The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Neil Young on the Jimi Hendrix Experience

It's just a great honor for me to be here, and thank you, Ahmet and everybody on the committee. I got nothing prepared for this. I couldn't possibly be prepared to do this. You know, when you play guitar, you can play, or you can transcend, and you can go as far - there's no boundaries, how far you can go in your own body and how far your mind can expand when you're playing it. Jimi showed me that; I learned that from Jimi. And he was at one with his instrument. Truly, one thing was happening, just - no technique that you could take note of - chords that I could recognize - no hand movements that I could go, "I know what that is." I didn't know what any of it was. I just looked at it, and I heard it, and I wanted to do it. I said to myself, "Maybe someday I can go to that neighborhood and feel what that's like." But you can't make it there by yourself, so lucky for me, I had Crazy Horse, and lucky for Jimi, he had the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Because without Noel and without Mitch, it's hard to say what would have happened, even though Jimi is a legend, and a ground-breaker, and everything everyone says and more, it's hard to say whether he could have done that without these other two guys. Because I know that it doesn't matter whether you can play or not, it doesn't matter whether you're together, or whether everybody hits it at the same time, or what key they're in or anything - it just matters if it's the right chemistry, and they had the right chemistry - and every time they played together Jimi took off, and I only really heard him do that with them, to the point where it took me completely away. So I guess the point that I'm kind of going on about here is, it's not just Jimi, it's the other guys up there with him, Mitch and Noel, and the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and all the people there, and the looks on their faces, the people in the crowd. The whole thing is really what did it. I can't say any more - it just gives me great pleasure to induct the Jimi Hendrix Experience into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.