Jimi Hendrix was an amazing guitar player, but he also had much to teach us about how to change our own lives and society. His legacy includes an open embrace of the great potential within our minds to achieve higher levels of consciousness. He was a fearless spiritual adventurer – boldly going where no man had yet gone. His lyrics and life provide valuable insights into the nature of the sixties counterculture. For many of us, Jimi Hendrix was truly the “High Priest of Rock and Roll.” He also was the first multi-ethnic person to become famous. This article includes excerpts from the best articles about Jimi; as well as lots of quotes, pix, and lyrics. So for now, as Jimi would say: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky!!”
Jimi Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. Many would claim him to be the greatest guitarist ever to pick up the instrument. At the very least his creative drive, technical ability and painterly application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll. Hendrix helped usher in the age of psychedelia with his 1967 debut, “Are You Experienced?” and the impact of his brief but meteoric career on popular music continues to be felt.
More than any other musician, Jimi Hendrix realized the fullest range of sound that could be obtained from an amplified instrument. Many musical currents came together in his playing. Free jazz, Delta blues, acid rock, hardcore funk, and the songwriting of Bob Dylan and the Beatles all figured as influences. Yet the songs and sounds generated by Hendrix were original, otherworldly and virtually indescribable. In essence, Hendrix channeled the music of the cosmos, anchoring it to the earthy beat of rock and roll.
In the wake of Hendrix’s death, a flood of posthumous albums – everything from old jams from his days as an R&B journeyman to live recordings from his 1967-1970 prime to previously unreleased or unfinished studio work – hit the market. There have been an estimated 100 of them, including Voodoo Soup (1995), an attempt to reconstruct First Ray of the New Rising Sun – the album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death – from tapes, notes, interviews and song lists.”
Jimi Hendrix was one of rock’s few true originals. He was one of the most innovative and influential rock guitarists of the late ’60s and perhaps the most important electric guitarist after Charlie Christian. Jimi Hendrix’s influence figures prominently in the playing style of rockers ranging from Robin Trower to Living Colour’s Vernon Reid to Stevie Ray Vaughan. A left-hander who took a right-handed Fender Stratocaster and played it upside down, Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before Hendrix had experimented with feedback and distortion, but he turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.
His expressively unconventional, six-string vocabulary has lived on in the work of such guitarists as Adrian Belew, Eddie Van Halen, and Vernon Reid. But while he unleashed noise – and such classic hard-rock riffs as “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Crosstown Traffic” – with uncanny mastery, Hendrix also created such tender ballads as “The Wind Cries Mary,” the oft-covered “Little Wing,” and “Angel,” and haunting blues recordings such as “Red House” and “Voodoo Chile.” Although Hendrix did not consider himself a good singer, his vocals were nearly as wide-ranging, intimate, and evocative as his guitar playing.
Hendrix’s studio craft and his virtuosity with both conventional and unconventional guitar sounds have been widely imitated, and his image as the psychedelic voodoo child conjuring uncontrollable forces is a rock archetype. His songs have inspired several tribute albums, and have been recorded by a jazz group (1989’s Hendrix Project), the Kronos String Quartet, and avant-garde flutist Robert Dick. Hendrix’s musical vision had a profound effect on everyone from Sly Stone to George Clinton – and, through them, Prince – to Miles Davis. His theatrical performing style – full of unmistakably sexual undulations, and such tricks as playing the guitar behind his back (a tradition that went back at least to bluesman T-Bone Walker) and picking it with his teeth – has never quite been equaled. In the decades since Hendrix’s death, pop stars from Michael Jackson to Prince have evoked his look and style.
As a teenager, Hendrix taught himself to play guitar by listening to records by blues guitarists Muddy Waters and B.B. King and rockers such as Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran. He played in high school bands before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1959. Discharged after parachuting injuries in 1961, Hendrix began working under the pseudonym Jimmy James as a pickup guitarist. By 1964, when he moved to New York, he had played behind Sam Cooke, B.B. King, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Ike and Tina Turner, and Wilson Pickett. In New York he played the club circuit with King Curtis, the Isley Brothers, John Paul Hammond, and Curtis Knight.
