In an interview with Music Radar, former Buffalo Springfield and CSN musician Stephen Stills spoke at great length about Jimi Hendrix and gave some insight into just how much he was influenced by the late guitarist.
Hendrix could do things on guitar that no one else could do, and Stills credits part of that to his extremely long fingers.
“I remember he was showing me something and I said, ‘Jimi, Jimi… put your hand up.’ So he held his hand up, and I put mine next to his, and I said, ‘That’s Wilt Chamberlain. This is me. Your thumb is longer than mine. I can’t do what you’re doing.’ So he went, ‘Oh yeah…’ And he figured out a way to show me the same thing.”
Hendrix and Stills would jam quite often, and he still has tapes of old recording sessions. However, Stills doesn’t think the recordings are salvageable.
Aside from learning different finger positions and playing techniques, the other way in which Stills tries to emulate Hendrix is onstage — although he admits it’s a work in progress.
“I channel him. I do that rarely, though – I just don’t have the chops. I’m getting there, although it’s a little late. I’ve already got carpal tunnel, so some of those things are a little hard to do.”
Andrew Celani — WZLX