James Blood Ulmer :
Jason Gross: Are there other guitarists whose work you admire?
James Blood Ulmer: I like a lot of guitar players. It's hard to listen to a guitar player. I never really listen because when I was coming up, starting to play music, they didn't have no guitar. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, these brothers didn't have no guitar players. I didn't really listen to guitars. For now, I don't know. I like all guitar players I guess. I know Jimi Hendrix did something for the guitar. He could PLAY on that. He made a movement which was good and used that. He was maybe the last guy who did something for the guitar. That was an instrument that you couldn't play much. They used to let you play one or two choruses and that was it. That's all you had. Thanks to Jimi, we got to get in the house and play.
Jason Gross: What did you admire about Hendrix?
James Blood Ulmer: The way he played, not his music. His playing was really good and it captured a lot. Everybody's trying to get that sound that he captured in that music. It captured more people than wanted to be captured. That sound that he was playing enabled guitar players to go out and get jobs. 'I'm Jimi Hendrix!' 'I'm Jimi Hendrix!' 'I'm Jimi Hendrix!' That's what every guitar player was saying. That sound was all you needed to have. It's not his music, it's the SOUND that's what happening.
I got to the sounds as the strongest part of that music. How he played it, sliding it between his legs and setting it on fire, I'm not into all of that! I'm not coming from there. To me, that's forbidden in my day. You weren't allowed to do stuff like that. You can't fuck a guitar! You can't set it on fire! If I did that, I couldn't get out of the way probably- I'd be thinking about the beautiful notes and then I'd catch on fire myself! (laughs)
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