The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” reached #6 on the U.K. chart early in 1967, followed shortly by “Purple Haze” and its double-platinum debut album, Are You Experienced? (#5, 1967). Hendrix fast became the rage of London’s pop society. Though word of the Hendrix phenomenon spread through the U.S., he was not seen in America (and no records were released) until June 1967, when, at Paul McCartney’s insistence, the Experience appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival. The performance, which Hendrix climaxed by burning his guitar, was filmed for Monterey Pop.
Hendrix’s next albums were major hits (Axis: Bold as Love [#3, 1968], Electric Ladyland [#1, 1968]) and he quickly became a superstar. Stories such as one reporting that the Experience was dropped from the bill of a Monkees tour at the insistence of the Daughters of the American Revolution became part of the Hendrix myth, but he considered himself a musician more than a star. Soon after the start of his second American tour, early in 1968, he renounced the extravagances of his stage act and simply performed his music. A hostile reception led him to conclude that his best music came out in the informal settings of studios and clubs, and he began construction of Electric Lady, his own studio in New York.
Hendrix was eager to experiment with musical ideas, and he jammed with John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, and members of Traffic, among others. Miles Davis admired his inventiveness (and, in fact, planned to record with him), and Bob Dylan – whose “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Drifter’s Escape” Hendrix recorded – later returned the tribute by performing “All Along the Watchtower” in the Hendrix mode.
As 1968 came to a close, disagreements arose between manager Chas Chandler and co-manager Michael Jeffrey; Jeffrey, who opposed Hendrix’s avant-garde leanings, got the upper hand. Hendrix was also under pressure from Black Power advocates to form an all-black group and to play to black audiences. These problems exacerbated already existing tensions within the Experience, and early in 1969 Redding left the group to form Fat Mattress. Hendrix replaced him with an army buddy, Billy Cox. Mitchell stayed on briefly, but by August the Experience was defunct. In summer 1969 the double-platinum Smash Hits (#6) was released.
Hendrix appeared at the Woodstock Festival with a large informal ensemble called the Electric Sky Church, and later that year he put together the all-black Band of Gypsys – with Cox and drummer Buddy Miles (Electric Flag), with whom he had played behind Wilson Pickett. The Band of Gypsys’ debut concert at New York’s Fillmore East on New Year’s Eve 1969 provided the recordings for the group’s only album during its existence, Band of Gypsys (#5, 1970) (a second album of vintage tracks was released in 1986). Hendrix walked offstage in the middle of their Madison Square Garden gig; when he performed again some months later it was with Mitchell and Cox, the group that recorded The Cry of Love (#3, 1971), Hendrix’s last self-authorized album. With them he played at the Isle of Wight Festival, his last concert, in August 1970. A month later he was dead. The cause of death was given in the coroner’s report as inhalation of vomit following barbiturate intoxication
Jimi Hendrix took his first footsteps on British soil on Saturday, September 24th, 1966, arriving at Heathrow at nine in the morning. As he walked off the plane, he carried a small bag that contained a change of clothes, his pink plastic hair curlers and a jar of Valderma cream for the acne that still marred his twenty-three-year-old face. These few items, along with his precious guitar, were all he owned.
Escorting Jimi was Chas Chandler, formerly the bassist for the Animals, who was launching himself as a manager. Chandler had come upon Jimi in a Greenwich Village club and spilled a milkshake on himself, convinced that Jimi was his ticket to riches. Jimi was penniless at the time, having spent the previous three years as a backup musician on the chitlin circuit. Though Jimi had been born in Seattle, and didn’t even begin to play guitar until he was fifteen, by the time Chandler met him he had already toured the nation with countless R&B combos, including Little Richard and the Isley Brothers. In Greenwich Village, fueled by both LSD and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Jimi was attempting to re-create himself as a solo act. He was playing to twenty teenagers when Chandler arrived, yet Jimi still only agreed to follow him to England if he promised to introduce him to Eric Clapton. ….
