My mom was a buyer for Macy’s Department stores and sometimes I would meet her for lunch, they actually had a pretty good restaurant, and she would give me her Macy’s charge and I would go into the record department and pick out a few LP’s. Well, one of those days when I got the the record dept. I saw the first Jimi Hendrix LP and the first Pink Floyd LP. I had only read about them so when I got home and put them on the record player I was completely blown away! This must have been in early June of 1968 because they had become popular following their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. This was also the concert where during the finale “Wild Thing” Hendrix set his guitar on fire! Apparently Pete Townsend and Hendrix were refusing to follow each others band so the lighter fluid was the only answer!
This is a full page add from Cashbox circa 1967.
By now I was eating, breathing, and sleeping Are You Experienced! I was so into this band that I purchased an LP by Curtis Knight who had his own band the Squires. “Get That Feeling” was actually not that bad!
The release in the UK of Axis Bold As Love
only 7 months after the release of Are You Experienced, 8 months later in the US solidified in my mind how great Jimi Hendrix was. I would spend hours learning the songs so I could teach them to my band mates.
An interesting side note, the master tapes to side 1 were left in a taxi by Hendrix, never to be found again, and had to be remixed.
Also released in 1968 was a short lived magazine in the US called Eye. Here is a great picture from that magazine.
Since my sister was entrenched in the New York scene and working hard as a songwriter, she would get all of the British music newspapers and magazines. Here are a few interesting articles from those papers.
August 19, 1967 was the release date for Burning of the Midnight Lamp one of my favorite songs. In this promo video, Hendrix is playing a Flying V and there is no Wah Wah pedal!
In the summer of 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened for the Monkees on their US Tour (they were fans) so I guess to compliment this unlikely pairing in the UK, Hendrix toured with The Turtles! ANd there was no truth to the rumor that Hendrix was kicked off the tour because the “Daughters of the American Revolution” thought him to be “too erotic!”
Even the Brits neede a little “16 Magazine” expose on Jimi and his mates.
On March 2, 1968 I went to a fantastic concert at Hunter College.
Here he is backstage in probably the Deans Office. The opening act was the real revelation for me! I had never heard of The Soft Machine but I went out and purchased their first LP
I can remember doing my homework and listening to side 1 over and over. I really loved this band!
Take a good look at this picture. All on one show! I wished that this kind of a tour would happen in the US. Hendrix, the Move(who were banned from America because they destroyed a Volkswagen on stage), Pink Floyd, Amen Corner, the Eire Apparent (produced by Noel Redding) the Outer Limit, and Keith Emerson and the Nice.
Released in October of 1968, Hendrix’s third album was a bit of a conundrum for me. I liked most of it, but some it, just ambled on. I felt a lot of the “double LP’s coming out had this same dilemma. Another interesting aspect to this LP was its’ cover art. The US version
Banned in the USA, it is relatively tame by todays standards!
The last Experience concert took place on June 29, 1969 at Barry Fey’s Denver Pop Festival, a three-day event held at Denver’s Mile High Stadium that was marked by police firing tear gas into the audience as they played “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. The band escaped from the venue in the back of a rental truck which was partly crushed by fans trying to escape the tear gas. The next day, Noel Redding announced that he had quit the Experience. On April 21st, Redding was replaced by Billy Cox. Mitch Mitchell was unavailable to help fulfill Hendrix’s commitments at this time, which include his first appearance on US TV – on the Dick Cavett show – where he was backed by the studio orchestra, and an appearance on The Tonight Show where he appeared with his new bass player Billy Cox, and session drummer Ed Shaughnessy sitting in for Mitchell. Mitchell returned in time for the Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969, for which—in an effort to expand his sound beyond the power trio format—Hendrix then added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee (another old friend from his R&B days), and percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez. After Woodstock, this expanded band played only two more shows, a street fare in Harlem and a gig at Salvation in Greenwich Village. I used to sneak in to Salvation II on Central Park South when you could “sneak in” without getting carded!
After he won his drug possession charges in Toronto, Hendrix rehearsed with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox for 4 shows at the Filmore East Band of Gypsys would release an LP in 1970, the only official complete live LP released in his lifetime. The second and final Band of Gypsys appearance occurred on January 28, 1970, at a twelve-act show in Madison Square Garden which was a benefit for the massively popular anti-Vietnam War Moratorium Committee, titled the “Winter Festival for Peace”.
On January 26/27, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding flew into New York and signed contracts for the upcoming Jimi Hendrix Experience tour. Redding never even got to rehearse, as Hendrix just continued to work with Billy Cox.
In August 1970, Electric Lady Studios was opened in New York.
Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, the studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in a myriad of colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Hendrix’s creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie Kramer upheld this by refusing to allow any drug use during session work.
Hendrix spent only two and a half months recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. Following a recording/dubbing session on August 26, an opening party was held later that day. He then boarded an Air India flight for London with Billy Cox, joining Mitch Mitchell to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival.
One of the most important days of my life was getting called for my first ever Jingle session in 1974. It was a radio spot for “Uncle Ben’s Rice” and I recorded it at Electric Lady. Just walking dow the stairs gave me chills. It was originally the Generation Club and Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffrey bought it in 1968. I can remember walking up Greenwich Ave after the session thinking to myself that I had now Really made it. Oh, to be young again!
Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London under circumstances which have never been fully explained. He had spent the later part of the previous evening at a party and was picked up by girlfriend Monik Dannemann and driven to her flat at the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. According to the estimated time of death, from autopsy data and statements by friends about the evening of September 17, he would have died within a few hours after midnight, though no precise estimate was made at the original inquest.
When I was writing for Bassics Magazine in May of 1996 my wife and I met and interviewed Noel Redding about the release of his autobiography