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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aerosmith: Brad Whitford On The "Hendrix Experience"; Video Posted

Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford said he vividly remembers the first time he saw the late Jimi Hendrix perform.

“It was a life-altering experience, to say the least,” Whitford said in a recent phone interview. “I got to see him live for the first time in 1968, and I think I was walking on clouds for at least two years after that.”

Shortly thereafter, Whitford found his calling by joining forces with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer to form Aerosmith, a band that in 40 years has gone on to sell more than 130 million albums and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hendrix, however, passed away in 1970 after having released only a handful of albums. Yet his influence lives on today.

“He came in during that era of the ‘British Invasion’ and just put himself in the middle of it,” Whitford recalled. “He had a style that had never been seen before. His showmanship, aura and technique made him such a powerhouse at the time, and he still really holds that stature for many today.”

In fact, Hendrix’s legacy remains so important to musicians and songwriters today that his family and estate managers have organized various touring tributes in some form since 1995. The latest version is “Experience Hendrix 2012,” and the three-week tour begins Tuesday in Maryland before heading to Greensboro on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. show at War Memorial Auditorium.

In addition to Whitford, the all-star lineup includes Billy Cox, who performed with Hendrix’s band in the 1960s; bluesmen Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo; guitarist Robby Krieger of The Doors; pedal-steel guitarist Robert Randolph; David Hildago and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos; Dweezil Zappa; Bootsy Collins; Eric Johnson; The Slide Brothers; and Chris Layton, longtime drummer for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble; among others.

Whitford, who is on his fourth tour with the Experience Hendrix ensemble, described the evening as a celebration of the songs Hendrix left behind and how folks interpret them. Rather than all the artists being on stage at once, Whitford said the musicians are paired in different groups based on who works well together with selected songs.

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