DAY-TO-DAY DIARY: FEBRUARY 1969
researched by Caesar
New York City Jimi is voted 'Performer of the Year'
for 1968 by Rolling Stone (U.S.A.). Unknown author: "For creativity,
electricity and balls above and beyond the call of duty, he has won for
himself the Rolling Stone Performer of the Year Award" (Rolling
Stone #26, 1 February 1969).
New York City Jimi writes a 4-page memo (inscribed in pencil on yellow legal paper) regarding business and personal matters he wants to address:
"No, Steve Gold can not do Albert Hall film on February 18th if it's impossible to get rid of BBC unless legal rights papers and agreements are conformed [sic]. If 24th Albert Hall England goes through conformed [sic] we should as you said either abandon or really rethink the idea of the three individual groups idea for 24th and stress in England phone call that if by all means possible we should have previous day of concert (AH England) for ultimate private rehearsal in preparations for recording....
"Recording: Albert Hall February 18th or 24th? Please try to find out definitely about who will engineer recordings. Very important. As Soon As Possible. Please tell Mercury Records to stop hassling over names and payment agreements as far as Buddy Miles Express album [Electric Church] goes....
"TV specials: should be looked into if not now, soon. We should have details on deals that we may be able to make (if any) and soon on the planning. I would like to see personal accounts on expense (as close as possible) to the present....
"Oh yes, almost forgot: please make clear to Mercury (contracts included or whatever legal means) that in due time the Buddy Miles Express new L.P. will be one of the biggest for Mercury and we are all (the group and myself) working very hard on it and it would seem to be honestly fair for my name alone to appear as producer and receive normal producer's fee. If there are hangups on Ann[e] Tanzy's [sic] side of the fence as far as whose name goes where she may very well be represented on the L.P. as supervisor. I know a name on an L.P. jacket sounds like a small tut, rather an ego thing, but one of my ambitions is to be a good producer and extend. Therefore that's one of the main themes in the idea of the name being there...."
NB Jimi's handwritten memo ended up as lot 266 in the Sotheby's memorabilia auction of 17 December 1990 in New York City, where it changed hands for US $2,750. NOTE: The original plan for The Last Experience was to produce a live JHE TV special, hence Jimi's reference on this in his memo.
London W1, 48 Margaret Street, "Speakeasy"
Noel Redding jams with Keith Moon (drums) of The Who and "everyone
Noel Redding flies from London, ENGLAND, to SPAIN for
a short holiday. Noel Redding: "[Michael] Jeffery is being very friendly
to me...and lets me use his flat" [on Majorca].
New York City, 321 West/44th Street, "The Record
Plant" Jimi jams (recorded) with the Buddy Miles Express.
Up to 12 Wednesday
New York City, "Mercury Sound Studios" During February Jimi attends several recording sessions by the Buddy Miles Express and produces the following songs for their LP Electric Church (released late May/early June 1969): "Miss Lady," "69 Freedom Special," "Destructive Love," and "My Chant."
Jimi: "I also did five [sic? Or one song unreleased?] sides for the Buddy Miles Express album. They are presentable enough, but not as good as I wanted them to be..." (Melody Maker, 8 March 1969).
The song title "69 Freedom Special" was coined by Jimi. Bill Rich (bassist, Buddy Miles Express): "A lot of energy was put into that session. It was so much fun that it was like a dream. I'm just sorry that it was edited down before it was put on the album, because there are a few more great solos recorded on that track. I was out of the service and just starting to get a lot of shit off my brain for the first time in two years... In the studio, I was telling Jimi about my whole service thing, and he said, 'Well, why don't you call this thing the "69 Freedom Special"?' I agreed because some of that shit I'm playing on bass I actually stole from him anyway!" (Jimi Hendrix Sessions: The Complete Studio Recording Sessions, 1963-70 by John McDermott with Billy Cox and Eddie Kramer, pp. 93-94).
NOTE: The unedited version of "69 Freedom Special" has been
released on The Best Of Buddy Miles CD, reviewed in UniVibes
#27, December 1997, p. 3.
Jimi flies from John F. Kennedy International Airport,
New York City, U.S.A, to London Heathrow Airport, Middlesex, ENGLAND.
London W1, Cleveland Street, "Post Office Tower Restaurant" Jimi attends the press launching party for the Mary Hopkin LP Postcard (Apple). Also attending: Eric Barrett, Donovan, Linda Eastman, Kathy Etchingham, and many others.
Richard DiLello (Apple's "house hippie"): "Jimi
Hendrix turned up [after 19:00] as the party was on the last lap for a
drink and some talk with Paul [McCartney] and good-naturedly fenced with
the journalists and photographers grown bored with taking Mary's picture"
(The Longest Cocktail Party by Richard DiLello, pp. 123-124).
Noel Redding flies from SPAIN, to London, ENGLAND.
London W1, Seymour Place, "Seymour Hall" (19:30) Jimi collects his Disc and Music Echo award for 'World Top Musician.' Filmed in black-and-white by/for Movietone News. Also attending: Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Noel Redding, Bruce Welch (Shadows), and many others.
Unknown author: "What's specially nice about Jimi Hendrix being chosen the world's best musician by Disc voters is that he is the first major rock musician to have put the idea of the all-star jam session into concrete form on record. Electric Ladyland...must be one of the main reasons for...winning the title.... Hendrix, the boy from Seattle, Washington, has made it both commercially and, more important, musically. Which, for all those who care about musical honesty, can only be the best news of the year!" (Disc and Music Echo, 15 February 1969).
London SW13, 117 Church Road, Barnes, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings for "Midnight Lightning" [S765]; "Noel's Tune (Jamming, not bad)" [unreleased; original reel source: 2550]; "Noel''s Tune" [unreleased; original reel source: 2551].
Noel Redding: "We were booked into Olympic Studios
and, as I nearly expected, first day there was nothing doing..." (Are
You Experienced? by Noel Redding & Carol Appleby, p. 93).
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings.
Noel Redding: "Went to pub [for three hours] until
20:30. Hendrix appeared late. Couldn't get anything together again. Hugh
[Curry] came down to session."
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings.
Noel Redding: "Mitch was late. Hugh [Curry] came down. Couldn't get
anything together (again)."
Between 14 and 16
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings for "Room Full Of Mirrors" [S931] and "Shame, Shame, Shame" [S934].
George Chkiantz (engineer):"We did those sessions in Studio B, and I thought they were terrible. Hendrix was in a bad mood, but he wanted to do something.
"Studio B was the wrong place for Hendrix to record
anyway, because there wasn't room for his sound to properly expand. It
was incredibly difficult to record him there... He really seemed lost,
and the whole thing was very sad" (Jimi Hendrix Sessions: The Complete
Studio Recording Sessions, 1963-70 by John McDermott with Billy Cox
and Eddie Kramer, p. 94).
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Rehearsals
(recorded). Songs: Spanish Castle Magic [S1547]; Getting My Heart Back
Together Again [S1548]; likely Lover Man [S929]; likely Sunshine Of Your
Love [S933]; and possibly others.
Shortly before 18
London The Last Experience film crew flies in from
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
London W1, Kensington Gore, "Royal Albert Hall" Rehearsals.
"Royal Albert Hall" Photo call with Eric Hayes.
Eric Hayes: "Quite honestly, I must have been in a trance, because I remember very little of what was going on, except that I had no trouble getting into the hall, and my pictures are my diary..." (Letter to Caesar Glebbeek, 4 January 2002).
Royal Albert Hall" Backstage interview with Jimi conducted by Bob "The Raver" Dawbarn for Melody Maker (published on 22 February and 1 March 1969).
Bob Dawbarn: "Before his Albert Hall concert...he [Jimi] told me: 'I just hope the concert turns out all right. We haven't played in a long time and we concentrate on the music now. As long as people come to listen rather than to see us then everything will be all right. It's when they come to see you doing certain things on stage that you can get hung up....
"'I dream about having our own show where we would have all contemporary artists as guest stars. Everybody seems to be busy showing what polished performers they are and that means nothing these days it's how you feel about what you are doing that matters. I just cross off those people who are just doing it for their own egotistic scene instead of trying to show off another side of music.
"'Say, wouldn't it be great to take over the studios like they do in Cuba. We'd call it the Jimi Hendrix Show Or Else! And there would be no smoking in the gas chambers while we were on.'
"Jimi admits that he feels a little restricted by the Trio format. 'It restricts everybody Noel and Mitch, too,' he said. 'Now and then I like to break away and do a bit of classical blues....'
"Jimi laughed when I said I thought I could detect church music influences in some of his things. 'Spiritual music, maybe,' he said. 'But if you say you are playing electric church music people go "gasp, gasp" or "exclaim, exclaim." The word church is too identified with religion and music is my religion. Jesus shouldn't have died so early and then he could have got twice as much across.
"'They killed him and then twisted so many of the best things he said. Human hands started messing it all up and now so much of religion is hogwash. So much of it is negative Thou Shalt Not. Look at sex. It's been screwed around so much I'm surprised babies are still being born. Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to stop people [from] going to church. But as long as I'm not hurting anybody else I don't see why they should tell me how to live and what to do.'"
"Royal Albert Hall" Backstage interview with Jimi and Mitch conducted by Richard Green for New Musical Express (published 22 February 1969 heading: "Hendrix Plans Strip Shows").
Richard Green: "His idea is for an open-air concert where they audience can feel free to do as they please, and this includes taking off their clothes. Before his Albert Hall concert on Tuesday, he explained his idea. 'I wanna do it in the summer, a free thing in Hyde Park,' he began, momentarily forgetting the clamour all around him, 'It's not the idea of people coming and taking all their clothes off, it's just that if they want to, they can... They can feel free...do what they want. Today, there's too much hang-up on clothes. Clothes are okay to express yourself, you can wear bright clothes if you want. But the human body is the most beautiful thing, it shouldn't be kept covered....'
