You'd be unlikely to hear any resistance to the claim that the single biggest icon in the world of guitar is Jimi Hendrix or in the world of martial arts, Bruce Lee. After all, magazines of both genres still regularly feature cover stories with each that predictably have higher sales although both men left the planet over four decades ago . Aside from the fact that they were absolutely committed to mastering and redefining their crafts it isn't often noticed the many connections between them.
Let's start at the beginning; Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix were both born on November 27th (Lee in 1940 China Town, San Francisco CA, Hendrix 1942 Seattle, WA) . Write your congressman to help make this a national holiday!
While Bruce Lee was teaching his Jun Fan Gung Fu and later Jeet Kune Do
(based on his background in Wing Chun Kung Fu) Jimi was bringing Little Wing to the world.
Jimi gives a subtle hint that the Voodoo Child may also be a Kung Fu man; "I stand up next to a mountain, chop it down with the edge of my hand." Sounds like Jimi's done some Iron Palm training.
In Bruce's masterpiece "Enter the Dragon" a Jimi Hendrix poster can be seen on the wall of Williams' (Jim Kelly) quarters when the evil Mr. Han's activities director brings concubines for Williams' approval and enjoyment.
Both died too young (Jimi at 27 in 1970, Bruce at 32 in 1973) and left immense legacies in and beyond their chosen spheres by transcending all that had come before them.
Both are laid to rest in Washington state, Bruce at Lakeview cemetery in Seattle, Jimi at Greenwood Cemetery in Renton.
Bruce Lee gave some excellent advice to musicians; "Don't think, FEEL!"
~James H., GuitarHD