Monday, November 18, 2019

Red, Orange AND Yellow: Axis Bold As Love

purchase the whole Axis album. It's a classic that's worth every penny you spend.
[ Axis Bold As Love ]

Aaah... a confluence of luck and a subliminal message from beyond the grave bring this one to the page.

You see, as an amateur guitar player who hopes that some day he's going to have the time to devote to improving his technique by tracking other folks' methods, I periodically check out various "tutorial/ How to .." for songs I wish I could. More than once I have looked at versions of this one, perhaps filed them away for that future day when I do have the time, or simply enjoyed them for what they are: great examples of covers of the masters.

Some time within the past 10 days, I picked up the above version of Hendrix's Axis Bold As Love. There are a number such tutorials you can find @ YouTube, but this one I played again and again: smooth style, accurate representation of the original - and besides, it's a great song.

So great, IMHO, that I was surprised that I couldn't find any other dedications to it here at SMM (although I seem to have circled the song more than once). Further, it's not just Red, Yellow or Orange. It's all 3 at once.

I revere Hendrix as both a master of the guitar, but also as a lyricist. I percieve a depth in his word choices when, for example, he sings about

Crosstown traffic, so hard to get through to you
and figure he intends not just the modern=day difficulty of navigating city roads to get to his girl-friend, but also the underlying mental issues of dealing with allegorical additional garbage on the road there.

In terms of the lyrics of Axis, it is particularly colorful. And accurate. The psychological influences that colors have on the human psyche are in full play here:

My red is so confident that he flashes
Trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria
Orange is young, full of daring
But very unsteady for the first go around
My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I'm trying to say it's frightened like me
And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from
Giving my life to a rainbow like you

The words, the story ... it is able to take me all over the place: visions of the "life-giving waters" and the "happy turquoise armies lay[ing] opposite" come easily as I listen. And I believe it is a combination of the lyric choices and the melody that supports it. Masterful indeed.

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