"Resplendent in his usual black hat with a brightly-coloured band and feather, green trousers and waistcoat, white [sic] shirt and red waist band, Jimi spotted Madelene Bell and asked her when she could do a recording session with him. She said 'anytime, just call,' and Jimi grinned and replied: 'We'll get some soul down.'"
"His dressing room, which he was sharing with Mitch and Noel, had now become occupied by a host of people, including Chas Chandler and his lovely Swedish wife [Lottie], the amazing disappearing Mike Jeffery..., Dave Mason, former Speakeasy host Roy Flynn, [promoter] Dick Katz, [record label] Major Minor's tame Ian Paisley, Jimmy Hollihan, among others.
"Mitch told me: 'These concerts are okay, but I'd rather be on a tour, be on the road. Today, it's just round the corner, do a concert and go home. You do a month in the States and feel shot at the end, but the first two weeks are great!'"
London W1, "Royal Albert Hall" Concert (19:30). Support: Soft Machine; Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog. 5,000 people attend (sold out). Songs (taped): Tax Free [L1400]; Fire [L1401]; Getting My Heart Back Together [L1402]; Foxy Lady [L1403]; Red House [L1404]; Sunshine Of Your Love [L1405]; Spanish Castle Magic [L1406]; Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze [L1407]; Voodoo Child (slight return) [L1408]. Taper (audience recording; 90:16): Roy Wilbraham.
Noel Redding: "We played Jeff Beck's Truth in the dressing room to get into the mood. Jimi was relaxed and happy. Instead of his usual non-stop jumping, he played in a variety of poses and we went down well..." (Are You Experienced? by Noel Redding & Carol Appleby, p. 93).
Richard Green: "So to Jimi's act. In his field he is a Segovia or Manitas de Plata except that his guitar is electric. A packed house stood and roared their approval at everything he did, which surprisingly still included 'Purple Haze' and 'Foxy Lady.'
"Most of the time, the titles of his numbers were lost, but that wasn't important. It was enough to watch him and listen. His every expression, facial or musical, was a thing to behold and his voice, while not one of the world's greatest, expressed his feelings as well.
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mitch Miller as the programme described him, was drumming as well as ever and Noel proved that the bassist needn't always be regarded as the third (or fourth) member of a group....
"There weren't that many of the gymnastics we expected from Jimi, but he scored just the same with what seemed a minimum of effort" (New Musical Express, 22 February 1969).
Mitch Mitchell: "The first [RAH show] was appalling. One of those gigs where you wished you could go back the next night and make up for it, but you had to wait a week. I don't know what it was, it just didn't feel good...but funnily enough most people enjoyed it" (The Hendrix Experience by Mitch Mitchell and John Platt, p. 128).
Chas Chandler: "That was a lousy show, among the worst I had ever seen Jimi play. And it wasn't his fault, it was Mitch and Noel's. They were lifeless. Mitchell's timing seemed totally off, he was coming in late so often it seemed like he was out of his brain, and Redding was just trying to show how awkward he could be....
"If I had been in charge, they would have been sacked
the next day. Mitch and Noel wouldn't have done the second show [on 24
February], that would have been the end of it" (Hendrix: Setting
The Record Straight by John McDermott with Eddie Kramer, p. 170).
On or shortly after 18
London W1, 23 Brook Street flat Filming for
The Last Experience: Jimi doing a version of "Hound Dog"
[P920] on acoustic guitar. Attending: Steve Gold plus his wife; Kathy Etchingham,
and one other guy.
London W1, 23 Brook Street flat Kathy Etchingham: "One day they wanted to film Jimi opening the boot of a car and being surprised at finding the cameraman inside. They asked me to get him to do it without letting him know why. I tried but it was impossible. 'Jimi,' I said, playing along as best I could, 'help me get some things out of the boot of a car downstairs, will you?' 'What car?' he wanted to know. 'Just a car.' Jimi smelt a rat. 'What things do you want out of it? Who's car is it? What are you doing with "things" in someone's car?' He wasn't fooled at all.
"Nothing I could say would persuade him to go downstairs,
so after about twenty minutes someone had to let the cameraman out because
he was having a fit of claustrophobia" (Through Gypsy Eyes
by Kathy Etchingham with Andrew Crofts, p. 129).
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Jimi
attends a recording session by Glass Menagerie (Chas Chandler was producing
their first single there). Unconfirmed.
Jimi Hendrix gets voted 'Instrumentalist Of The World'
by Hitweek (Holland). Other poll results: Groups/JH[E] @ #7; Soul
groups: JH[E] @ #11; Avant-Garde groups: JH[E] @ #8; Albums: Electric Ladyland
@ #5; Songwriters: JH @ #8.
London W1, "Royal Albert Hall" Rehearsals (14:00). Attending: Chas Chandler, Caesar Glebbeek, Diego Tremonti, Ben Valkhoff, plus about 75 others. Songs (officially recorded): Hey Joe [L593]; Hound Dog I [L593]; Hound Dog II & III [L594]; Voodoo Child (slight return) [L595]; Getting My Heart Back Together Again [L596].
Caesar Glebbeek: "Shortly after 12:00 hours I telephoned Jane Simmons, who ran "The Official Jimi Hendrix Fan Club Of Great Britain" (May 1967 to May 1969). Calling from my hotel room in London I asked her, 'Any news?' Replied Jane: 'Jimi and the boys are scheduled to start rehearsing from about one o'clock at the Royal Albert Hall.'
"'Wow! You think it would perhaps be possible for us to attend the rehearsals?' Jane: 'I don't think you'll have any trouble getting inside... I won't be able to make it there myself, so I will probably see you at the show later on tonight....'
"I immediately called Valkhoff's hotel room with the splendid news. We quickly grabbed our cameras and rushed to the nearest underground station. When we arrived at the Royal Albert Hall we could hear Jimi & Co. were already on stage. We then walked around the RAH where we found a door wide open. Bingo! Without hesitation (but with much faster heartbeats, I can assure you!) we dashed into the venue. About five minutes later we entered the main hall. Not a soul stopped us or asked what we were doing there! "Apart from the first song that was rehearsed ('Hey Joe'), we watched the entire JHE rehearsals and all the tedious hoopla of the Gold & Goldstein film crew who were there to test things out in preparation for the filming of the evening show."
Noel Redding: "Everything was chaos, though. Chas [Chandler] finally came down to try and help sort it out." "Royal Albert Hall,"
JHE dressing room Interview with Mitch Mitchell conducted by Valerie Mabbs for Record Mirror (published 8 March 1969 heading: "Mitch: Different Line-Ups Are Like Different Women").
London W1, "Royal Albert Hall" Concert (20:00). Support: Van Der Graaf Generator; Fat Mattress (début; fee UK £200). 5,000 people attend (sold out).
Songs (officially recorded; officially filmed in 16mm by Gold & Goldstein): Lover Man [L708]; Stone Free [L179/L709]; Getting My Heart Back Together [L845]; I Don't Live Today [L868]; Red House [L302]; Foxy Lady [L657]; Sunshine Of Your Love [L092]; Bleeding Heart [L094/L183]; Fire [L098]; Little Wing [L096/ L125]; Voodoo Child (slight return) [L097/L122]; Room Full Of Mirrors [L093]; Purple Haze [L099]/ Wild Thing [L100/L1511]; Smashing Of Amps [L095]. NOTE: The JHE were on stage from 20:55 to 22:40 hours.
Mitch Mitchell: "Noel was getting more involved with his own band, Fat Mattress. He had insisted they open for us... I always thought this was strange, him doing that and Jimi resented it. Fat Mattress were just OK, but essentially a pretty lightweight band. Hendrix used to call them Thin Pillow. Incredible as it may seem after all of Noel's hustling for Fat Mattress, they bounced him out a short time later, gratitude, eh?" (The Hendrix Experience by Mitch Mitchell and John Platt, p. 128).
Chris Welch (reviewer) "At the Albert Hall, [fans] were experiencing a legend come to life and they responded with cheers which nearly, but not quite, equalled the ovation given to the Cream's farewell concert in the same hall last November.
"When he broke into 'Purple Haze' feet pounded the hallowed floors, and whistles pierced the Victorian dome. The Hendrix electricity was still working. He even managed to get away with avoiding 'Hey Joe' without any audible protest. The crowd were happy enough to let Jimi choose the material, without bugging him with too many requests.
"Yet those in a position to compare past Hendrix performances might have been critical... Missing was the old showmanship... Not that old gimmicks were wanted. As Miles Davis once said: 'That's where we've been.' But the lengthy performance stretched his improvisational powers to the limit... He made brilliant use of wah-wah pedal, string scraping, and probing, producing amusing and surprising sound effects. But the Experience lacked rehearsal.
"On several occasions they failed to swing or rock, and seemed to be dragging the beat. Drummer Mitch was in subdued form. They may have been handicapped by poor acoustics. Although baffle shields have been hung from the roof, the Hall is always a difficult place to play, especially for loud electric bands....
"Now they have generally cooled off their approach..., the addition of an extra instrument, for example, another guitar or organ, would give them extra scope and strength and allow more freedom" (Melody Maker, 1 March 1969).
Valerie Mabbs (reviewer): "Jimi's opening numbers were harsh and brutal, but [he] mellowed and progressed into some blues slanted tunes during his over sixty minute appearance. There were the usual "chug chug" and driving guitar numbers, and the ever popular 'Foxy Lady' it seems no audience would consider a Hendrix set complete without this number. Audiences go wild, and on this occasion one brave chap danced high up over the stage to show his appreciation and an attendant who removed him was heartily booed!" (Record Mirror, 8 March 1969).
Jane Simmons: "At the end [of the show] he [Jimi] said that he was sorry but he had to go and thanked everyone for coming once again and left the stage. The crowd then went absolutely be[r]serk and shouted for more for about 4-5 minutes. Some people started to leave as it didn't look as though they were coming back, but they did and then they went absolutely... well, there is no word for it! People were dancing in the aisles, Jimi went mad with the atmosphere and they did 'Purple Haze' and 'Wild Thing.' He played with his teeth and then on the floor....
"Then he started charging his amplifier with his [1967 sunburst Fender Stratocaster] guitar like a spanish bull fighter poor old Jerry [sic; it was Eric Barrett and John Downing instead], our roadie, was hanging on to the amps for dear life (he was the bull methinks). Finally when it was smashed he threw it out to the audience and settled a feud between two boys fighting over his plect[r]um in the audience. Mitch threw his drumsticks to the audience too and just about managed to get off the stage before it was beseiged [sic] by fans, police, bouncers, floor managers and practically the entire audience! A great night was had by all!!!" ("The Official Jimi Hendrix Fan Club Of Great Britain" newsletter, April/May 1969).
NOTES: <1> The neck (stamped '13 Oct 67B' and marked "Demo" at the base/heel) of the smashed Stratocaster ended up as lot 103 in the Sotheby's memorabilia auction of 5 August 1987 in London, where it changed hands for UK £1,485 (buyer & current owner: Experience Music Project, Seattle; currently not on public display). <2> Half of the body of the Strat ended up as lot 383 in the Sotheby's memorabilia auction of 14 September 1994 in London, where it changed hands for UK £9,200 (buyer/current owner: unknown). "The vendor [of the Strat body] is captured on [The Last Experience] film diving into the mêlée on stage, as the crowd invaded it during Jimi's climactic guitar-smashing routine, and can be seen rushing past the camera with the fragment concealed under his jacket!" (Lot 383 description in Sotheby's auction catalogue, p. 62).
Kris Needs (reporter): "This was the only time I ever saw Hendrix. Much of the showmanship had been dropped in favor of long, bluesy jams, delivered with bowed concentration. It was the best show I'll ever see. At times it seemed if the roof of the old building would roar off into the starry night. Hendrix's blues were awesome his high keening screams wrenched the heart from its socket. The growling violence of 'Voodoo Child (slight return)' was like being in the electric chair. His feedback created sounds which have never been repeated" (Creem: Guitar Heroes #3, January 1987).
Gary Hill (fan, UniVibes subscriber): "Being a skinny, 15-year old freak (no one called themselves a 'hippy' back then) and often as not mistaken for a girl, I found myself being lifted along with several genuine girls onto the side of the stage as the crush at the front became worse; shortly after this Jimi went into...a new number called 'Room Full Of Mirrors,' and Dave Mason, Chris Wood, plus "Rocky" joined him: an amazing, even definitive, performance, a million times better than the gimmicky version on Rainbow Bridge.
"I also remember the hum of the equipment between songs, Jimi's frequent Cheshire-cat grins...and the finale of [charging] his speakers with great gusto... The next day my ears still rang to such an extant that I failed to respond when my name was called at morning class-registration; my deafness mistaken for insolence, I received a detention" (Hot Press #19, 4 October 1995).
Dave Mason (guitarist, Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog): "We jammed [during "Room Full Of Mirrors"]. It was fun. I made no pretence of keeping up. I just played rhythm" (Unknown source).
Dave Mason: "Jimi and I talked about joining the group. When I left Traffic I was gonna join the group on bass, but that got kind of squashed by Chas Chandler and Michael Jeffery... Pfff, I wouldn't have bought a used car [from Jeffery], I can tell you that! I was gonna join the band and all of a sudden it was just all fucking different..." (Interview conducted by Tony Brown for Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy Chicago, 31 May 1989).
NOTE: Jimi was appointed godfather to Dave Mason's son True from his first marriage to Lorraine. Not a lot of people know that! Lorraine: "True was born on 11 June 1970. Jimi saw True before Dave [did] as he was living with another women... I called Dave and said, 'You have a son.' He said, 'Thanks for calling' and hung up! When True was 13 days old, I took him to see his godfather" (Letter to Caesar Glebbeek, 15 March 2002).
NB For more details on the concert refer to Rudy Kronfuss & Hartmut Sperl Technical Column feature 'Royal Albert Hall 1969 Special' published in UniVibes #9, February 1993, pp. 19-22, and Phil Ceney's Jimi Plays London 24-02-69 feature "'Hey Man, This Pen Doesn't work'" published in UniVibes #24, December 1996, pp.13-15.
Jane Simmons: "The entire show...was filmed, folks! If you send your ticket stub from the concert to Track Records mark the envelope "ticket stub" and also an S.A.E....
"Those of you who were there will have found it difficult to see because of the film crews, cameras and equipment, so to make up for this you will be invited free of charge to the premiere of the film. This is the reason you must send your ticket stub with an s.a.e. so that Track can send you details... I do not have any further details at present for a general release date of the film, but you can be sure that when I have you'll be knowing about it!!" ("The Official Jimi Hendrix Fan Club Of Great Britain" newsletter, April/May 1969).
Caesar Glebbeek: "I duly obliged and mailed my ticket stub plus S.A.E. to Track Records in late February 1969. Never heard a thing. It's now 33+ years later, and I am still awaiting my free invitation to the film premiere! Maybe one day/year Jerry Goldstein or Experience Hendrix will send me one? Then again, perhaps not...."
Caesar Glebbeek: "In 1972 I got hired as researcher for Joe Boyd's A Film About Jimi Hendrix (released by Warner Bros. in June 1973) and set up several deals (including use of the black-and-white BOG "Fillmore East" video shot by Jan Blom and Woody Vasulka). I met Boyd several times in Amsterdam during the production stages of his film project and quizzed him about the Albert Hall footage.
"Boyd told me that they very much wanted to include a few songs from the concert footage, but Steve Gold & Jerry Goldstein refused to give him any footage since they themselves were hoping to release the film in its entirety. Boyd also told me that Warner Bros. had warned Gold & Goldstein that since they refused to cooperate with A Film About Jimi Hendrix, WB in turn would make sure that G & G would never be allowed to go ahead and release their planned The Last Experience film to the general public.
"For a long period not much happened (on the surface, that is) on the RAH film-front, until 30 November 1979 when Steve Gold (at that time Vice President of Far Out Productions) wrote the following letter to Noel Redding:
"A brief rundown on the legal difficulties would be impossible to give. Suffice it to say, we have been involved in continuing litigation since 1970 or 1971 with Warner Bros., Polydor and the Estate of Jimi Hendrix (not Jimi himself[;] there never was an argument), and Mike Jeffries [sic] and his estate.
"At the present time, we have settled our difficulties with Warner Bros., which I believe will extend to Polydor, but I am not sure we have settled the litigation with the Estate of Mike Jeffries [sic]. We have just been able to make arrangements for the synchronization rights to use the music on the film, and we are, at the present time, attempting to deal with Leo Branton, who is the attorney for the Estate of Jimi Hendrix....
"As you can see, I still do not have a firm time-table since I am still eliminating legal difficulties[;] however, I would be more than anxious to get together with you... If we meet here in LA, I could show you where we are and go over everything with you in extreme detail.
"It is, and always has been the intention of Jerry [Goldstein] and myself to work closely with you and, if possible, Mitch, on both the economic and artistic exploitation of this product. It is probably the best recorded and filmed Hendrix ever and, it is my dream to be able to release it upon the tenth anniversary of Jimi's death."
Caesar Glebbeek: "Next, on 3 June 1980 Steve Gold telephoned Noel Redding to inform him that the legal hassles regarding the Royal Albert Hall film were now finally sorted out and that they were gearing up towards releasing The Last Experience movie. During the conversation, Gold told Redding again of his intention to fly him over to California some time in the future to discuss the film project further.
"Several years later, Redding finally flew over to Los Angeles for the private screening of a rough edit of The Last Experience film (this edit should not be confused with the bootleg video of the film complete with sub-standard colours, poor sound, and added "effects" available only through collectors' circles for decades).
"After Redding returned to Ireland, he telephoned me saying: 'The quality is absolutely amazing. The colours are brilliant, the sound is fantastic it's what I'd imagine it was like watching a JHE gig from the front row!' From that moment on things went quiet on the RAH film-front yet again. Clearly, the legal hullabaloo was far from being resolved...."
Noel Redding: "Gold and Goldstein spent endless hundreds of thousands fighting [lawyer Leo] Branton's stance that they had no right to release their Albert Hall film. I prayed justice would prevail, as they were determined to share the profits with all the band members. Eventually they went bust, and [Alan] Douglas was able to buy it [sic he didn't]. I expect it will be released soon" (Are You Experienced? by Noel Redding & Carol Appleby, p. 211).
Caesar Glebbeek: "A few years later, Jerry Goldstein purchased interest in the RAH footage from his (former) partner Steve Gold (who has since passed away).
"In September 2001, Goldstein met with representatives of Experience Hendrix in Seattle. Following this meeting, Goldstein decided that he does not wish to license/sell any of the RAH footage to Experience Hendrix, as he wants to maintain his own personal control. Whatever shape or form this may eventually take, Goldstein fully intends to 'manage the entire project.' It's now 2002, and The Last Experience movie from 1969 is still collecting dust. Will it ever be released? Well, where there's life, there's hope!"
London W1, "Speakeasy" Jimi jams with Jim Capaldi, Alan Price, and Dave Mason. Unknown reporter: "Thousands of fans cheered on Jimi Hendrix at his Albert Hall concert..., but only a few hundred could watch him in his best environment an after hours jam session. As soon as his show was over he drove to London's Speakeasy Club to jam... Attentive "faces" gathered around but there was no wild applause, and some knowledgeable "ears" related they had some difficulty getting together, although Jimi was playing well" (Melody Maker, 1 March 1969).
Jane Simmons: "My thanks to Dutch fan club Sec. Caesar
for his bottles of "Bols" the staff of Track haven't been
right since! Caesar flew [sic I went by ferry instead] from Holland
especially for the Albert Hall show!" ("The Official Jimi Hendrix
Fan Club Of Great Britain" newsletter, April/May 1969).
London Chas Chandler's house. Noel Redding: "There
is a business meeting called...and we are all there, Jimi, Mitch,
Michael, Chas and myself, and we talked for hours. The conclusion written
in my diary is, 'We sacked Jeffery.' We had all decided we'd prefer to
be with Chas if they were splitting up partnership. None of us trusted
Michael, I don't know why we trusted Chas... Jeffery just said, 'Well,
that's okay.' I don't remember that he protested at all. Perhaps the whole
scene had been engineered? Anyway, things didn't change much at all afterwards.
We had been trying to get away from Michael for years now, and somehow
he was always there."
14, or 15, or 16, or 26
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings
for "Go My Own Way (Basic trk. No O.D.)" [unreleased; original
reel source 2590]; "Hound Dog (Just working it out)" [unreleased;
original reel source 2590]; 'untitled outtake' [unreleased; original reel
source: 2591]; "Hound Dog (Basic trk. No O.D.)" [unreleased;
original reel source 2592]; 'untitled outtake' [unreleased; original reel
London W1 Monika Dannemann arrives (by car) from Germany and checks into a hotel near Marble Arch.
London SW13, "Olympic Sound Studios" Recordings for 'untitled outtake' [unreleased; original reel source: 2610]; "12 Bar jam with horns (Good moments, gets frantic at times)" [unreleased; original reel source: 2611]; "Gypsy Blood" [S928].
London W1, "Speakeasy" Monika Dannemann goes to the club. Mitch and Noel arrive after midnight, while Jimi arrives around 2 o'clock in the morning. After eating, Jimi and Monika leave the club around 03:30 and drive to an all-night coffee bar, before Monika drops Jimi off at his flat on 23 Brook Street.
Monika Dannemann: "Jimi wanted to move in with me,
but I felt that things were moving too fast, and he understood. When we
were not together he stayed at the group's [sic] flat in Brook Street..."
(The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix by Monika Dannemann, p. 21).
London Noel Redding: "Met bloke from Les[lie] Perrin office. Did interview. Hendrix was rude to everyone."
London W1, "Speakeasy" Jimi and Monika
Dannemann hang out in the club. Later on they retire to Monika's hotel
room (Jimi stays the night).
London W1, 23 Brook Street flat Interview with Jimi conducted by Bob Dawbarn for Melody Maker (published 8 March 1969).
Bob Dawbarn: "A lifelike rubber rat stared at the TV in Jimi Hendrix's top-floor flat just off London's Bond Street. A stuffed panda sat on the floor wearing a green hat and what seemed to be a teddy-bear in the last stages of malnutrition hung from a nail in the wall. Over the bed a persian rug served as a canopy, giving the effect of a four-poster. A large Roland Kirk-type gong stood near the bed and most available surfaces were covered with guitars, assorted electronic equipment, transistor radios, a cine projector and a vase full of feathers. The general effect was as colourful as Jimi himself.
"As we sipped tea I wondered if he enjoyed the non-musical side of his business the interviews, the public face and the efforts to be nice to people who might be of help, however nauseous they might be.
"'It can be a hang-up,' admitted Jimi using his favourite expression of distaste. 'I like to leave all that to the glamour people as far as possible the Engelberts and Tom Joneses. They are the ones who sing beautifully enough to have their voices in TV commercials.
"'Me, I'm just trying to get music together. I don't like having to dress up and go to social parties much, but you just have to do it....
"'Mitch and Noel were quick in wanting to come home from the States. There is all this violent thing in the States right now, it's really a clash between the new and the old. They make black and white fight against each other so they can take over at each end.
"'If they can get the Black Panthers fighting the hippies who are the young whites then we will all be right back where we started off 20 years ago. This, it seems to me, is what they are trying to do.
"'It bothers me that some black people now can't get into our music right away because they are so hung up about other things. I suppose in the end they will send people like me to the North Dakota Concentration Camps that seems to be what a lot of Americans are working for....
"'All the new things we have just don't match up to old laws and old ways of thinking. This is what it is all about new ideas and old laws....'
"How does Jimi feel about money? 'It's great stuff if you use it wisely,' he laughed. 'Everybody needs it and you can't give all your money away. But when you have enough for your own needs then you can go back on the road and try to do a little preaching.
"'The trouble with money, like drugs, is that most people let it rule them instead of using it as a step to something else. And in this business there are so many artificial people. I can always tell the artificial people from the real music people, the ones who care about the music and what they are doing.
"'The thing is you have to be positive. You have to keep going until you have all the negatives out of your system.
"'It's funny the way most people love the dead. Once
you are dead you are made for life. You have to die before they think you
are worth anything....'"
London Chas Chandler's house. Noel Redding: "Jimi and I go round to Chas' for talks but Mitch never shows up but we talk for six hours anyway."
London W1, "Speakeasy" Jimi jams,
possibly with Kwasi "Rocky" Dzidzournu (congas), and others.
Between 27 February and 12 March
London W1, 23 Brook Street flat Interview with Jimi conducted over two days by Jane de Mendelssohn for It (published in issue #53, 28 March/10 April 1969).
Jane: Everybody's writing about you, talking about you, you won the Rolling Stone magazine Performer of the Year award. I want to know how it affects you as a human being.
Jimi: Well, I'm trying not to let it affect me at all. It's nothing but a brand, it's the way the public identifies me probably with them... I can't have fun like anybody else, I used to be able to go somewhere; down the Wimpy or something like that, you know earlier on, but most of the time I go down there now there's always people asking for autographs, somebody looking at me really strange, you know, whispering and all that. So then, quite naturally you get complexes about that... My head's in a position now where I have to take a rest or else I'll completely crack up pretty soon, in the next few hours or days (laughs).
Jane: Do you get hustled a lot by people wanting bread and banging on your door?
Jimi: Oh constantly, yeah. I try to treat everybody fairly but if I did I wouldn't be able to buy another guitar. So therefore I just don't go around too much... But I stay in bed most of the time, or go to the park or somewhere. That's where I write some of my best songs, in bed, just laying there. I was laying there thinking of some when you came in....
Jane: You've got a reputation for being very moody. I was almost afraid to come.
Jimi: Moody? Oh that's silly... That's what you're supposed to think... The establishment, they project a certain image and if it works, they have it made. They knock down somebody else for instance, you know, like saying I'm moody or so and so is evil or saying blah blah woof woof is a maniac or something, so that everybody gets scared to actually know about me. So that's part of the establishment's games.
Jane: You were quoted in the Sunday Mirror as saying that it was time for a change from the pretty songs the Beatles made, time for something else.
Jimi: Aah. I don't know if I said that. Which paper is that in? Sunday Mirror. Well, most of those papers are all screwed up anyway, they come over here and they do their interviews, we turn the cats on you know, give 'em wine and all that, and they go back and they're so stoned they don't know what they're writing about. No I didn't say nothing like that. I wouldn't, there's no reason to.
Jane: What about violence?
Jimi: I don't dig it too much, no. It's best to have violence on stage and watch it thru TV than do it yourself... That's why you watch wrestling matches and football games, you get it all out of your system, unless you want to do it for real yourself, and then you'd be a violent person. Bad. Bad.
Jane: It was surprisingly easy to get an interview with you. I mean if you want one with Paul McCartney it can take weeks to set it up...
Jimi: Well, maybe 'cos I'm not Paul McCartney. You get a lot of...oh no, I shouldn't say that....
Jane: When you write songs, is it the music you hear before the words?
Jimi: Sometimes, it all depends. A lot of times I write a lot of words all over the place, anywhere, on matchboxes, or on napkins, and then sometimes music comes across to me just when I'm sitting around doing nothing, and then the music makes me think of a few words I might have written, you know, so I go back to those words if I can find them and you know, just get it together. Sometimes it all happens at the same time. All depends on what you might want to say. Different moods you might be in....
Well, honest to God truth, on the first LP I didn't know what I was writing about then. Most of the songs, like Purple Haze and [The] Wind Cries Mary, were about ten pages long but then we're restricted to a certain time limit so I had to break them all down, so once I'd broken the songs down I didn't know whether they were going to be understood or not. Maybe some of the meanings got lost by breaking them down, which I never do any more, it's such a drag.
Jane: Your songs don't tend to be analysed and intellectualised by reviewers like for instance the Beatles songs.
Jimi: Mmm, which is kinda good, because our songs are like a personal diary.
Jane: Do you still take acid?
Jimi: Not necessarily, no. I don't get a chance to get into all that because I'm writing songs and so forth. Anyway I just used it for a certain thing, as a step towards seeing it both ways, if you like....
Jane: Do you feel good on stage?
Jimi: Oh yeah, I love to be on stage, not necessarily on stage but I love to play, that's why we play so loud 'cos it makes us feel good anyway... I know exactly what I'm doing when we're on stage, you know. And if the audience doesn't dig it, well I don't know, there's nothing else we can do. Like you say, music is what it's all about, it's not us three up there facing about 15,000 people, it's the sounds we make that are important... It's all spiritual. Except when the eardrums come in (laughs). Jane: Do you mind getting older? Jimi: Not al all, no.
Jane: Can you think of yourself as being 80?
Jimi: Not too much, no. I don't think I'll be around when I'm 80. There's other things to do besides sitting around waiting for 80 to come along, so I don't think about that too much.
Jane: And death. Does it bother you?
Jimi: No, not at all... Your body's only a physical vehicle to carry you from one place to another without getting into a lot of trouble. So you have this body tossed upon you that you have to carry around and cherish and protect and so forth, but even that body exhausts itself, so you get into a whole lotta other scenes, which are bigger. This is nothing but child's play so-called grown-ups. Children don't play games. Well, they do, but adults play the more serious games that can get people killed for no reason at all. People who fear death it's a complete case of insecurity. That's why the world's screwed up today, because people base things too much on what they see and not what they feel....
NB With thanks to Paul de Bie, Joel J. Brattin, Stephen Mycock, Graham
Oliver, and Noel Redding.
First published in UniVibes #42, August 2002. Copyright 2002 UniVibes. All Rights Reserved.
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