Also rooming in the house was twenty-year-old Kathy Etchingham, who would soon also be smitten by Jimi. She worked as a part-time DJ and had dated Brian Jones, Keith Moon and a few other rock stars. Money’s wife tried to wake her to tell her about the new sensation in the living room. She said, “Wake up, Kathy. You’ve got to come and see this guy Chas has brought back. He looks like the Wild Man of Borneo.” The tag would later end up as one of Jimi’s nicknames in the tabloids, a consequence of his unkempt physical appearance and his race, both of which were so unusual on London’s music scene that he might as well have been a new anthropological discovery. The name was racist, of course, and the description would never have been used for a white musician. Still, Jimi enjoyed the nickname, as it sounded mysterious and foreign, qualities he hoped to cultivate.
Etchingham was too tired to take a peek at the so-called wild man, but later that evening she went for a drink at a club and discovered Jimi onstage. As he started to play blues tunes, the club went silent and the crowd watched in a sort of shared rapture. “He was just amazing,” Etchingham recalled. “People had never seen anything like it.” Eric Burdon of the Animals was one of the many musicians at the club that night. “It was haunting how good he was,” Burdon said. “You just stopped and watched.”
Walking out of the club, Jimi — unaware that British cars drove on the left side of the street — stepped in front of a taxi. “I managed to grab him and pull him back, and the taxi just brushed him,” Etchingham said. Later, Jimi asked her to come to bed with him. She found him charming and handsome, and consented. They would stay together for the next two years, and Etchingham would be one of Jimi’s longest-term girlfriends. She knew everyone on the scene, and she became his entree into Swinging London and friendships with the Who, the Rolling Stones and many other bands.
Jimi had been in England less than twenty-four hours and he’d already wowed a key segment of London’s music scene, bedded his first English “bird” and narrowly avoided death. He had spent twenty-three years of his life struggling in an America where black musicians were outcasts within rock music. In one single day in London, his entire life had permanently been recast. ….
The sound was a wall of feedback and distortion, which itself was enough to turn every head in the club; the moment also marked the beginning of Jimi’s love affair with Marshall amplifiers. “Everyone’s jaw dropped to the floor,” Auger said. “The difference between him and a lot of the English guitar players like Clapton, Jeff Beck and Alvin Lee was that you could still tell what the influences were in Clapton’s and Beck’s playing. There were a lot of B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King followers around in England. But Jimi wasn’t following anyone — he was playing something new.”
Just a week after Jimi landed in England, Cream were playing a show at the Polytechnic in central London. Chandler bumped into Clapton a few days before and told him he’d like to introduce Jimi sometime. Meeting Clapton, of course, was the one promise Chandler had made to Jimi before they left New York. Clapton mentioned the Polytechnic gig and suggested Chandler bring his protege. In all likelihood, Clapton meant he would be glad simply to meet Jimi, but Jimi nonetheless arrived with his guitar. Chandler, Jimi and their girlfriends stood in the audience during the first half of the show, and Chandler called up to the stage and summoned Clapton over to ask if Jimi might jam. The request was so preposterous that no one in Cream — Clapton, Jack Bruce or Ginger Baker — knew quite what to say: No one had ever asked to jam with them before; most would have been too intimidated by their reputation as the best band in Britain. Bruce finally said, “Sure, he can plug into my bass amp.”
Jimi plugged his guitar into a spare channel and immediately began Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor.” “I’d grown up around Eric, and I knew what a fan he was of Albert King, who had a slow version of that song,” recalled press agent Tony Garland, who was at the show. “When Jimi started his take, though, it was about three times as fast as Albert King’s version, and you could see Eric’s jaw drop — he didn’t know what was going to come next.” Remembering the show later, Clapton said, “I thought, ‘My God, this is like Buddy Guy on acid.’ “
When Bruce told his version of the fabled event, he focused on Clapton’s reaction and alluded to graffiti in London that proclaimed, “Clapton is God.” “It must have been difficult for Eric to handle,” Bruce said, “because [Eric] was ‘God,’ and this unknown person comes along and burns.” Jeff Beck was in the audience that night, and he, too, took warning from Jimi’s performance. “Even if it was crap — and it wasn’t — it got to the press,” Beck later said. Jimi had been in London for eight days and he had already met God, and burned him.
Quotes from Jimi Hendrix
- When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild and freak out and do anything they want to do.
- When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
- When things get too heavy, just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.
- When we go to play, you flip around and flash around and everything, and then they’re not gonna see nothin’ but what their eyes see. Forget about their ears.
- You don’t have to be singing about love all the time in order to give love to the people. You don’t have to keep flashing those words all the time.
- You have to forget about what other people say, when you’re supposed to die, or when you’re supposed to be loving. You have to forget about all these things.
- You have to give people something to dream on.
- See, that’s nothing but blues, that’s all I’m singing about. It’s today’s blues.
- Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.
- The reflection of the world is blues, that’s where that part of the music is at. Then you got this other kind of music that’s tryin’ to come around.
- The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
- The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar.
- To be with the others, you have to have your hair short and wear ties. So we’re trying to make a third world happen, you know what I mean?
- We have time, there’s no big rush.
- You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.
- In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.
- It all has to come from inside, though, I guess.
- It’s funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life.
- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
- Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.
- Music is a safe type of high. It’s more the way it was supposed to be. That’s where highness came, I guess, from anyway. It’s nothing but rhythm and motion.
- Every city in the world always has a gang, a street gang, or the so-called outcasts.
- I don’t have nothing to regret at all in the past, except that I might’ve unintentionally hurt somebody else or something.
- Music is my religion.
- Music makes me high on stage, and that’s the truth. It’s like being almost addicted to music.
- My goal is to be one with the music. I just dedicate my whole life to this art.
- My nature just changes.
- Rock is so much fun. That’s what it’s all about – filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows
- I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.
- I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around.
- I try to use my music to move these people to act.
- I was trying to do too many things at the same time, which is my nature. But I was enjoying it, and I still do enjoy it.
- I wish they’d had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would’ve been straightened out.
- I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.
- If I’m free, it’s because I’m always running.
- If it was up to me, there wouldn’t be no such thing as the establishment.
- Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction.
- All I’m gonna do is just go on and do what I feel.
- All I’m writing is just what I feel, that’s all. I just keep it almost naked. And probably the words are so bland.
Jimi Hendrix is one of those extraordinary hubs of music where everybody lands at some point. Every musician passes through Hendrix International Airport eventually — whether you’re a Black Sabbath fan or an Elmore James fan; whether you like Hanson or the Grateful Dead. He is the common denominator of every style of contemporary music. There were so many sides to his playing. Was he a bluesman? Listen to “Voodoo Chile” and you’ll hear some of the eeriest blues you can find. Was he a rock musician? He used volume as a device. That’s rock. Was he a sensitive singer-songwriter? In “Bold As Love,” he sings, “My yellow in this case is not so mellow/In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me” — that is a man who knows the shape of his heart.
So often, he’s portrayed as a loud, psychedelic rock star lighting his guitar on fire. But when I think of Hendrix, I think of some of the most placid, lovely guitar sounds on songs like “One Rainy Wish,” “Little Wing” and “Drifting.” “Little Wing” is painfully short and painfully beautiful. It’s like your grandfather coming back from the dead and hanging out with you for a minute and a half and then going away. It’s perfect, then it’s gone.
I think the reason musicians love Hendrix’s playing so much is that the language of it was so native to his head and heart. He had a secret relationship with playing the guitar, and though it was incredibly technical and based in theory, it was his theory. And I think that was sacred to him. That’s why you almost never read an interview with him explaining his live-gear setup or his favorite scales. That’s part of what made his playing so compelling — all you heard was the color. The math is what’s been applied ever since.
I discovered Hendrix by way of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I heard Stevie Ray do “Little Wing,” and I started working my way backward to Hendrix. The first Hendrix record I bought was Axis: Bold As Love, because it had “Little Wing” on it. I remember staring at the album cover for hours. Then I remember spending months listening to Electric Ladyland, which was very creepy. There’s something dark about it in certain places that maybe Hendrix was too honest to hide.
Hendrix invented a kind of cool. The cool of a big conch-shell belt. The cool of boots that your jeans are tucked into. If Jimi Hendrix is an influence on somebody, you can immediately tell. Give me a guy who’s got some kind of weird-ass goatee and an applejack hat, and you just go, “He got to you, didn’t he?”
