Remembering Eddie Hazel

Some people never get the recognition they deserve, and when they die before their time in reduced circumstances then it’s doubly sad.

The late Eddie Hazel was one such individual.

Guitarist for Funkadelic, Parliament and innumerable George Clinton-inspired side projects, Eddie truly was Jimi Hendrix’s heir.

No-one’s come close since Jimi went to whatever freaked-out dimension he ended up in.

Forget people like Ernie Isley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robin Trower – who are all fine players – Eddie had a signature sound with wah cocked open onto the sweet spot and distortion pedal on the ‘melt your muthafuckin’ face off’ setting. Not only that, he had a freewheeling style on the uptempo funk stuff and a searing intensity on his more introspective pieces like the sublime ‘Maggot Brain’, which anyone with the slightest interest in the guitar, good music and/or true soul must hear.

Perhaps apocryphally, Clinton told Hazel during the recording session to “play like your momma just died”.

Here’s a YouTube video of him playing the piece with some great guitar work from fellow player Michael Hampton:

In the end, Eddie died of pneumonia after a long battle with booze and drugs – his capacity for all sorts of bad medicine was legendarily high – and left us mourning another good one gone.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. […] a fair few albums and all good in their own way. The title track is a long guitar instrumental by Eddie Hazel who was Jimi’s true heir. The rest of the album’s great, but you should hear it for […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: