I maintain it’s my absolute prerogative to wear whatever hairstyle goes with my guitar at any point in my life. It amazes me when people make a big deal about people changing their hair. Surely that’s one of the bonuses of being in a band. When I was a kid, David Bowie was big, so that’s where it started for me.
When Jimi Hendrix first exploded onto the scene, much attention was riveted on his radical reinvention of guitar-soloing vocabulary, technique and sound, inspired by a now-familiar roster of great blues soloists. But Hendrix had another musical asset that set him apart from similarly influenced British blues-rock contemporaries: years of experience as a professional R&B rhythm guitarist.
Bass is more than just a guitar with two fewer strings. It has a different tone, scale length, feel and musical role, and in many cases it requires a different conceptual and technical approach. Guitarists who are new to playing bass will often double the guitar part one octave lower. There is certainly a place octave doubling — just listen to Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion," Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean" and Pantera's "I'm Broken." But there is so much more that can be done with the bass guitar.
What inspired Eric Johnson to start playing the guitar? "It was Nokie Edwards of the Ventures. He was one of the first guys I ever heard play guitar, and I really enjoyed the sound. And when I was a kid it was something new and different to try. Then I got into guys like Clapton and Hendrix, who had these amazing sounds, which further inspired me to play."