Hendrix has the allure of the tragic figure: We all wish we were genius enough to die before we’re twenty-eight. People want to paint him as this lonely, shy figure who managed to let himself open up on the stage and play straight colors through the crowd. There’s something heroic about it, but there’s nothing human about it. Everybody is so caught up in the otherworldliness of Jimi Hendrix. I prefer to think about his human side. He was a man who had a Social Security number, not an alien. The merchandising companies made the Space God. They put Jimi Hendrix’s face on a tie-dyed T-shirt, and somehow that’s what he became. But when I listen to Hendrix, I just hear a man, and that’s when it’s most beautiful — when you remember that another human being was capable of what he achieved. I will always try to attain that kind of control on the guitar: Hendrix’s playing was sloppy, but it was controlled. Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix. And that’s who a lot of people have become. However far you stop on your climb to be like him, that’s who you are.
I feel sad for people who have to judge Jimi Hendrix on the basis of recordings and film alone, because in the flesh he was so extraordinary. He had a kind of alchemist’s ability; when he was on the stage, he changed. He physically changed. He became incredibly graceful and beautiful. It wasn’t just people taking LSD, though that was going on, there’s no question. But he had a power that almost sobered you up if you were on an acid trip. He was bigger than LSD.
What he played was fucking loud but also incredibly lyrical and expert. He managed to build this bridge between true blues guitar — the kind that Eric Clapton had been battling with for years and years — and modern sounds, the kind of Syd Barrett-meets-Townshend sound, the wall of screaming guitar sound that U2 popularized. He brought the two together brilliantly. And it was supported by a visual magic that obviously you won’t get if you just listen to the music. He did this thing where he would play a chord, and then he would sweep his left hand through the air in a curve, and it would almost take you away from the idea that there was a guitar player here and that the music was actually coming out of the end of his fingers. And then people say, “Well, you were obviously on drugs.” But I wasn’t, and I wasn’t drunk, either. I can just remember being taken over by this, and the images he was producing or evoking were naturally psychedelic in tone because we were surrounded by psychedelic graphics. All of the images that were around us at the time had this kind of echoey, acidy quality to them. The lighting in all the clubs was psychedelic and drippy.
He was dusty — he had cobwebs and dust all over him. He was a very unremarkable-looking guy with an old military jacket on that was pretty dirty. It looked like he’d maybe slept in it a few nights running. When he would walk toward the stage, nobody would really take much notice of him. But when he walked off, I saw him walk up to some of the most covetable women in the world. Hendrix would snap his fingers, and they followed him. Onstage, he was very erotic as well. To a man watching, he was erotic like Mick Jagger is erotic. It wasn’t “You know, I’d like to take that guy in the bathroom and fuck him.” It was a high form of eroticism, almost spiritual in quality. There was a sense of wanting to possess him and wanting to be a part of him, to know how he did what he did because he was so powerfully affecting. Johnny Rotten did it, Kurt Cobain did it. As a man, you wanted to be a part of Johnny Rotten’s gang, you wanted to be a part of Kurt Cobain’s gang.
He was shy and kind and sweet, and he was fucked up and insecure. If you were as lucky as I was, you’d spend a few hours with him after a gig and watch him descend out of this incredibly colorful, energized face. There was also something quite sad about watching him. There was a hedonism about him. Toward the end of his life, he seemed to be having fun, but maybe a little bit too much. It was happening to a lot of people, but it was sad to see it happen to him.
With Jimi, I didn’t have any envy. I never had any sense that I could ever come close. I remember feeling quite sorry for Eric, who thought that he might actually be able to emulate Jimi. I also felt sorry that he should think that he needed to. Because I thought Eric was wonderful anyway. Perhaps I make assumptions here that I shouldn’t, but it’s true. Once — I think it was at a gig Jimi played at the Scotch of St. James [in London] — Eric and I found ourselves holding each other’s hands. You know, what we were watching was so profoundly powerful.
