has maintained his position for the greater part of his remarkable career.

As one half of The Glimmer Twins, a songwriting duo, Jagger understands the meaning of the term “rock and roll star.” Jagger, who collaborates with none other than Keith Richards, is also aware of what it takes to be regarded as a real guitarist. After spending so much time working with the renowned six-string virtuoso, Jagger has even taken to picking up the guitar on occasion.

Despite Richards’ talent, he can create a riff out of pure marble. He can roll it down the hill of essential vibes until it gains enough momentum to enthral thousands of listeners. Despite this, he readily acknowledges that he is not the most technically proficient. Rather, to produce the appropriate sounds for The Rolling Stones’ songs, Richards depends on feel.

There have been plenty of technical guitarists to balance Richards over the years. Like David Gilmour of Pink Floyd or Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, technical guitar playing is a similarly virtuosic talent. But Jimi Hendrix is arguably the only performer who has ever been able to combine these two diametrically opposed ideas into a fully functional and unstoppable machine.

When he evaluated the recently departed Hendrix in 1971, Mick Jagger was unambiguous. “Jimi Hendrix could play the ass off anyone.” He was, in my opinion, every bit the blues musician B.B. King was. He could probably accomplish it while standing on his head, you know what I mean.

For Jagger, there was nothing like seeing the raw talent of Jimi Hendrix. Rolling Stone quoted Jagger as saying, “I loved Jimi Hendrix from the beginning” in 1995. “I thought he was amazing as soon as I saw him. I became a convert right away. Mr Jimi Hendrix is the best thing I’ve ever seen.”

It was a compliment that Hendrix frequently received. When discussing the legendary night Hendrix graced his first UK stage, Eric Clapton once declared he “blew them away.” Similarly, Pete Townshend of The Who was so taken by him that he wanted a fistfight. Another man who was active in the London blues scene at the time, David Gilmour, has consistently declared Hendrix to be the greatest guitarist of all time.

Hendrix embodied everything at once for Jagger, who said, “It was exciting, sexy, interesting.” Though Richards would eventually conclude that Hendrix’s approach had “ruined” guitar, the fact remains that no other guitarist has ever played the instrument quite like Jimi Hendrix. That implies that, in all of his illustrious life, Jagger has, we can assume with near certainty, never seen a better performer.

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