Sherif Hawary: Gone Too Soon – Playlist Special 2014

The Cairokee guitarist presents a selection of tracks from artists who never made it past the age of 30. “The issue here isn’t the widely discussed topic of whether their deaths contributed to their fame,” Hawary says. “I think our goal should be much higher. My aim is to celebrate their lives and what they achieved in so little time.”

Sherif Hawary
By Sherif Hawary
Aug 03, 2014

1. “Crossroads” Robert Johnson
Myth has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in return for his undeniable talent. But the truth is, he went out to experience the world and came back a better man. Gotta love that.

2. “Heart-Shaped Box” Nirvana
Kurt Cobain taught me one valuable lesson: A song really doesn’t have to be perfect in order for it to be perfect. This is one of my all-time favorite riffs.

3. “Yes, The River Knows” The Doors
Everything in this song has a very nostalgic/magical/soothing/seductive/deep feeling to it, from Jim Morrison’s lyrics and vocal lines, to the piano work and even the guitar solo. Very powerful, yet calm; that’s my kind of powerful.

4. “Piece of my Heart” Janis Joplin
This is one of those songs that I don’t remember exactly when and how I first heard it, but it’s sort of always been there.

5. “Little Wing” Jimi Hendrix
My all-time favorite Jimi Hendrix song. No matter how I try, I can never perfect it. Apparently that’s true for a lot of guitarists. When [former Chili Pepper] John Frusciante heard someone who had, he was inspired to write “Under The Bridge.”

6. “Paint It Black” The Rolling Stones
Brian Jones’s intoxicating sitar riff makes this song unique to me. And the rhythm somehow reminds me of my Spaghetti Western childhood. Then it explodes into that creamy, chaotic rock & roll beauty that is The Rolling Stones.

7. “On Broadway” The Drifters
I used to listen to the great George Benson’s version of it all the time. But I have to admit, this version – with the late Rudy Lewis – has a certain charm to it.

8. “Day is Done” Nick Drake
Get home after a long day at work, lie down, turn up the speakers and indulge in the quietude of Nick Drake. You won’t regret it, pinky promise. Another story of an artist who sadly didn’t get to see his success in his lifetime.

9. “Time in a Bottle” Jim Croce
Another of those songs that you seem to be born knowing. Great acoustic work. I think I’m going to go learn this song when I’m done with this list…

10. … actually, I’m going to go learn it right now. After all, the song talks about not having enough time to do what you want. Over and out!

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