The third or fourth time that I saw him, he was supporting the Who at the Saville Theatre. That was the first time I saw him set his guitar on fire. It didn’t do very much. He poured lighter fluid over the guitar and set fire to it, and then the next day he would be playing with a guitar that was a little bit charred. In fact, I remember teasing him, saying, “That’s not good enough — you need a proper flame-thrower, it needs to be completely destroyed.” We started getting into an argument about destroying your guitar — if you’re going to do it, you have to do it properly. You have to break every little piece of the guitar, and then you have to give it away so it can’t be rebuilt. Only that is proper breaking your guitar. He was looking at me like I was fucking mad. …
He made the electric guitar beautiful. It had always been dangerous, it had always been able to evoke anger. If you go right back to the beginning of it, John Lee Hooker shoving a microphone into his guitar back in the 1940s, it made his guitar sound angry, impetuous, and dangerous. The guitar players who worked through the Fifties and with the early rock artists – James Burton, who worked with Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers, Steve Cropper with Booker T. — these Nashville-influenced players had a steely, flick-knife sound, really kind of spiky compared to the beautiful sound of the six-string acoustic being played in the background. In those great early Elvis songs, you hear Elvis himself playing guitar on songs like “Hound Dog,” and then you hear an electric guitar come in, and it’s not a pleasant sound. Early blues players, too — Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Albert King — they did it to hurt your ears. Jimi made it beautiful and made it OK to make it beautiful.
Selected Song Lyrics Written by Jimi Hendrix
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
If you can just get your mind together
then come across to me
We’ll hold hands an’ then we’ll watch the sun rise
from the bottom of the sea
But first, Are You Experienced?
Ah! Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have
I know, I know you’ll probably scream n’ cry
That your little world won’t let go
But who in your measly little world are trying to prove that
You’re made out of gold and -a can’t be sold …
Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful
Everyday in the week i’m in a different city
If i stay too long people try to pull me down
They talk about me like a dog
Talkin’ about the clothes i wear
But they don’t realise they’re the ones who’s square
And that’s why you can’t hold me down
I don’t want to be down i gotta move
Stone free do what i please
Stone free to ride the breeze
Stone free i can’t stay
I got to got to got to get away
MESSAGE TO LOVE
Well i travel at the speed of a reborn man
I got a lot of love to give from the mirrors of my hand
I sent a message of love. Don’t you run away
Look at your heart baby. Come on along with me today
Well i am what i am thank god
Some people just don’t understand
Find yourselef first and then your tool
Find yourself first don’t you be no fool
Here comes a woman wrapped up in chan
Messin’ with that fool baby your life is pain
If you wanna be free, come on along with me
Don’t mess with the man, he’ll never understand
I said find yourself first and then your talent
Work hard in your mind so you can come alive
You better prove to the man, you’re as strong as him
Cause in the eyes of god, you’re both children to him
Everybody come alive. Everybody live alive
Everybody love alive. Everybody hear my message
Well, I see hands and attesting faces
Reachin’ up but not quite touching the promised land
Well, I taste tears and a whole lot of previous years wasted
Saying ‘lord please give us a helping hand’
Lord, there’s got to be some changes
Gonna be a whole lot of re-arranging
You better hope love is the answer
Yeah, it better come before the summer
Well, everybody can hear the sound of freedom’s beating heart
Sirens flashing with earth and rockets stoning
You better love me like it’s gonna be the last time
And tell the child to bury daddy’s old clothes
Yeah, they’re talking about getting together, yeah
Together for love love love
You better hope love is the answer baby
I think you better hope it comes before the summer
Everybody, we got to live together, oh
Feel those earth blues coming at you baby …
UP FROM THE SKIES
I just want to talk to you
I won’t uh, do you no harm
I just want to know about your diff’rent lives
On this is here people farm
I heard some of you got your families
Living in cages tall and cold
And some just stay there and dust away
Past the age of old.
Is this true ? Please let me talk to you.
I just wanna know about
The rooms behind your minds
Uh do I see a vacuum there
Or am I going blind ?
Or is it just the remains of vibrations
And echoes long ago ?
Things like “Love the world”
And “Let your fancy flow”
Is this true ? Please let me talk to you
Let me talk to you.
