The Trick Is To Keep Going

Tag: Electric Ladyland

Concerts Vol. 13: Jimi Hendrix

by on Feb.21, 2011, under Music

By the fall of 1968, I had seen Cream four times, another of my favorite artists The Paul Butterfield Band five times, The Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield, Traffic, The Stones, The Beach Boys, among a host of other artists, but I had yet to see Jimi Hendrix.

Jim Hendrix at Woolsey Hall, Yale, Nov. 1968. Photo by Joe Sela. Courtesy of Wolfgang's Vault.

Jim Hendrix at Woolsey Hall, Yale, Nov. 1968. Photo by Joe Sela. Courtesy of Wolfgang’s Vault.

Two members of the Bram Rigg Set, Peter Neri and Rich Bednarzyk along with the group’s road manager Mike Geremia had met Hendrix on the street in Greenwich Village in the summer of ’67. The three had ventured into the city after the first night of a weekend engagement in Brewster, N.Y. The group’s drummer, Beau Segal, and I had driven back home after the gig and our lead singer Bobby Schlosser had also opted for his long trek back to Rhode Island.

The boys had run into Hendrix at about 3 a.m. on Bleecker Street I believe opposite the Cafe Au Go Go and he was affable, friendly and wished them well.

Beau got to see The Jimi Hendrix Experience by accident that same year in the fall. He traveled into the city to the Cafe Au Go Go to see a show billed as Eric Burdon and The New Animals and found when he arrived that The Experience had replaced them on the bill. Nice surprise. And, of course, Beau raved about them.

Hendrix was still a bit of an unknown quantity at the time here in the States as opposed to the United Kingdom, where he was a sensation with a string of single releases and his first album.

Notwithstanding the bizarre ads in Billboard during the summer that showed the three Afro-adorned musicians on the inside cover of the industry magazine and the buzz in musicians’ circles, the album Are You Experienced? had just been released and there was no single from it running up the charts. It was probably getting the majority of its play on the new FM radio stations, particularly the college stations, which were just starting to play what became known as Album Rock programming.

When I had played the first track of the album for guys in my dorm at Boston University in Sept. 1967, before I transferred to Berklee School of Music, some of them thought there was something wrong with their record players. True. Those same guys would come to love Hendrix in a few months. (continue reading…)

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Jimi’s legacy lives on

by on Mar.18, 2010, under Music

Experience Hendrix, the group headed by Janie Hendrix, the adopted daughter of Jimi Hendrix’s father Al, oversees Hendrix’s body of work and recently struck a new agreement with Sony after years of working with MCA.

Jimi Hendrix Valleys Of NeptuneThe first joint venture from the two entities is Valleys Of Neptune, 12 previously unreleased tracks by Hendrix, most recorded in the spring of 1969 with The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s original members, Mitch Mitchell, drums, and Noel Redding, bass. Bassist Billy Cox is also featured on several tracks to good effect, wiping out one of Redding’s efforts, and various percussionists are employed.

But essentially this is the main group starting to work on its followup to the artistically and commercially successful double LP Electric Ladyland from 1968. It would be short-lived. The Experience broke up in June, which basically means Redding announced he was splitting. Although Hendrix had obviously greased the skids by finding and working with Cox almost exclusively after April. Mitchell continued to play with Hendrix until his death in 1970 and Cox, Mitchell and Hendrix played as The Experience in 1970.

Experience Hendrix, and for that matter also Alan Douglas who previously handled the Hendrix catalogue, has been roundly criticized for exploiting the Hendrix goldmine and doing anything but a bang-up job of remixing and remastering the material to the level that it deserves. However, some of those criticisms are overblown and most of the previously unissued material and/or reorganized tracks such as one can find on First Rays Of The New Rising Son and South Saturn Delta, are in the end worthy projects, albeit not without flaws, that have enhanced the Hendrix legacy.

It seems rather remarkable that the amount of material available is still not exhausted. Some would say let it rest, the quality is not up to Hendrix’s lofty standards. But Jimi virtually lived in the studio, his only oasis from the storm of his public/business life, and what he left is not only an indication of where he was going but also in fact where he had arrived and it was miles ahead of many of his comptemporaries. Jimi Hendrix was a true original and most of what continues to be released only reinforces that. (continue reading…)

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