Shorty’s Seattle years

David William Kearney, aka Guitar Shorty, passed away on April 20th at the age of 87. Shorty was a fixture in the Seattle blues scene in the 60s, and influenced Jimi Hendrix in his years here. He moved to Seattle in 1960 and met Jimi through his future wife Marsha, Jimi’s step-sister. Hendrix loved Shorty’s playing, and confessed that in 1961 and 1962 he would go AWOL from his Army base in order to catch Shorty’s area performances, and to pick up licks and ideas. Shorty introduced Jimi to the wah pedal and loaned him one when Hendrix could not afford to buy his own. According to Shorty, “Jimi told me the reason he started setting his guitar on fire was because he couldn’t do the back flips like I did.” Shorty moved to LA in 1971, but he left a deep mark in the Northwest.

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