Music is life, there really is no other way around that fact. In our quest to set the mood, focus our thoughts, be party animals, or just enjoy the sounds as they vide into our ear, music has always come to our rescue. In this essay, I want to recognize two of the greatest guitarist to ever do it. They were and still are at the top of their game, even though both died at a young age. These two individuals made such an impact on the Rock world, their names will forever be ingrained in the history of music.
James Marshall Hendrix was born on November 27th, 1942 in Seattle, Washington. "Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar" (Morris). Jimi is often mentioned amongst the greats or as the greatest guitarist of all time and his influence on music will be felt possibly for the rest of known time. Unfortunately, the life of the musical genius came to an end on September 18th, 1970, but his fans and music fans, in general, are left with an eclectic mix of blues, ballads, rock, R&B, and jazz that makes Hendrix one of the most popular figures in the history of rock music.
Stevie Ray Vaughn was born in Dallas around 1955 and picked up his first guitar at age 7. "With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the ’80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Albert Collins and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as jazz guitarists like Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre" (Hopkins, 2010). Vaughn was the answer to the fledgling blues scene for a whole decade in the 1980's. After a concert in East Troy, WI in 1990, Vaughn and a few other band members boarded a helicopter that crashed shortly after killing him and 4 others, he was 35.
These 2 artists chose to follow their own heart and soul. They produced music that has and will influence artist for years to come. "Little Wing", a song which is my personal favorite from the 2 artists, is a testament to the skill of both guitarists and the variety of music they offered.
Hopkins, C. L. (2010). Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day by day, night after night. New York: Backbeat Books.
Morris, D. (Ed.). (). Jimi Hendrix Biography - The Official Jimi Hendrix Site. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from https://www.jimihendrix.com/biography/