This seems to be a feature of Hendrix fans. They’re like religious extremists; they get so angry if anyone dares question the infallibility of their prophet, and – like all religious zealots – they’re so certain that they’re right. Many, many years ago I came close to being brought to blows by a man who became almost apoplectic with rage when I said I preferred Bob Dylan’s version of All Along the Watchtower to Hendrix’s cover.
This phenomenon is of some general interest because I’ve long believed that religious extremists suffer from two conditions:
1. Insecurity, because those who are secure in their beliefs are generally of a calm disposition and take the view that it doesn’t matter what anybody else believes.
2. Lacking wisdom, because wise people are usually the first to admit that they don’t actually know anything.
So I wonder why Hendrix attracts this sort of acolyte. Why is it that his music seems to garner the veneration of angry people who are unable to countenance alternative tastes?
And all this is a shame because I actually have nothing against Hendrix. I’m quite happy to concede that he was a superb musician. It’s just that his style was never to my taste and I have every right to say so.