Randy Hansen (born December 8, 1954 in Seattle, Washington) is an American guitarist, best known for his "Rock Tribute Act" honoring Jimi Hendrix. Hansen performs such signatures of Hendrix's style as playing a guitar with his teeth or behind his back. He composed 17 minutes of the soundtrack for the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now,(1980 Academy Award Winner for Best Sound). His debut album was released in 1980 on Capitol Records and was recorded at the Automatt Studios in San Francisco, CA. with Scott Rosburg on bass and vocals and Charles Tapp on drums and vocals. That group played two North American tours which included several coliseum shows with Bob Seger, Sammy Hagar, REO Speedwagon, Head East, Triumph, Poco and Blue Öyster Cult.
In 1984, Randy impersonated Jimi Hendrix in the music video for Devo's cover of Are You Experienced. Randy also played in Family Entertainment comedy show with Sam Kinison in 1991. Hansen's high energy guitar work has earned praise from fellow Dutch-American guitarist, Eddie Van Halen (in Guitar Player magazine), among others. He also was a good friend of Stevie Ray Vaughan (writing a song about him called "Texas Twister" from his Old Dogs New Tricks CD). He has toured and played with hundreds of famous musicians and groups.
Hansen's Hendrix act first came to prominence with Randy Hansen's Machine Gun (1977–80), with Larry Epperly on bass guitar and Tim Kelliher on drums (Kelliher later did sessions for rock & roll band 7th Order, whose session personnel also included British guitarist Martin Pugh and veteran American rock guitarist Geoff Thorpe). All three had previously been in a band called Kid Chrysler and the Cruisers. Hansen's Machine Gun performed on bills with Heart, The Kinks, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and others, and were written up by Rolling Stone and Guitar Player.
After his debut album, his emphasis continued to be on original releases of the Jimi Hendrix style of composition, in addition to including large numbers of Hendrix compositions in his live shows. One of the high points of Hansen's career was when he played a short series of concerts with a band that included the original Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer, Mitch Mitchell and also with Buddy Miles from Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys. In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Since 1991 to the present year of 2010 Hansen tours the European market two times a year in the Autumn and Spring in addition to performing in the summertime at outdoor concert festivals. He headlined a July 26, 2008 bill in Mannheim, Germany, with Love Street (Doors tribute) and Buried Alive Band (Janis Joplin tribute) as openers. He continues to play locally in the Pacific Northwest as a solo artist and with former Heart members in Heart By Heart, and also around the United States.
Hansen has three self-released CDs of original music in print, all available online - Old Dogs New Tricks, Good Intentions and Tower of Love . He continues to live in Seattle. As of 2008, Hansen is on the roster of Gen-X Entertainment Intl. Inc., who also represent bands ranging from the Amazing Rhythm Aces to the current incarnation of Jefferson Starship.
Jimi Hendrix Tribute
Hansen has a reputation as one of the best Hendrix tribute acts in the world. He is one of the few players officially recognized by the Hendrix family. He has been successfully honoring Jimi Hendrix for years and has toured and played with Uli Jon Roth, Jack Bruce, and Paul Rodgers.
Today Hansen's audience is worldwide, whether with The Randy Hansen Band or working with other entertainers. Steve Miller, Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, The Firm, Queen), Buddy Miles, Don Wilson (The Ventures), Alan White (Yes, Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon), Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Roger Fisher (Heart), Bob Seger and Hendrix alumni Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, are just a few of the many musicians he's performed with.
On August 19, 2009, Randy Hansen headlined the Irvine Lakes Woodstock tribute concert where he played songs of Jimi Hendrix, including "Voodoo Child", "Castles Made of Sand, "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", "The Wind Cries Mary", and "All Along the Watchtower".