Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic

Jimi Hendrix was probably the most influential musician of the 1960s, and Crosstown Traffic is one of many of his tunes worthy of the title Best Song of the 60s..

I’m flying to Seattle tomorrow for a conference and was unsure what, if anything, I should do in Seattle. It’s not like any of it’s exports have set the world on fire – other than Microsoft, and who wants to go and look at a billionaire’s house? I’m sure that many of you will argue that Nirvana changed the world of modern music, but all they really did was give a boost to the beleaguered industry of poster manufacturers. Other than that it’s down to Frasier or Starbucks. Hmmmm.

But then the (I thought) unfairly maligned BBC show 7 Ages Of Rock brought to my attention that Seattle was also the hometown of true musical icon Jimi Hendrix. Now here was a man who changed the face of modern music. He made black rock, rock blues, funk rock, and guitars burn. The guy made people like Eric Clapton feel like giving up & going home. And he did it with tunes like Crosstown Traffic, a song which packs more soul, innovation & wit into 2.19 minutes than Nirvana managed in 4 albums. It also sounds pretty good in Andy Smith’s Radio 1 Portishead Essential Mix, or at the Legion.

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