Not Average Joe: Six Rock and Roll Joes on the Day "Hey Joe" Turns 45

Categories: Lists, Whatever

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Despite the fact that he never really had a major "hit" (Electric Ladyland reached number one as an album but he never had a single go higher than 20 in the US) and was terribly under appreciated while he was still alive, Jimi Hendrix is one of the giants of rock and roll. His songs and his guitar playing have influenced countless musicians and stand today as some of the most innovative and interesting music of the genre.

"Hey Joe," like another of Hendrix' "hits" "All Along the Watchtower," was a cover, though no one is entirely certain who wrote it. For Hendrix, it was his very first single and reached number six on the singles chart in the U.K., but failed to even make the charts in the states. Today, his version, by far the most well known, is a classic rock staple that has been covered by dozens of artists from Frank Zappa to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In honor of the forty-fifth anniversary of its release, we offer a handful of rock and rollers who have no doubt had friends quote the song far too often when calling their names.

Joe Lynn Turner

The one-time Rainbow front man had one of the prettiest and bluesiest voices in hard rock... and the hair to match.


Joe Jackson

Jackson was an underrated singer and songwriter in the post punk era of the early '80s. His single "Steppin' Out" was a radio and video hit, but his voice was lost in the forest of groove pop of the era that included Squeeze, Elvis Costello and Split Endz.


Joe Cocker

Cocker may be best known for the epileptic performance of the Beatles "With A Little Help from My Friends" in the documentary film about Woodstock and John Belushi's classic imitation on Saturday Night Live, but the bluesy rocker always had pipes and soul.


Joe Perry

Perry -- the cooler half of the "toxic twins" along with Steven Tyler -- has given us some of the best guitar riffs in rock history while playing with Aerosmith. He reminds us a little of a hard rock Keith Richards.


Joe Walsh

The smirky smart ass guitarist for the Eagles not only cranked out the hits with Don Henley and the rest, he had a couple of his own including "Life's Been Good to Me So Far" and "Funk #49."


Joe Strummer

What list of this kind would be complete without Clash frontman Joe Strummer? No list, that's what.



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