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Jimi Hendrix

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Stellaraxe
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« on: September 17, 2007, 02:05:37 am »

In memory of Jimi Hendrix -



Background information
Birth name James Marshall Hendrix
Born November 27, 1942(1942-11-27)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died September 18, 1970 (aged 27)
London, England
Genre(s) Hard rock
Blues-rock
Acid rock
Psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Vocalist, guitarist, songwriter
Years active 1966 1970
Label(s) MCA, Reprise, Track, Polydor, Capitol
Associated
acts The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
Band of Gypsys
Website JimiHendrix.com
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Stellaraxe
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 02:08:12 am »


Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Hendrix is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. After initial success in England, he achieved worldwide fame following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival before his death in 1970, at the age of 27.

A self-taught guitarist, Hendrix usually played a Fender Stratocaster guitar turned upside down (so that the right-handed guitar could be played left-handed) and restrung to suit him. Hendrix helped pioneer the technique of guitar feedback with overdriven amplifiers, incorporating into his music what was previously an undesirable sound. He built upon the innovations and influences of blues stylists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, and T-Bone Walker, and derived style from rhythm and blues and soul guitarists Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, and Cornell Dupree, as well as from traditional jazz. Part of Hendrix's flamboyant stage persona may have been inspired by rock pioneer Little Richard, with whom he toured as part of Richard's back-up band, "The Upsetters". Hendrix is also widely thought to be influenced by Pete Townshend of The Who, a band performing in London when Hendrix started his career there. Carlos Santana has also suggested that Hendrix's music might have been influenced by his Native American heritage.

Hendrix strove to combine what he called "earth", a blues, jazz, or funk driven rhythm accompaniment, with "space", the high-pitched psychedelic sounds created by his guitar improvisations. As a record producer, Hendrix also broke new ground in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas; he was one of the first to experiment with stereophonic and phasing effects during recording.

Hendrix was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6627 Hollywood Blvd.) was dedicated in 1994. In 2006, his debut album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Preservation Board's National Recording Registry. Rolling Stone named Hendrix number 1 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 02:10:10 am »



Johnny Allen Hendrix (later re-named James Marshall Hendrix) was born on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, U.S.. Hendrix's parents divorced when he was nine years old, and in 1958 his mother died. He went to live with his Cherokee grandmother because of his unstable household. At age 15, he received his first guitar, an electric to replace the broom stick he would strum like one. Learning quickly, he played in many local bands, playing as far away as Vancouver. Hendrix did not graduate from high school. Hendrix later claimed that he was expelled for holding hands with his white girlfriend, but when questioned later, his principal insisted that it was due to poor grades and frequent absences.

Hendrix got into trouble with the law twice for riding in a stolen car. He was given a choice between spending two years in prison or joining the army. Hendrix chose the latter and enlisted on May 31, 1961. After completing boot camp, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. His commanding officers considered him to be a sub-par soldier: he slept while on duty, had little regard for regulations and showed no skill as a marksman. He was given an early release from military service in Fort Campbell, Kentucky for claims of "homosexual thoughts".


Early career

After his release, Hendrix and army friend Billy Cox moved to nearby Clarksville, Tennessee, where they formed a band called The King Kasuals. Playing in low-paying gigs at obscure venues, the 'band' eventually moved to Nashville. Playing and sometimes living in the clubs along Jefferson Street, the traditional heart of Nashville's black community and home to a lively rhythm and blues scene offered some sort of 'existence'. In November 1962, Hendrix participated in his first studio session, where his wild but still undeveloped playing found him cut from the soundboard.

For the next three years, Hendrix made a precarious living on the Chitlin Circuit, performing in black-oriented venues throughout the South with both the King Kasuals and in backing bands for various soul, R&B, and blues musicians, including Chuck Jackson, Slim Harpo, Tommy Tucker, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson. The Chitlin Circuit was an important phase of Jimi's career, since the refinement of his style and blues roots occurred there. His work garnered him little fame or profit, and the extremes of racism and poverty that he endured left an indelible mark on his memories of this era.

Frustrated by his experiences in the South, Hendrix decided to try his luck in New York City. Jimi was always inspired by a saying he once heard from his grandmother: "I want to need to have you. First I have to need to want you." In January 1964, he moved to Harlem, where he quickly befriended Lithofayne "Fayne" Pridgeon (who later became his girlfriend) and the Allen twins, Arthur and Albert (now known as Taharqa and Tunde-Ra Aleem). The Allen twins quickly became loyal friends who kept Hendrix out of trouble in New York. The twins also performed as backup singers (under the name Ghetto Fighters) on some of his recordings, most notably the funk anthem "Freedom". Pridgeon, a beautiful Harlem native with connections throughout the area's music scene, provided Hendrix with shelter, support, and encouragement during the poorest and most desperate years of his life. In February 1964, Hendrix won first prize in the Apollo Theater amateur contest. The win was encouraging, but in general he found breaking into the New York scene difficult.

