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Mike Randle


“Day 8: part 2, Favorite Guitarists, Physics, and that guy who keeps yelling 7 & 7 IS after we’ve already played it.”
July 30 2002

After shows, people have flattered me with complimentary words about my guitar playing. Thanks, but there are probably quite a few people in the audience who are (or at least think) better. But one interesting question that comes up; who’s my favorite guitarist and who do I think is the best of all time, as far as rock music is concerned? Well, that’s a tough one. I like alot of people’s styles. I really like Larry Carlton or Gary Moore. I (obviously) dig Johnny Echols and Jay Donnelay; those guys are totally original, as far as I’m concerned. I’m a big Jeff Beck fan, as well as a Big AL Anderson (NRBQ) fan. But, as far as the best, I’d say it’s between Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix. But see, even that argument is generationally subjective (does that make sense, what I said?). Most people who pick Hendrix remember how amazing it was that someone came out of nowhere and reinvented the electric guitar.

photo from Mike’s camera

But if Jimi were here today, I think he’d ask Eddie for lessons because I think Eddie IS THAT GOOD. But they’re both important so, why choose? I even think of them like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Sir “I” hypothesized the 3 laws of motion, which was standard in science and math for almost 300 years. But, his laws of motion couldn’t explain Mercury’s orbit around the sun, which differed from all the other planets. But he’d done so much and was simply a genius people figured, “Let’s leave well enough alone.” Well, that question drove Einstein to SOLVE it, which he did with his General Theory of Relativity (in 1905). This corrected Newton’s mistake and introduced Quantum mechanics at the same tim, because his theory predicted it, but Einstein never really took the credit he deserved for it, insisting that,”God doesn’t roll dice.” Of course, I think that’s PRECISELY what God does.

Well, like Sir “I” and Einstein, Hendrix invented a way to use the instrument that was completely revolutionized the instrument and rock music as a whole. But Hendrix died too early and we can only speculate what could have been. Although others suspect that Jimi was burned out and in a rut and turned to more and more drugs because he was insecure. Who knows. But where Jimi left off, Eddie took over and proceeded to take the guitar in places Jimi couldn’t dream of. Of course, Eddies guitar life went as far as it could…but they both deserve credit but, just like Einstein gave us the abilty for nuclear power, cellphones, rockets and stuff that was unheard of in the 19th century, no one was able to do too much with Newton’s theories, as they were missing the most important peices. I think Jimi never really got to that point…and Eddie did.

Also, would the guy who keeps yelling out “7 & 7 IS” give it a break? I mean, yer doing it after we already played it. And fans are getting tired of saying it. Other than that, have agood time, like the guy in Eugene, Oregon, who danced the whole time we played. Ok, I have to get back to the Montana scenery. It’s taking like forever to get out of this state! It’s like driving thru texas without the BAR-B-Q and handguns.

Mike Randle


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