As I was putting together my monthly look at the Guitar Player magazine from 30 years ago, I was interested to see the interview with cover stars Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan turn to Jimi Hendrix. By 1990, Hendrix had been dead for nearly 20 years, but he still seemed to haunt the memory of many of his peers, and GP always tried to ask older musicians of their experiences with him. Interestingly, SRV has now been gone for almost 30 years, and I feel that he gets less attention. Anyway, here are some relevant excerpts: Jeff, what was it like to jam with Hendrix? SRV: Yeah, good question. JB: What was it like? Well [pause], it was awful! The first time, I felt like a peanut, like a ****ing hole would have opened up and swallowed me. The thing that puts it right is the fact that there’s a genuine love that Jimi had for my style as well, which couldn’t believe. Then I realized that Jimi was not a messiah; he was a very genuine, dyed-in-the-wool, music-loving person. He didn’t give a damn about the reputation, the show biz razzmatazz. All he was interested in were the licks and what you were feeling like–kind of like Buddy Guy. Remember that night we were playing with Buddy? It was a conversation. The guitar was just talking and he was listening and looking: “Hmm, that’s interesting!” It was much the same with Jimi. He wasn’t out to blow you off the stage at all. If he did, he did, but…What am I talking about, ‘if’? Phew. It was great. When I got friendly with him, it was just sadness that we couldn’t nurture the friendship a bit more. In those days, life was just totally crazy. He would be off in a 24-hours-a-day lifestyle, and I couldn’t keep up with it. I had to have my sleep. He was a boogier–a club here, club there, and he’d be jamming until 5:00 in the morning. My lifestyle was never destined to be like that, so I just had to say, “Adios, Jim, I gotta go to bed!” I felt very amateurish alongside him, because he lived and breathed it. You’re very similar to Jimi in that way. I’m just a part time employee. SRV: I don’t know about that one [laughs]. JB: I’m not in love with the guitar as much as you are or Jimi is–was. I just pick it up and play sometimes. I feel really guilty. Whatever I choose to do, it always robs me of something. The guitar robs me of my time building [hot] rods, and the rods take their toll on the playing. But the payoff is the refreshment on both sides. By building, I’m able to completely steep myself in physical things, and all the time I’m doing that, I’m thinking of licks and music, which I’m not able to do sitting with a guitar. That’s probably the reason I’m able to maintain a modicum of interest in music after 30-odd years. It's interesting to see Beck describe himself as more of a "part-time" musician. I am a part-time musician and he and I are quite different! Later in the issue, interviewers asked Beck to look back over the previous decades, and his point of view was, once again, contrary: At points in your career, you’ve been drawn to more complex, jazz-based harmony, but several tracks on Guitar Shop are just one-chord grooves. I was determined not to bore anybody with any jazz. Things like Blow By Blow were just unadulterated jazz, but I didn’t think so at the time. If you listen to real jazz, like Chick Corea, or experimental high-art rock and roll, which I consider to be John McLaughlin, then it is sort of Muzaky. “Fuzak” Simon Phillips called it. And when I heard him say fuzak, I went phttht–boxed it up and threw it in a bin. I guess at that time I wanted some solidification; I had to be playing a tune, not just abstract flurries of noise. There had to be some nice chords to get the listener to draw an ear a bit closer. But I shouldn’t have done Blow By Blow. I wish I hadn’t done any of them, because they’re just mistakes on record. I wish I had stayed with earthy rock and roll. I got sucked into….When you’re surrounded with very musical people like Max Middleton and Clive Chaman, you’re in a prison, and you have to play along with that. I wasn’t able to direct them against their grain, so that’s what came out. Do you dislike being perceived as a fusion player because you don’t feel you really are one, or because you don’t like the implication the label carries? It’s a bad word now. But at the time, it meant a bringing together of musical worlds, and in many ways still does. Yeah, well that’s not necessarily a good thing. It’s like taking a bit of vanilla ice cream and pouring something else over it to cover up the vanilla. You either like vanilla or you don’t. I mean, you can make it better with chocolate sauce, but it’s not right when you try to put another flavor in. It’s like lime in your Perrier. I mean, Perrier is Perrier. You’ve got to look for the single elements sometimes. But the same can be said about the marriage of blues and rock. Yeah. Well, there are some good things on Blow By Blow. It just reminds me of flared trousers and double-breasted jackets. I didn’t like the ’60s and ’70s basically. I hated them. The mid ’60s were okay, because every day was a hurricane in the Yardbirds and I could afford to look at it with contempt; around me were a lot of things I had nothing to do with, like flower power and awful things like flared trousers. In the blog post I go on to contrast Beck's seeming discomfort with his own past, and dissatisfaction with his previous work to that of his childhood friend Jimmy Page, who seems to have given up significant music creation many, many years ago in favor of mastering and re-mastering his old music. Not to say one approach is better, or nobler, than the other (and we know which is more commercially viable), but they are contrasting.