Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jimi Hendrix - Bold As Love

Like any sane person I am very big fan of Jimi Hendrix. The greatest tragedy of Hendrix’s music career is of course its length. Jimi only managed to produce three studio albums before his untimely death and the imaginations of fans and other musicians of what was next to come, what could have been, and what if, have haunted us ever since. Hendrix was a unique talent, he was obviously physically talented in how absurdly well he could play guitar, but he was truly special because of who he was and what he represented. He was a black man in a troubled time who only saw colour in his music, he was a rainbow of complex ideas and emotions.

Not everyone knows this but Hendrix struggled to write music with any sort of uplifting message or theme. His naturally disposition was one of darker inclinations, which makes a lot of sense when you re-examine songs like “Third Stone From The Sun,” “Castles Made of Sand,” or “The Wind Cries Mary.” It is easy to make the accusation that Hendrix’s psychedelic lyrics and guitar licks are the inspiration of drug use, and there is certainly some degree of truth to that, but by focusing solely on Hendrix’s drug habits we do the man and ourselves a great disservices, because the truth is far more splendid. The primary reason for the far out lyrics and ideas in Hendrix’s discography is because he was a deep thinker, which is likely also the reason for his brooding thoughts. The introverted journey into one’s self can be a challenging thing to do, for it can be an uncomfortable exploration, there is more than a drug induced trip in Hendrix’s music there is also a philosophy yearning to be explored and understood. Knowing how Hendrix struggled with being positive gives, to me, a new reflection on some of his sweeter songs. An earnest effort had to put forward to create song like “Bold as Love.”

I am particularly fond of “Bold as Love;” it is a poem with a great guitar outro, but it is also something of a tell all of Hendrix and in fact all people. The nature of “Bold As Love” is very simple, Hendrix assigns a color to each and every one of his emotions, gives them a short and sweet description, and then declares them “all bold as love.” By the end Hendrix declares;

“And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from,
Giving my life to a rainbow like you.”

After all Hendrix is all these different colours/emotions and so is the woman he is singing to, hell she is rainbow, but by this standard so is Jimi, so is everyone.

Any jackass can tell you what you already know about Jimi Hendrix and “Bold as Love.” We all know Jimi is one of the very best guitarists ever, all of us also know already know that Jimi was a one kind musician and individual. It is easy to understand the message of how everyone is a composite of all our emotions and how that fact makes us the complex creatures we are. Yeah anyone can tell you that, so I am going to do something different, I am going compare the characters described in “Bold as Love” to the various coloured lanterns represent the emotional spectrum from the mythology of the Green Lantern. That should be cool.

Hendrix Bold of Love Characters:

Geoff John's Green Lantern Colored Spectrum:

It appears the only colors that Jimi Hendrix and DC comic book writers agree on is yellow. Yellow should be the color of fear. The rest is a scrambled mix and match, and while I can completely visualize Hendrix’s characters in my head, I am very fond of the expanded Green Lantern mythos created by Geoff Johns, and I lean towards his selection of emotional color combination a little more. Still it is arguably completely arbitrary which colors we think represent which emotions, so I suspect there is no right answer.

I searched the web, and I was disappointed to discover that no one has taken to creating some artwork depicting the colorful characters of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love,” not even on deviant art. Better yet I think it would be cool to see some kind of cross over artwork, like Jimi Hendrix wielding all the corps rings and sending out a rainbow of cosmic beams from his guitar, something like that. I would create it but I have no artistic talent, maybe someone reading this will agree and make it happen, we can only hope.

Until next month keep on rocking in the free world.

- King of Braves

Got to use some of my old photoshop skills this time, only I had to use paint.  Harder then it should have been.

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