You're right, Neal. And then for so much of the music today all you need to learn on the guitar is how to make pick-scrape skrittchy-scratch noises on a wound-string in time with an electronic drum-track!
Or strum a couple of minor chords (while you pour your heart out about how some girl or the entire world has done you wrong and you're in so much pain. ).
Actually, I'm lucky that most of my students, even the younger ones, have known who Hendrix is, probably helped by the fact that since they wanted to know how to play guitar (as opposed to learning to use a dual-turntable) they were more inclined to be into guitar-intensive music styles.
I don't have a lot of students, maybe just a few dozen over the years. I have two right now which is kind of unusual, a thirty-something classic-rock electric bass player who wants to learn pre-war ragtime guitar (and work with it on upright bass) and a fourteen year old kid who's main musical interests are fifties rock'n'roll and rockabilly.
(Once many years ago I was eating in a restaurant and I was pretty sure Scotty Moore was eating by himself at the next table. Finally I asked him and he said he was. I told him I really admired his stuff, etc, etc. He opened his briefcase and autographed a picture to me, then reached in his pocket and with a handful of coins were a few guitar-picks which he gave me. They had his name engraved on them.)
When the kid first started taking lessons (he was a half step away from being a dead-beginner, being able only to make a very poor G and C chord and strum horribly out of rhythm!) he mentioned Moore was one of his favorites (along with Eddie Cochran). Now he's able to play a fairly clean reasonable shuffle rhythm in the keys of E or A (and of course chord cleanly through "Hey Joe" ). I gave him a Scotty-pick which he thought was totally great. (I've kept the only one that showed playing wear on it for myself in one of my scrapbooks!)
"Hell, most of them don't even know who Jimi Hendrix was."
But there's still a glimmer of hope, Neal!