Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix are two iconic names in the world of rock music, often celebrated for their unique styles and contributions to the genre. Fans have long speculated about what these two legends thought of each other, given their influence on not only their peers but also on generations of musicians who followed.
As evidenced by a drawing of Elvis wielding a guitar made by a 15-year-old Jimi Hendrix, it’s clear that Hendrix admired Presley from a young age. What remains less known, however, is what Elvis thought of the guitar virtuoso, Jimi Hendrix.
Examining their musical careers and personal opinions can offer some insight into the relationship, if any, between Elvis and Jimi. Their early encounters might have played a role in shaping their mutual admiration, but given their busy careers and individual successes, it’s hard to determine any personal interactions.
Furthermore, their influence on rock music and their social and cultural impact can also provide context for better understanding their perceptions of each other.
Key Takeaways on What Did Elvis Think of Jimi Hendrix?
- Jimi Hendrix admired Elvis from a young age, as shown by his early drawing of the King of Rock and Roll
- Their individual careers and successes may have limited direct interactions between them
- Delving into their influence on rock music and societal impact can offer insight into their mutual admiration
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In the mid-60s, both Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix were making waves in the music world. At that time, Hendrix had moved to London to pursue his musical career. While there is no concrete evidence if Elvis and Jimi ever met in person, their paths may have crossed in the bustling London music scene. Nevertheless, it is evident that they shared admiration for each other’s talents.
As a young teenager, Jimi Hendrix was undoubtedly a fan of Elvis Presley. In fact, an impressionable 15-year-old Hendrix drew a color picture of Elvis wielding a guitar, as a follow-up to attending Presley’s concert at Sick’s Stadium on September 1, 1957. This early exposure to Elvis’s music and performance style had a lasting impact on the budding guitarist.
As their careers progressed, both artists went on to change the landscape of music in their own ways. Elvis became a symbol of rock ‘n’ roll and inspired countless musicians to break barriers and take risks, while Jimi Hendrix revolutionized the way the electric guitar was played with his extraordinary skills and inventive techniques.
Though we may never know the full extent of their engagement with one another’s work, it is clear that their mutual admiration stemmed from a deep respect for each other’s contributions to the world of music.
Hendrix’s Rise to Fame
Jimi Hendrix, born in 1942, quickly became known for his extraordinary guitar skills and innovative approach to rock music. He gained prominence in the late 1960s as the frontman of the “Jimi Hendrix Experience,” comprising of Hendrix on guitar, bassist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell. The band’s unique sound changed the landscape of rock music at the time.
Hendrix started his career by backing renowned artists such as Little Richard and the Isley Brothers. His major breakthrough came after moving to London in 1966.
There, he released hits like “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze,” which quickly propelled him to stardom. His live performances became legendary, with highlights like his iconic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969, and setting his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.
Jimi Hendrix’s musical prowess earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he continues to be celebrated as one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music.
Elvis’ Music Journey
Elvis Presley, born in 1935, was a game-changer for the rock and roll genre. He started his music career in the early 1950s. He was a trailblazer, merging country and rhythm-and-blues music, and quickly became a superstar with his signature swiveling hips and captivating stage presence.
Elvis’ unique style, coupled with his exceptional voice, resulted in numerous hit records throughout his career such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”
His extensive discography includes over 20 studio albums, numerous compilations, and soundtracks for his movie career. Elvis’ contributions to the rock and roll genre were recognized with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
While their careers were distinct and their musical styles different, both Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley remain icons of rock and roll history. Their talents and influence on the music industry persist, and their legacies continue to inspire future generations of musicians.
Elvis’ Views on Hendrix
It has been said that rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley had an immense respect for another rock ‘n’ roll icon, Jimi Hendrix. While there are conflicting reports on how Elvis felt about Hendrix, it is generally agreed upon that Elvis held Hendrix in high esteem. Often, interviews and biographical sources mention their mutual respect as musicians, despite their different styles and approaches to the artform.
In books and interviews, Presley was known to appreciate Hendrix’s unique guitar-driven sound and innovative playing techniques. One example is the use of feedback and electronic effects that set Hendrix apart from other guitarists at the time.
Hendrix’s Views on Elvis
As for Jimi Hendrix’s views of Elvis Presley, there is evidence suggesting that Hendrix was a fan of Elvis’s work. A photo from 1957 shows a young Hendrix watching an Elvis concert in Seattle, unable to afford a ticket but still eager to catch a glimpse of the performance. This implies that Hendrix, at least in his formative years as a musician, looked up to Elvis as an inspiration.
Throughout his career, Hendrix’s playing showed influence from a variety of musical genres, but his admiration for Elvis can be seen in some aspects of his performances. Jimi Hendrix was known for his stage presence, which shared some similarities with Elvis’s own charismatic and energetic approach.
Influence on Rock Music
Legacy of Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix’s impact on the world of rock music was immense, taking the genre to new heights and influencing countless musicians with his groundbreaking style of playing.
