It is really sad when I think of the fact that all members of this band, the incredible Experience, have all been dead for a fairly long time now. Gone, but not forgotten. We are all “dust in the wind” as the boys in Kansas like to say. Being a little sentimental here, but sometimes you wish that time would just stop and that we all could live forever. It feels like such a waste that nature makes us all so expendable.
The more reason to remember the days and people that used to be.
Hendrix IS out of this world
Even his ex-Animal manager needs a split personality!
By Keith Altham
“OUT of this world” is a much misapplied phrase, but when it’s applied to that extraordinary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, it’s appropriate. Looking as incredible as anything conceived by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, whose work he endlessly devours, Jimi is composing some numbers of equally unearthly inspiration.
There is one titled “Remember,” about a maniac depressive, described as “raw nerves on record,” another called “Teddy Bears Live For Ever” and a third concerning a visitor from another planet who decides that the human race is an unworthy animal to rule the earth and so destroys it, turning the world over to the chickens!
Hendrix is managed by Chas. Chandler, the ex-Animal, who has developed a kind of split personality to cope with the new image.
One moment will find him the good-natured ex-pop star wearing his Lord Kitchener uniform with gold braid, and the next immaculately attired in black suit and tie as Mr. Chandler, business man — complaining resignedly about having to buy a £2,000 mixing tape-machine instead of the Lincoln Continental his heart desires. Both Chas. and his protégé share a newly acquired apartment off Edgware Road, where, together with newly acquired publicist Chris Williams, I found myself last Friday surveying a room dominated by a psychedelic painting (Bought by Chas. while under the “affluence of inkahol” in New York). It depicted a bleeding eye letting droplets fall on a naked woman.
There was a brass scuttle from which projected a number of empty wine bottles — relics of some bygone happening, a book about vampires, the inevitable blind eye of the TV set, and an award for the Animals’ best group record, “House Of The Rising Sun,” on the mantelpiece, together with a model cannon.
The rest of the Chandler war souvenirs collection is yet to be installed, and the floor was covered with LPs and singles from Solomon Burke to the Beatles.
I was played tracks for the new LP by Jimi, and after one prolonged electrical neurosis, there was a mind-shattering instrumental from the three musicians who comprise the Experience.
As the last decibel faded into infinity, Chris produced an exercise in self-control by observing: “They play so well together, don’t they?
Hendrix, together with drummer Mitch Mitchell, who looks like a young Peter Cook, and bass player Noel Redding, are something new in musical and visual dimensions.
Jimi is a musical perfectionist who does not expect everyone to understand, and believes even those who come only to stand and gawp, may eventually catch on.
On a tour which boasts contradictions in musical terms like Engelbert and Jimi, he has come to terms with himself.
“Most will come to see the Walkers,” said Jimi. “Those who come to hear Engelbert sing `Release Me’ may not dig me, but that’s not tragic.
“We’ll play for ourselves — we’ve done it before, where the audience stands about with their mouths open and you wait ten minutes before they clap.”
Originally “Purple Haze,” his current NME Chart entry, was written about a dream Jimi had that he was able to walk about under the sea. Had the lyric been changed to make it more commercial? And was he as satisfied as with the original version?
“Well . . .” said Jimi, and there was a significant pause, “I’m constantly fighting with myself over this kind of thing — but I’d never release any record I didn’t like.
“You’ve got to gentle people along for a while until they are clued in on the scene.
“I worry about my music — you worry about anything that you’ve built your whole life around.
“It’s good to be able to cut loose occasionally — we were in Holland doing a TV show last week, and the equipment was the best ever.
“They said play as loud as you like, and we were really grooving when this little fairy comes running in and yells, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop! — the ceiling in the studio below is falling down.’ And it was, too — plaster and all,” added Jimi with enthusiasm.
“I’m getting so worried that my hair is falling out in patches,” he sighed, tugging at a tuft in a hedge of hair which looks as if it could withstand a clip from a combine harvester.
Jimi has noted that since he adopted his bush-look that a number of other stars have been following suit — Gary Leeds is the latest bristling addition on the tour.
“I just thought it was a groovy style,” grinned Jimi. “Now everyone is running around with these damn curls. Most of ’em are perms — but there’s nothing wrong with perms – I used to get my hair straightened back on the block.”
There has been a hold-up in Jimi’s first LP because of the switch to the Track label, and tapes have been damaged in the transferring of studios. “We’re calling it `Are You Experienced,'” affirmed Jimi.
I smiled and noted.
“There’s nothing wrong with that!” emphasised Jimi.
Full of new ideas, Jimi came up with another on recording techniques.
“Sometimes when I’m playing I make noises in my throat – almost subconsciously,” said Jimi. “Jazz men like Erroll Garner do it a lot as they improvise. I’m going to get a little radio mike, hang it round my neck and record them – maybe I’ll incorporate some throat sounds on a disc.”
Among Jimi’s favourite singles at present is the flip side of the new Jeff Beck record, a number called “Bolero.”
“Beautiful guitar,” commented Jimi.
We talked of Mitch’s new green suede boots — and how Mitch thinks high heels are coming back.
“Y’know what I’d really like to do in the act?” said Mitch, his eyes alight with the gleam of inspiration. “I’d like to pour paraffin all over my drums while the guy from Premier is sitting in the audience.
“Then, at the end of the act, I’d set fire to ’em, and up they go in flames — just to see his face.”
That was the night Jimi’s guitar accidentally caught fire on stage, and “the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain — very strange!”