Jimi Hendrix: Peerless Passion

Jeff Beck once recalled the first time he saw Jimi Hendrix play guitar. Indeed, it was something he would never forget. "He did 'Like a Rolling Stone,'" Beck recalled, "and when it was over, smoke was pouring out of his amp. I looked at the ground and thought, 'F--- it, I better go home and think about what I'm gonna do with my life.'"

["The Who and Jimi had the loudest amps I'd ever been close to," Monterey Pop documentarian D.A. Pennebaker once recalled. "I was in a state of shock -- I was getting brain damage." Indeed, Hendrix's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was legendary. To one-up the Who (who had already smashed their equipment during "My Generation"), Hendrix pulled out all the stops. he plucked strings with his teeth, and, during "Wild Thing," humped the amps and ejaculated lighter fluid all over his guitar, which he then set on fire. "I decided to destroy my guitar at the end of that song," he recalled, "I'd just finished painting it that day."]

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