Not only did Hendrix revolutionize the way the electric guitar was played, but his innovation also transcended genres, leaving a lasting legacy across rock and roll, blues, funk, and hip-hop. His contribution to the evolution of rock and roll, hard rock, and even metal cannot be overstated, as he played a crucial role in their development.
Hendrix’s experimentation with the electric guitar led to the creation of unique sounds and techniques which are still influential today. He was known for his ability to blend blues with psychedelic rock and metal elements, bringing a new dimension to rock music. His performance at Woodstock showcased his skills, quickly propelling him to the status of an iconic rock guitarist.
One of Hendrix’s most significant contributions to music was his influence on the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles. The album’s revolutionary sound, including its utilization of innovative recording techniques and Hendrix’s guitar work, helped reshape rock and roll.
Although it’s not known if Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix ever met or collaborated, the influence of Elvis on Hendrix’s music is undeniable. Elvis Presley’s admiration for Jimi Hendrix reflects the mutual respect shared between two icons of rock and roll.
Elvis’s impact on Jimi Hendrix’s music can be perceived in the way they both managed to bridge multiple music genres, fusing elements of blues, rock and roll, and R&B. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll had a profound influence on countless artists, including Hendrix, who often cited Elvis as one of his major inspirations.
Both Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley greatly contributed to the development of rock music, pushing its boundaries with their innovation and talent. Their legacies continue to inspire future generations of musicians, solidifying their positions as true icons in the history of rock and roll.
Social and Cultural Impact
Hendrix and Racial Issues
Jimi Hendrix, being African-American, faced racial issues throughout his career. Despite his immense talent, he struggled with the expectations and stereotypes placed on African-American musicians at the time.
His music transcended racial boundaries and contributed to the breaking down of racial barriers in the music industry. Hendrix’s work paved the way for future generations of African-American artists, and his influence can still be felt today.
As a musician who defied convention and experimented with various musical styles, he was often met with resistance from both white and African-American communities. However, his impact on music and bridging cultural divides was undeniable.
Elvis and Race
Elvis Presley, on the other hand, was a white artist who became a cultural icon by blending various musical styles, including blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues that were traditionally associated with African-American musicians.
His ability to embrace and incorporate these styles played a significant role in breaking down racial barriers in the music industry, though it was not without controversy. Some critics argue that Elvis’s success perpetuated the exploitation of African-American music by white performers and led to the appropriation of their cultural heritage.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Elvis held Jimi Hendrix in high esteem, demonstrating a deep appreciation for his talent and contributions to the world of music. While their musical styles differed, both Elvis and Hendrix became symbols of a changing society where race and cultural boundaries were gradually being challenged and redefined.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Elvis Presley ever comment on Jimi Hendrix’s music?
There is no direct quote or documented instance of Elvis Presley commenting on Jimi Hendrix’s music. However, both artists were well-known in their respective genres and undoubtedly aware of each other’s work.
What was the relationship between Elvis and Jimi?
There isn’t any evidence to suggest that Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix had a personal relationship. They were both successful musicians, but they belonged to different eras and musical genres.
How did Elvis influence Jimi Hendrix’s music?
Jimi Hendrix was a fan of Elvis Presley during his childhood, and he even attended one of Presley’s concerts on September 1, 1957, at Sick’s Stadium.
A color drawing made by a 15-year-old Jimi after attending the concert shows the impression Elvis made on him. This early exposure to Elvis’s music and performances may have influenced Jimi’s guitar-playing style and stage presence.
Did Jimi Hendrix ever perform with Elvis?
There is no documented instance of Jimi Hendrix performing with Elvis Presley. Their careers did not overlap significantly, as Elvis rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s, while Jimi’s career took off in the late 1960s before his untimely death in 1970.
Did Elvis and Jimi have similar musical tastes?
Although Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix had distinct styles, they shared common ground in their love for rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis combined elements of country, gospel, and rhythm and blues, which helped shape modern rock ‘n’ roll.
On the other hand, Jimi experimented with psychedelic rock, blues, and hard rock. While their musical tastes were different, it is likely that both artists appreciated each other’s contributions to the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll.
Were there any instances of Elvis and Jimi meeting in person?
It is unclear if Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix ever met in person. Their careers did not significantly overlap, and there is no documented instance of a meeting between them. However, Jimi did attend an Elvis concert in 1957, and it could be speculated that this was the closest they came to a personal encounter.
My name is Howard Matthews and I have been playing the guitar since I was knee-high. My parents like to joke that I was pulling the strings even before I was born. In fact, one of my earliest memories is sitting on the couch with my dad’s guitar, wreaking havoc on the chords.
Now, 40 years later, I can attest that I play them much better than I did back then. I have followed in the footsteps of both my parents – much to their delight – and have been the main guitarist in my band for the best part of three decades.
Music has always been my passion, and until recently my life has been so consumed with it that I haven’t had a moment to have a breath (and I wouldn’t have it any other way)!