Jimi Hendrix may be revered as the greatest axeman of all times in the eyes of such guitar heroes as Slash and The Who’s Pete Townsend, but as far as Megadeth’s former six-string merchant Marty Friedman is concerned, he’d “rather chew glass” than listen to Jimi strum up a storm on “Purple Haze.”
With so many rockers all too keen to sing Jimi’s praises, it’s kind of refreezing to hear from a guitarist who doesn’t pay no heed to one of the holiest of rock’s commandments — “You must humble yourself before the mighty Hendrix.”
Yet all said and done, opting to chow down on glass rather than listen to Jimi laying down the groove in the opening strains of “Voodoo Chile” seems a bit of a silly and slightly idiotic thing to say.
Although Friedman is quick to clarify that he does respect Hendrix’s towering influence on many of his own heroes, he reveals to Ultimate Guitar that he just doesn’t get “The Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” or indeed, any of Jimi’s masterpieces.
“I’d rather chew glass than listen to Hendrix. I never got Hendrix. When I think of Hendrix, an image comes in my mind about a lot of hippies rolling around in mud tripping on acid and it just doesn’t turn me on at all.
“And all that noise and feedback and I’m like, ‘Play in tune.’
“But then again, all of my favourite guitarists hail Hendrix. I’m a big Uli Jon Roth fan and he’s the most beautiful guitarist. He probably loves Hendrix as much as Hendrix’s own mother does. All the guys I respect love Hendrix so I know there’s something there. It’s just that I never got it because it never fit into my experiences.”
“I’m a big tuning guy and that’s probably why I don’t like Dylan because things go out of tune and it kills me.”
After upsetting the apple cart like a picky and slightly obsessive session man, Friedman took to Facebook to defend his comments.
“When I was a beginning guitarist, all the good players in town would tell me I should listen to this guy or learn from this album, and check out this guitar master or that one.
“Of course I wanted to impress my friends as well as learn from the best, so I diligently checked out all the most respected players. I soon realised that although the artists that were suggested to me were certainly brilliant masters, I found little joy in analysing their music, because I just plain didn’t understand it or even like much of it.
“It meant nothing to me, like homework from a teacher in school.”
[Photo By Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images]