Why Jimi Hendrix matters now more than ever – only in the new Guitar World

holiday 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This issue's cover story was inspired by something Michael Astley-Brown, our digital editor-in-chief, said to me back in June, which went a bit like this:

“I was reading our feature on 24-year-old Towa Bird, and I was struck by the fact that Jimi Hendrix was the catalyst for her learning guitar. It reminded me that I see this from a lot of younger players of all genres – Hendrix more than any other classic rock artist, with Polyphia being probably the highest-profile new artist to cite him as their reason for starting.”

Inspired by this, I did some research on my own, which basically involved revisiting more than a year’s worth of print stories, and – egads! He was right.

The bottom line is, when Guitar World – print or online – asks up-and-coming guitarists about their major influences, Hendrix is the most common (or is it commonest?) denominator – that is, once again, in terms of classic, established and/or legendary players.

Why is this, you ask? Who can say! People are gonna like who and what they’re gonna like. (How else can you explain the fact that Taxi lasted a mere five seasons while Keeping Up with the Kardashians hung around for 20?)

But it could have something to do with Hendrix’s “person ahead of his/her time” vibe, a vibe shared by a select few humans, including Eddie Van Halen, Cliff Gallup, Leonardo da Vinci, Shawn Lane, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Steve Vai and Hans Laube, the inventor of Smell-O-Vision.

But we think we did a damn fine job answering the “How?” question, courtesy of Andy Aledort’s latest GW lesson (with tab and video), “Under His Wings,” which starts on page 60.

BTW, I have to say I’m particularly fond of this issue, due to the interesting cast of characters that fill its pages, from Trevor Rabin to the Stones to the Velvet Underground’s John Cale to Baroness to Dave Meniketti to Steve Lukather to Mr. Jimmy to Mr. Kingfish.

For a deeper look at this issue's features, Scroll down a few more inches!

This issue (AKA the action-packed Holiday 2023 issue of Guitar World) is available right here, right now.

holiday 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.