ADRIAN VANDENBERG Picks JIMI HENDRIX As His 'Rock God': 'The Guy Had It All'

August 27, 2023

Former WHITESNAKE and current VANDENBERG guitarist Adrian Vandenberg was the featured guest on BBC's "The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker" during the "Rock God" segment. Adrian picked Jimi Hendrix and stated about his choice (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The guy had it all. He had the vibe and the looks, the cool and the creativity. And when he showed up on the British music scene, he intimidated the hell out of big players who owned the music scene back then — Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend. Hendrix's playing was absolutely groundbreaking and extremely influential for every new generation up to this day, I think. Every rock player, as far as I know, is directly or indirectly influenced by Jimi's playing. Players like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, those guys wouldn't play like they do if it wasn't for Hendrix's use of fingering techniques. Those were all new effects for those days. And as soon as Hendrix started using them, everybody tried to keep up.

"Originally Hendrix didn't wanna sing; he thought he wasn't good enough at lead vocals."

Adrian continued: "His music is of a timeless class and I still enjoy listening to it today as much as I did in the '70s. And I always regretted that I never had a chance to see Hendrix perform live. I was a little too young — 12 or something — and my parents didn't think it was a good idea to hop on the train all the way to Amsterdam, which in those days was quite a trip from the east part of Holland all the way to the west for a little guy.

"So, yeah, Jimi Hendrix. That's the man."

VANDENBERG released its latest studio album, "Sin", on August 25 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. The LP was recorded in Holland and Los Angeles with producer Bob Marlette (OZZY OSBOURNE, ALICE COOPER, ROB ZOMBIE).

Exploding out of The Netherlands and onto the global scene with 1982's self-titled "Vandenberg", the Dutch phenomenon notched an international hit in the form of "Burning Heart", paving the way for seminal releases such as "Heading For A Storm" (1983) and "Alibi" (1985). The band canvased the United States, Europe, and Japan alongside OZZY OSBOURNE, KISS, RUSH, SCORPIONS, MICHAEL SCHENKER, and many others. Sought out to join WHITESNAKE, Adrian famously ripped the legendary lead on the 1987 recording of the No. 1 smash "Here I Go Again", which adorned the eight-times-platinum "Whitesnake" and ended up touring the world's largest arenas for a year-and-a-half when the 1987 album went through the roof in terms of sales. He co-wrote the entirety of 1989's platinum "Slip Of The Tongue" and spent the ensuing tour sharing axe duties with none other than Steve Vai. In addition to playing guitar on and co-writing "Restless Heart" from DAVID COVERDALE & WHITESNAKE, he performed hundreds of shows as part of the band for some twelve years. Speaking to the breadth of his output, he notably penned and recorded "A Number One" as the theme for his hometown Dutch football team FC Twente. 2013 saw him launch the acclaimed VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS, releasing "MoonKings" (2014),"MK II" (2017) and "Rugged And Unplugged" (2018).

VANDENBERG as a band roared back to life with the comeback LP "2020". Among many highlights, "Freight Train" gathered 1.6 million Spotify streams, while the record attracted praise. Sonic Perspectives enthused, "The end result sounds like the missing link between WHITESNAKE and RAINBOW, and updates the group's sound to the new generation of hard rock fans."

In its wake, VANDENBERG welcomed Mats Levén (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, CANDLEMASS) to the fold. The band is rounded out by drummer Koen Herfst and bassist Randy Van Der Elsen.

Adrian Vandenberg press photo courtesy of Steve Karas / SKH Music

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