only a little over ten years older than me

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I still think he's a giant. I still can't look at him without thinking he's so much older and more advanced. When I was a junior in high school we listened to all kine great music, but Otis Redding, or Jimi Hendrix were about the most likely musicians waffling the walls where I hung out. The night we all went to see Jimi at the Oakland Coliseum [nowadays going as the Oracle Arena] is going to stand out in my mind till the day I die.

Our seats were clear up in the rafters. Our seats actually vibrated with his guitar. They put purple spots on the smoke haze near the ceiling for Purple Haze, which he was playing with his teeth better than anyone can play it with their fingers. Everyone in the building was in an advanced state of ecstasy. No shit. I was both in my body and about ten feet above it all night.

I hadn't even loved his music that much before going to see him live. I liked it fine, but it didn't particularly send me. Everything changed that night. OMG, it was transcendental. We were the happiest kids on the planet that night, maybe of all time.