*The recent and unexpected death of Prince not only sent a shockwave through the music world, but the world at large.
An icon to musicians and music fans alike, the Minneapolis-born artist was undoubtedly one of the best musicians of his and possibly any other generation. However, as those in the know have pointed out, it might have been his much overlooked skills with a guitar that were his most impressive.
Of course, whenever you bring up the topic of great black guitarists it doesn’t take long for the name Jimi Hendrix to pop up. Indeed, some believe that Prince may have been the greatest guitarist since Hendrix, but was he better?
Judging the relative merits of a musician is never easy, but there are some ways we can break it down. An obvious starting point in this case is the experts and Rolling Stone magazine. According to the music authority’s round-up of the top 100 guitarists of all time, Hendrix is number one on account of his ability to bridge the gap between true blues guitar and modern sounds.
In fact, as Rolling Stone describes him, Hendrix was “extraordinary” live and “incredibly lyrical” with his chords. Not only was he supremely talented on stage, but he was a complete contrast in real life. Almost shy to the point of insecurity, Hendrix cut the figure of someone mystical because of his contrasting personas.
In more recent years, the popularity and ability of Hendrix has been made clear by his ability to cross into some unexpected entertainment mediums. For example, if you want to learn more about the man himself, Sony Music Entertainment’s Jimi Hendrix: The Complete Experience app is out there. Taking iOS users on a virtual tour of his life, the app’s popularity was clear for all to see when it was named as Apple’s iPad App of the Week in the UK.
Spinning Reels and Strumming Chords
Beyond Hendrix’s mobile presence, you can also find him online inside a virtual casino setting. Anyone who becomes a member of Pokies.com can play real money pokies while listening to some of Hendrix’s biggest hits.
Developed by NetEnt and available from $0.10 per spin, the official Jimi Hendrix slot game is not only a chance for players to win six-figure jackpots, but relive the sights and sounds from Hendrix’s heyday.
Essentially, when you look at things like this, you can see that Hendrix has been able to transition from a mere musician to a pop icon. Thanks to a variety of products based on his talents, millions of people are now aware of Hendrix and his guitar licks.
Now, can Prince do the same thing? If he’s to be ranked as highly as Hendrix then he’ll have to crossover in the same way. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll need to have a mobile app or casino game made in his image, it does mean his talents will need a few new outlets to shine through if he’s to reach the same “legendary” status among the general public.
Of course, to people like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Prince’s guitar skills were obvious, but the masses probably don’t see things quite the same way. However, if he can cross the entertainment divide like Hendrix has done, it won’t be long before people realise the diminutive performer was much more than a singer.