The all star performers, fresh off the latest edition of the Experience Hendrix tour, will be performing Jimi Hendrix's classic "Fire" tonight (December 6th) on NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Among the players will be Aerosmith's rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, bassist Billy Cox of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys, guitarist Jonny Lang, and drummer Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble. The band is hitting the airwaves in promotion of the newly released five disc career-spanning Hendrix collection, West Coast Seattle Boy.
Brad Whitford recalled the first time he laid eyes on Hendrix on stage: "I got to see Hendrix play in '68 in Boston Garden and it was like, 'Wow.' I bought a Fender guitar the very next day. Since the first time I heard him, and right up until today, (Hendrix) has been an important influence on me -- on all of us."
We caught up with Whitford on the road and asked him to explain how much Hendrix's playing inspired him as both a musician and a fan: "For myself, and I could probably speak for everybody out here; it's just a huge, huge, huge influence, and a major impact on so many things that I chose to do -- ways I chose to play, even the guitars I chose to (laughs) buy, or, y'know amplifiers you use. . . Y'know, just enormous. And also, still an enormous treat for me really. Just, I mean, every time I hear that music, it's still very, very special. Yeah, I would say 'major impact.'"