Howard Pays Tribute to Jimi Hendrix and Recalls the Concert He Almost Attended

“I would’ve seen Jimi right before he died,” he remembers

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Few musicians have left a legacy like Jimi Hendrix and on Tuesday, Howard paid tribute to the influential rock guitarist and singer who would have turned 75 last November.

From his very first studio album, 1967’s “Are You Experienced,” Jimi released a string of classic tracks, including “Foxy Lady,” “Purple Haze,” and “Manic Depression.”

His original songs aside, Jimi also turned heads on that album with his cover of “Hey Joe” and then later with “All Along the Watchtower.”

“The best cover version of any song ever,” Fred Norris praised of the latter.

Outside of his rock chops, Howard noted Jimi was a phenomenal blues guitarist as evidenced on songs like “Red House.”

“The live stuff is where you really see him shine,” Fred agreed.

Many Stern Show guests have also given insight on the genius of Hendrix and Howard played one such clip from when he interviewed Sting, rock royalty in his own right (below).

“I saw Jimi Hendrix when I was 14. I thought I was seeing a Martian,” Sting told Howard. “The lesson was that you can be a rock star and a virtuoso at the same time because he was, clearly.”

Though he was never able to see Hendrix perform himself, Howard said he nearly attended the famed 1970 concert at New York City’s Fillmore East where Jimi debuted his new group Band of Gypsies and recorded a live album.

“I would’ve seen Jimi right before he died, but I never got to,” Howard said, recalling how a friend had tickets but instead decided to take a guy she was interested in.

Nevertheless, he was able to appreciate the unparalleled impact through Jimi’s recordings and videos of his live performances. “I salute ye on your 75th birthday,” Howard offered in tribute.

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