Long time readers may recall that I’ve made a personal practice of pausing and noting on each September 18th the anniversary of the day that American guitarist Jimi Hendrix died. This observation has taken various forms over the years, though plugging in and playing electric guitar has usually been one of them. Playing music would seem to be an appropriate way to observe the passing of player that we wish was still able continue playing and composing music.
The Stratocaster I’ll play later today is heard at the very end of today’s story audio. The original lineup of Television rehearses circa 1974, Lloyd is the guitarist in the center. On either side are the two poet/musicians who founded that band: Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine, Billy Ficca is the drummer. Hendrix in the lower right.
However, today I’ve decided to do something different, a bit opposite really. There’s a story I’ve heard in interviews and through various tellings that includes another guitarist whose playing I admire. That guitarist, Richard Lloyd,* while still an uncelebrated teenager and nascent guitarist, met Jimi Hendrix. I’ve always thought it was one of the great rock’n’roll stories, so I decided to tell it to you in my own words. No music this time, just me telling the story, audio-book style.
You can hear it below with a graphical audio player. No player visible? This highlighted link will play it.
*Lloyd was a guitarist in a great New York City based rock group Television, whose debut album Marquee Moon stands toe-to-toe with Patti Smith’s Horses as an expression of the remarkable originality that launched what we now call Indie Rock. He went on to record solo records and contribute to other records, notably Matthew Sweet’s Nineties landmark Girlfriend. Lloyd has a 2017 autobiography Everything Is Combustible ISBN: 9780997693768 (or ISBN10: 0997693762). One line I remember from a Richard Lloyd guitar tutorial went something like this. “So the student said, I don’t know much, I’ve only been playing for a few months.” Lloyd replied “No, if you’ve played guitar for a few months, that’s over 2,000 hours! You should be able to develop a lot of skills in that much time.”