Magnificent Blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin died yesterday in New Jersey. He was 80. He had been sick for at least a couple of years:
“He always played the right thing at the right time,” Jimmy Page, one of Sumlin’s many admirers, once said. Sumlin, who played his beloved 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar without a pick, was a key inspiration for Keith Richards (who reportedly helped Sumlin with his medical bills in recent years), Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, among others. Inspired by Sumlin’s piercing lead guitar on Wolf’s “Killing Floor,” Hendrix sat in with fellow guitar icon Eric Clapton in 1967, the only time the two performed together.
Rolling Stone named Hubert the 65th greatest guitarist of all time: