I really liked the storytelling in this one. Praise to Mr. Altham who did a very good job on this one. Join him on an adventure with Hendrix and the boys in Majorca!
Jimi brings manager`s new club roof down!
Getting around Majorca with NME`s Keith Altham
JIMI HENDRIX literally brought the roof down on the opening night at his manager’s club, Sergeant Peppers in Majorca by the simple expedient of ramming the neck of his guitar up through the low ceiling tiles. Amid thunderous applause, the Experience exited in a shower of plaster and debris after a series of brilliantly electronic histrionics!
Even manager Chas Chandler, somewhat ruefully surveying the ventilated ceiling in his brand new club, observed:
“No matter how many times I see them – they always knock me out!”
The group were introduced by flowerpotman Neil Landon (travelling with our party in the company of Noel Redding, with whom he is involved in a songwriting partnership). He requested that all those on the dance floor sit down, reiterating with Hitlerain emphasis: “You vill sit down or you vill be shot! “Immediately there was much sitting down, specially among the German contingent, before Neil announced: “For what you are about to receive may the Lord make you truly thankful! ”
On stage walked drummer Mitch Mitchell (known now to a select few as “the Julie Andrews of the group,”) bass guitarist Noel Redding and the man with the guitar that whips the flesh as well as the soul.
The Experience rolls along the motorways of the mind and the airways of the imgination. For the first two numbers their own amplification fought a “watta-thon” with the club’s PA system before Chas finally gave the group’s system best and let them loose on their own gear.
Each of the group has something to say through “Hey Joe,” “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp,” “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary,” but Hendrix is the supreme conversationalist on the guitar.
Mitch attacks a hundred drums with a dozen hands and feet, while Noel pounds his bass through the electric storm on his right, raised by the Odin of the guitar. In between the squaling static, the flailing and the wailing and the erotic gestures, the Black Prince mutters over the amplifiers and finally arrives at the song he calls “our national anthem” “Wild Thing” which wraps everything and everyone up.”
We have just been the victims of one of those all too rare appearances of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who now average about $30,000 a concert in the U.S.
“What really knocked me out is that the boys offered to do this one for me free,” said Chas. “I’m going to give them the gate money anyway, but they asked me if they could open the club themselves.”
Peppers is a revolutionary new club for the “Now” generation in Majorca. Neatly situated off the Plaza Gomilla (lovingly renamed “the Plastic Gorrilla by Noel) where most people meet in Terino in the evening.
It has an air-conditioning plant second to none, which provides a welcome relief from the still-hot Spanish nights, and a good beat group, “the Z-66,” with a vocalist who works himself into a grease-spot every night.
There is a first-class light show, getting better every night, as the all-American Bob gets more machinery.
Chas spends much of his time charging about like an enraged water buffalo, correcting minor defects in staff and controls. He worries about the club and the club worries about Chas. It is worriers like Chas who will make Sgt Peppers into the little goldmine it undoubtedly is to be.
I arrived in Palma on Sunday with Noel (Jimi and Mitch did their famous plane-missing trick) and that evening we watched one of the most exciting bullfights I have ever seen, with the famous El Cordobes in brilliant form, being awarded both ears of the bull (the highest honour) by El Presidente.
That evening we ate in a Terino restaurant which was formerly a boutique owned by Chas. There Noel treated us to an impersonation of the yet-to-arrive Mitch.
Bouncing up the restaurant stairs and creating the maximum amount of noise he darted about, on his toes, breezing:
“Oh, sorry I’m late. What’s going on? Can I have some of that? I forgot my money. Can you pay for it? Collapse of some few who know the ways of Mitch!
Monday saw the arrival of the other members of the group and walking down the street in glorious multi-colour they made an entrance into the Plaza Gomilla akin to the impact of the bad-men riding into town in a Western epic. You could hear the hub-bub of comment around the packed square before you saw the big three.
Noel came over to our table to say hello to footballer George Best, with whom he became quite friendly, and Jimi stopped by to exchange insults with me, our way of passing the time! His favourite dart on this holiday was to refer to me as “the little ol’ electric lobster,” due to my over-enthusiastic crash course on a sun tan.
Briefly Jimi and I discussed his lack of personal appearances in Britain.
“We’re not deserting Britain or anything like that,” said Jimi. “We are hoping to do some big city concerts in October. We’d like to have someone like the Small Faces with us, but there’s probably problems over who would top or something silly: There’s an American group called the Spirit right now that I would like to have with us.”
Mitch made one clar point about why they must play America again soon.
“Because that’s where we are treated best,” he explained. “Look, our most recent album has cost us $70,000 to produce. We’ve got to get that money back before we can start showing a profit, and America is where you earn the big money. There is still that feeling in Britain when we play some places that they want to make money out of us and that’s all. They treat us like dirt — give us a thousand pounds and think they are doing us a favour!”
Meanwhile Chas is having kittens about the volume of sound coming from the club from Jimi’s rehearsal and keeps talking about “impending doom.” He need not have worried. The Guardia Civil were very civil about the whole thing.
George Best appeared mesmerised by the Experiences performance on stage and the whole evening was an enormous success.
Tuesday saw a brief appearance of Hendrix and Co. on our beach at Lauro Verde. There, Jimi ventured into the sea for the first time in eight years. The spectacle of Mitch and Noel (they came up whiter than white!) was too much for most of the amateur home-movie exponents on the beach, who pointed whirring machines at them. Noel and Mitch obligingly gibbered about like sub-humans and danced up and down waving their arms. Jimi came out of the sea swearing his lungs had collapsed!
“You wouldn’t believe it but we’ve got Jimi insured for a million dollars,” said Chas. “And the doctor said he was the fittest man he had ever seen.” Chas broke off to address the frail figure of Redding in his bathing trunks. “We’ve got to get you insured too,” he said, “but I’m frightened to let you take the medical!
“The highlight of Wednesday’s activities was a visit to the go-kart track — the first time for Hendrix and Noel. Mitch duly informed me he was buying a formula one with gears to race it seriously! Jimi really took to the racing and was doing quite well, though he kept being driven off the track by an innocent young girl, ending up ignominiously among a heap of rubber tyres.
“I kept trying to play it fair and not bump any of the other cars off the track,” he told me later. He was still there an hour after Mitch, Noel and I left.
The pay-off to this experience was next day when I met Jimi with a lump out of his back and a badly grazed thigh. Apparently he was under the impression that he was back in the Paratroopers and had tried an ejector-seat release from his go-kart, but the chute had not opened! We were all sorry we missed that one.
That night Jimi made an impromptu return to the club with Mitch and Noel and they let loose a never – to – be – forgetten rock – and – roll session, including numbers like “Lucille” and “Johnny B. Good.” Jimi broke a string on his guitar but played better on five than most do on six.
His final remark about the visit to Majorca was to Chas: “I wish I had listened to you two years ago about this place!” It was a highly enjoyable working holiday and Majorca is likely to being seeing more of Hendrix at Sergeant Peppers.