Jimi Hendrix was obviously a Bob Dylan fan having recorded a total of four Dylan songs- Like A Rolling Stone, Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, All Along the Watchtower and Drifters Escape. Hendrix was less a fan and more of a Dylan freak, so much he even put this Bob Dylan pin on one of his jackets.
Here’s a close-up of Hendrix’ Bob Dylan pin..
Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone magazine interview, November 15, 1969
“I love Dylan. I only met him once, about three years ago, back at the Kettle of Fish [a folk-rock era hangout] on MacDougal Street. That was before I went to England. I think both of us were pretty drunk at the time, so he probably doesn’t remember it.”
Hendrix who some say was very self-conscious about his lack of education and his speech loved the message in Dylan’s lyrics.
“All those people who don’t like Bob Dylan’s songs should read his lyrics. They are filled with the joys and sadness of life. I am as Dylan, none of us can sing normally. Sometimes, I play Dylan’s songs and they are so much like me that it seems to me that I wrote them. I have the feeling that Watchtower is a song I could have come up with, but I’m sure I would never have finished it. Thinking about Dylan, I often consider that I’d never be able to write the words he manages to come up with, but I’d like him to help me, because I have loads of songs I can’t finish. I just lay a few words on the paper, and I just can’t go forward. But now things are getting better, I’m a bit more self-confident.”
Here’s what Dylan said about “All Along the Watchtower“…
Q: How did you feel when you first heard Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower.”?
A: It overwhelmed me, really. He had such a talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
Here’s a photo of Jimi playing some records with Dylan right beneath him…