When Hendrix Met Clapton | Society Of Rock
Jimi had only been in England for a week, yet there was already talk of this Hendrix took the stage and tore through a version of 'Killing Floor' in double time. Despite their first meeting, Clapton and Hendrix became close friends and. In the autumn of Jimi Hendrix first arrived in London. Eric Clapton was already well-established, and was currently fronting the band. was the collective cry of disbelief when Jimi Hendrix plugged his Fender with Eric Clapton's Cream and proceeded to shred his way through 'Killing Floor' – a.
Very basic, but stretched to the fucking limit. Sometimes, he would play a riff for hours, until he had it just right. Those were the moments he had got it right for himself, not for anyone else.
The Experience would finish a concert up north, drive south, record between 3am and 9am, then return north for two more shows each day. LSD had yet to play a major role — if the Experience were on amphetamines, it was to keep the schedule. He would talk in colours and my job was to give him the electronic palette which would engineer those colours so he could paint the canvas. But nothing can be predictive — it is speed-forward analogue, a non-repetitive wave form, and that is the definition of pure music and therefore the diametric opposite of digital.
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Digital makes the false presumption that you can predict those ripples, but Jimi and I were always looking for the warning signs. The brain knows when it hears repetition that this is no longer music and what you hear when you listen to Hendrix is pure music. Jimi Hendrix only sounds like he does because he was Jimi Hendrix. Etchingham and Keith Altham recall a man with a sense of humour. You always knew you were with someone quicker-witted than yourself.
He wanted the music to speak. He also had this way of saying things that made you do a double take: Many of his childhood friends were over there, some never to return.
And then, well, there were drugs, drugs, drugs. I never took any, because I had to make sure everyone got out of bed in the morning — but they were around, too much around.
Yet Hendrix was available to anyone, perhaps almost too much so. Only Hendrix was almost too shy to appear and, when he did so, he retreated to the steps outside, where he met a young singer-songwriter too shy to enter the fray — Patti Smith.
And he was so full of ideas; the different sounds he was going to create in this studio, wider landscapes, experiments with musicians and new soundscapes. All he had to do was get over back to England, play the festival and get back to work I was compelled — not disgusted, as is the official history — by the determination of French and German anarchists to tear down the fences so that it be a free festival. The strange atmosphere added to the climactic moment, after the Who and others: The set by Jimi Hendrix.
It is written in the lore of Hendrixology that this was a terrible performance. But all I remember, having just turned 16, is a dream coming true: I remember the sound — the sounds, plural — bombarding me from the far side of some emotional, existential, hallucinogenic and sexual checkpoint along the road towards the rest of my life. I remember the deafening and painful silence after he finished his fusillade and in the crowd a mixture of rapture, gratitude, enlightenment and affection.
Afterwards, Hendrix went on a reportedly disastrous tour of Scandinavia and Germany failing to meet one of his two children, by a Swedish girlfriend — the other he had sired in New York and also never metbefore returning to the Cumberland hotel and the room in which he gave his last ever interview, to Keith Altham.
To mark the anniversary, the Cumberland has designed and decorated these rooms in a swirl of colour, stocked it with Hendrix music and called it the Hendrix Suite, in which people can stay. On the tape, Hendrix laughs and jokes; he tells Altham about plans to re-form the Experience and tour England again. Burdon considered him unfit to play.
The following night, he returned and joined his friend on stage. It was the last time Hendrix ever played the guitar. He vomited during the deep ensuing sleep, insufficiently conscious enough to throw up; Danneman panicked, and telephoned Burdon, who urged her to call an ambulance. Sadly, Danneman took her own life in So it was, back in Septemberthat I made my way up Lansdowne Rise and round the corner to the Samarkand hotel after reading the news today, oh boy.
I was amazed to have the pavement outside the address at which Jimi Hendrix had died that morning all to myself for a good couple of hours — not a soul. I went home, got some chalk, and wrote: He was born to a father who was an alcoholic and a mother who died and he died because he was in that flat in Notting Hill with a complete stranger who gave him a load of sleeping pills without telling him how strong they were.
I can look back and see all that more clearly than I did at the time — I was so young, only Plus, he always said he wanted to be buried in London, not Seattle, where he was born and his family lived. And he gets up, all soft-spoken. There were guitar players weeping. They had to mop the floor up. He was piling it on, solo after solo. When he finished, it was silence.
Nobody knew what to do. Everybody was dumbstruck, completely in shock. Jimi was almost too much, to be absolutely honest. He was overwhelming in that small space. You knew something special was going on, you knew the guy was obviously a brilliant guitarist but it was very difficult to take in as a journalist. The thing I noticed was not only his amazing blues but his physical assault on the guitar.
His actions were all of one accord, an explosive package. Me, Eric and Jimmy, we were cursed because we were from Surrey. He hit me like an earthquake when he arrived.
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I had to think long and hard about what I did next. I loved Jimi Hendrix from the beginning. The moment I saw him, I thought he was fantastic. I was an instant convert. It was exciting, sexy, interesting. For almost half a decade, Hendrix had criss-crossed America, honing his talents as a sideman and studio guitarist, ratcheting up credits with Little Richard, The Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke and many others.
Eric Clapton, John Mayall and all those other people over in England made the blues a big thing. White America was listening to Doris Day. Black American music got nowhere near white AM radio. Jimi was too white for black radio.
Here, there were a lot of white guys listening to blues from America and wanting to sound like their heroes. The British contribution to the blues is equal, in my eyes, to what Robert Johnson or Blind Lemon Jefferson did — all of those guys through to Muddy Waters.
Remember too that when Chas invited Jimi to London, Jimi did not ask about money or contracts.
Jimi Hendrix: 'You never told me he was that good' | Music | The Guardian
He asked if Chas would introduce him to Beck and Clapton. This is reputedly the first gig at which Jimi played through Marshall equipment. He had a white Strat and, as I walked in, he had it in his mouth. He had a huge Afro and he had on a sort of buckskin jacket with fringes that were to the floor. Yeah, it was intense and it was really great.
It kind of turned all the guitarists in London upside down. It will peak at No. I was 14 years old. I thought it was a dirge — a soul singer with a doom-laden backing chorus. They realised Hendrix personified everything that every English blues musician aspired to. Hey Joe is the blues version of a one-hundred-year-old cowboy song. At the time, I never really thought of him as being a blues guitarist.
The blues hardly needed a reboot as it was already on its way with the help of Clapton, Peter Green etc.
He was, undeniably, a refreshing change from all that had gone before him, although to some degree his antics were only extensions of early performers like Gatemouth Brown. But a blues guitarist?