I have lived here before – The days of ice
And of course this is why I’m so concerned
And I come back to find the stars misplaced
And the smell of a world that is burned
A smell of a world that is burned.
So where do I purchase my ticket ?
I’d just like to have a ringside seat
I want to know about the new Mother Earth
I want to hear and see everything
The following Fashion Information is Abstracted From Wikipedia
Hendrix was well known for his unique sense of fashion and wardrobe and his Bob Dylan hairstyle. A set of hair curlers was one of the few possessions that traveled with him to England upon his discovery in 1966. When his first advance check arrived, Hendrix immediately took to the streets of London in search of clothing at famous shops like “I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet” and “Granny Takes A Trip”, both of which specialised in vintage fashion, where he purchased at least two army dress uniform jackets, including an old Hussar’s one adorned with tasseled ropes. A group of policeman once ordered him to remove a Royal Veterinary Corps dress jacket, saying it was an offense to the men who had worn it.
Many photographs of Hendrix show him wearing various scarves, rings, medallions, and brooches, and in the early days Hendrix occasionally wore badges (pins or buttons) that professed his support for the hippie movement or his fascination with Bob Dylan. He initially wore a dark suit and plain silk shirts that progressively became “louder” and more psychedelically patterned. He later favored a bright blue velvet suit, then a bright red one, antique military dress jackets, a very broadly striped suit, psychedelically patterned silk jackets, various exotic waistcoats and brightly coloured flared trousers. …
From late 1968 he began tying scarves to one leg and one arm, and in mid-1969 he gave up the hat permanently for bandanas. He started wearing increasingly fantastic custom-made stage costume with long trailing sleeves, culminating in his African-styled “Fire Angel” outfit that he wore throughout most of his final “Cry Of Love” tour, until it began to come apart during the Isle Wight concert. …
His only non-work-related vacation was a two-week trip to Morocco in July 1969 with friends Colette Mimram, Stella Benabou (Douglas), the ex-wife of Alan Douglas (record producer) and Deering Howe. Upon his return Hendrix decorated his Greenwich Village apartment with Moroccan objets d’art and fabrics. Mimram and Benabou created some of Hendrix’s most memorable later attire, the shortened blue kimono-style jacket that he wore in three TV appearances and the white fringed jacket, ornamented with blue glass beads, he wore at the Woodstock Festival.
Hendrix was also sometimes requested to contribute to various civil rights oriented activist groups who wished to use his fame to further their own cause. Hendrix was a supporter of Martin Luther King, and while he spoke several times of his (sometimes qualified) support for the Black Panther Party (from 1968 to 1970), they reportedly caused him some problems.
NOTE Anyone who lives near Seattle, WA needs to visit this awesome exhibit at the Experience Music Project (Thanks to Paul Allen of Microsoft!!)
With more than 8,000 Jimi Hendrix artifacts in its collection, the Experience Music Project could devote acres of gallery space to the Seattle guitar legend who transformed rock ‘n’ roll in the late 1960s. Creating new ways to experience the Hendrix legacy is a labor of love for an institution founded in the 1990s by Seattle billionaire Paul Allen as a Hendrix museum. Its scope was expanded to encompass all genres of popular music — and later science fiction.
“It’s kind of crazy that someone who died at 27 accomplished so much in such a short number of years,” said McMurray, who joined the museum in 1994 and was co-curator (with Jim Fricke) of the last major Hendrix exhibit in 2003. The 2003 exhibit explored a more personal side of the famous Seattle native through photos, diaries, letters and small but telling artifacts. By contrast, “An Evolution of Sound” explores Hendrix’s distinct talents and how they influenced the direction of rock in the turbulent ’60s and beyond — for Hendrix aficionados as well as casual fans.
“My goal is to appeal to the total Hendrix nerds who want to delve deep and geek out on the guitars and stuff like that — but also appeal to people who don’t know anything about guitars or music,” McMurray said during a tour of the exhibit during its completion earlier this week. “It’s not about his guitars, it’s not about his pedals and all the technical stuff. It’s about trying to break everything down into a basic vocabulary of why his sound endures today, what evolutionary factors went into it, and why he’s remembered today.”
