Jimi Hendrix Week: Aerosmith's Brad Whitford on Experience Hendrix

Jammin' on Jimi
Jammin' on Jimi (Image credit: Fender.co.uk)

Now that Aerosmith's Brad Whitford is a certfied Guitar Hero, immortalized in the Guitar Hero Aerosmith game, he's paying tribute to a even bigger legend, Jimi Hendrix. Whitford is part of the Experience Hendrix Tour that is currently making its way across the US.

The Boston-based guitarist describes his stint on the tour as something of a pro musicians' rock fantasty camp. Along with Buddy Guy, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Hubert Sumlin, Jonny Lang, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Robby Krieger from The Doors, along others, Whitford gets a chance to 'experience Hendrix' night after night. And when he jams on Red House with Band Of Gypsys' bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, it's an event he relishes.

"Since the first time I heard Jimi Hendrix, and right up until today, he's has been an important influence on me - on all of us," says Whitford.

While Whitford and fellow Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry both share a love for Jeff Beck, he admits to leaning toward Hendrix as an influence, while he says Perry gravitated more towards the Jimmy Page style of playing.

Whitford credits the British Invasion for turning his interest from trumpet and piano to guitar, but says it was his father who brought home his first guitar.

"My father loved the sound of electric guitar. And he brought home this Japanese electric where the action between the strings and the neck was like, in separate counties," Whitford says, laughing. "I got to see Hendrix play in '68 at the Boston Garden with Mitch and Noel Redding and it was like, 'Wow!' I bought a Fender guitar the very next day."

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.