“An Evolution of Sound” grew out of an exhibit earlier this year, “Message to Love: Remembering and Reclaiming Jimi Hendrix,” which invited museum visitors to write their thoughts and questions about Hendrix on wall panels, as if scrawling graffiti on blank canvases. Some wrote, “Hendrix is God” and “I (heart) Jimi,” while others wondered how the guitarist developed his unusual sound and influenced other musicians. This feedback was translated into a road map for “An Evolution of Sound,” guiding McMurray and his team to create a revealing exhibit in a relatively compact, 900-square-foot gallery nearly one-fifth the size of the landmark exhibit, “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music.”
“This (exhibit) very consciously tries to slim it down a little bit and make each item a little more precious,” McMurray said. “I think there are only 35 objects in this room. But I think it’s going to make a very compelling story.” On display for the first time at EMP is the original album artwork for “Are You Experienced?” (the 1967 debut album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience). Visitors can listen to a number of early Hendrix singles, among them “Hornet’s Nest,” a bluesy, garage-rock song recorded in 1966 by Curtis Knight and the Squires (featuring Hendrix). There’s also a rare, eight-string Hagstrom bass introduced in 1967. It was one of the few basses Hendrix played.
At the entrance to the gallery is a mock stage that shows Hendrix in the flamboyant green-and-yellow costume he wore at the Isle of Wight Festival, as well as at his last Seattle show in 1970. Hendrix, a sci-fi buff, is shown reading a copy of Philip Jose Farmer’s 1966 book “Night of Light,” which included this passage: “The sky was clear but the stars seemed far away, blobs straining to pierce the purplish haze.” “That’s where the idea of ‘Purple Haze’ came from,” McMurray said.
The remainder of the gallery (which includes artifacts from the Hendrix family and Experience Hendrix) is divided into the five stages of his career — the Seattle Scene (1942-61), the Chitlin’ Circuit (1961-65), The Village (1965-66), the Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966-69) and the World Stage (1969-70). Along one wall, the focus is on the guitars Hendrix played during the various phases, among them the circa-1958 Sears Silvertone electric (lent by the Joseph Gray family) that he played at the beginning of his career and the white Fender Stratocaster he played at Woodstock. “This guitar is so iconic to people because it was one of a number of guitars that he just happened to play at Woodstock,” McMurray said of the white Strat. “It’s definitely one of those guitars that has historical resonance.
But it’s really much less interesting than, say, the black Les Paul he owned. In some cases, the value comes from the idea that someone great used it.” Much more colorful than the standard-issue white Stratocaster are shards of the decorated guitars Hendrix, who died in 1970, destroyed at the Monterey Pop Festival and Savile Theater in 1967 and Royal Albert Hall in 1969. The five stages of Hendrix’s career also are highlighted in a “life map” along the back wall of the gallery. Each period is packed with small artifacts and trivia. “We didn’t want it to be a timeline, and we didn’t want it to feel like a timeline,” McMurray said. “The life map is really kind of the central experience in the exhibit. “We wanted it to show the steps that Jimi took along the way. … Up to the time he became famous, it’s all about the influences he was soaking up. But after he became famous it’s more about the people he was influencing.”
An interactive display allows visitors to listen to four songs — “Dolly Dagger,” “Crosstown Traffic,” “Nightbird Flying” and “Easy Rider” — and understand how Hendrix recorded them. “In ‘Crosstown Traffic’ he uses a comb to make that (distinctive) sound,” McMurray said. Another interactive area allows visitors to sample the sound-effects devices Hendrix used. “Before Hendrix, sound effects were only used to accentuate the sound of a guitar,” McMurray said. “But Jimi was really one of the first people to use them as instruments in themselves. “We show some of those pedals, and then we go through some of the classic songs like ‘Fire’ and ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ and show how he used a combination of (devices) to make his signature sound.”
In a small lounge at the center of the exhibit, a video screen plays four songs from each of eight Hendrix concerts from 1966-70, allowing visitors to compare different versions. McMurray and his team nicknamed the area a “chillax,” or place to chill out and relax. Visitors also can play “Purple Haze” at the On Stage interactive station, or listen to interviews with Hendrix band members in the Sound + Vision area.