In 1965, guitar pioneer and producer Les Paul watched Hendrix audition for a nightclub gig in Greenwich Village, NYC, and was awestruck by his performance. An errand forced Les Paul to leave the club before he had the chance to speak with Hendrix. When he returned later to contact and sign Hendrix, Les Paul found that the club owner had turned Hendrix down for being too loud and crazy and that Hendrix had disappeared.[citation needed] That year, Hendrix earned a spot as the new guitarist for the Isley Brothers' band and joined their national tour, which included the southern Chitlin' circuit. Hendrix played his first successful studio session on the two-part Isley Brothers hit "Testify". In Nashville, he left the Isleys to tour with Gorgeous George Odell. In Atlanta, he earned a spot in the backing band of Little Richard, The Upsetters. Although Hendrix idolized Richard, he clashed frequently with the star over tardiness, wardrobe, and, above all, Hendrix's flashy stage antics. For a short while, Hendrix quit and toured with Ike and Tina Turner, but was quickly fired for playing wild guitar solos and returned to Little Richard's band. Months later, he was banished from The Upsetters after missing the tour bus in Washington, D.C.. Around this time he refined his flamboyant guitar stage style, much of which was influenced by Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

In 1965, Hendrix joined a New York-based band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, after meeting Knight in the lobby of a seedy midtown hotel where both men were living at the time. Hendrix then toured for two months with Joey Dee and the Starliters before rejoining the Squires in New York. On October 15, 1965, Hendrix signed a three-year recording contract with entrepreneur Ed Chalpin, receiving $1 and 1% royalty on records with Curtis Knight. While the relationship with Chalpin was short-lived, his contract remained in force, which caused considerable problems for Hendrix later on in his career. The legal dispute was eventually settled. During a brief excursion to Vancouver in 1965, Hendrix played in Motown band Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers with Taylor and Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame).[citation needed]

In 1966, Hendrix formed his own band, Jimmy James and The Blue Flames, composed of various friends he would casually meet at Manny's Music Shop, including a 15-year old runaway from California named Randy Wolfe. Since there were two musicians named "Randy" in the group, Hendrix dubbed Wolfe "Randy California" and the other "Randy Texas". Randy California would later co-found the band Spirit with Ed Cassidy.

Hendrix and his new band quickly gained local attention and played throughout New York City, but their primary spot was a residency at the Cafe Wha? on MacDougal Street in the West Village. During this period, Hendrix met and worked with singer-guitarist Ellen McIlwaine and guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, who was an employee at Manny's. Hendrix also met Frank Zappa during this time, who is credited as having introduced Hendrix to the newly-invented wah-wah.

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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 02:13:37 am »




The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hendrix arrived in England in November 1966 and, together with his new manager Chas Chandler, auditions were launched to find him a backing band. Noel Redding was chosen for the bass spot. Even though he had never played bass before auditioning (he was a guitarist), Hendrix liked his look and attitude. Mitch Mitchell was a seasoned London drummer who brought jazz chops and a lead style of playing to the table. He would prove to be Hendrix's most valuable musical partner.

Though initially conceived as Hendrix's backing band, The Experience soon became much more than that. Following the lead of Cream, they were one of the first groups to popularize the "power trio" format, which essentially strips a rock band lineup down to the essentials: bass, guitar and drums. This smaller format also encourages more extrovert playing from the players involved, often at very high volumes. In the case of The Experience, Hendrix mixed lead and rhythm guitar duties into one, while also making use of then-revolutionary guitar effects such as feedback and wah-wah. Mitchell played hard-hitting jazz-influenced grooves that often served a melodic role as much as they did timekeeping. Redding was often seen as the eye of the storm, playing deceptively simple bass lines that helped to anchor the band's sound. Visually, they decked themselves out in psychedelic costumes and permed afros. The Experience were also one of the first integrated bands. Given the racial turmoil of the times, the sheer idea of having a black frontman with two white men was quite a strong political statement.

The lineup first came to prominence during the Monterey Pop Festival, one of the first major music festivals. The band delivered a stellar performance, that ended with Hendrix famously setting his guitar on fire. The moment was immortalized in a photograph which was used as a cover of Rolling Stone magazine.[1] The appearance was also filmed and put into the documentary film Monterey Pop. This brought them to the attention of North American audiences. They were then asked to go on tour with The Monkees as the opening act. They abruptly left the tour after only a few dates. Chas Chandler later said that it was a publicity stunt.

With the band, Hendrix recorded his three most successful albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland and commissioned famed photographer Karl Ferris to shoot their portraits for all three US front covers. In June of 1969, Hendrix decided to break up the group. Deteriorating relations with Redding had come to a head, and he also felt stunted by the trio format. Following the infamous admission by Hendrix atop the stage at the Denver Pop Festival; "This is the last gig we'll be playing together," the original Experience dissolved. Using a larger band lineup for his Woodstock concert in August 1969, Hendrix was able to expand the former boundaries of the old band, but would revert back to the trio format with the Band of Gypsys. By 1970, Hendrix had disbanded the Band of Gypsys. This was due to the desire of Michael Jeffery (Chandler's replacement) to reform the original Experience line up. However, it can also be said that the all-black power trio was mainly a one-off to help Hendrix fulfill an outstanding obligation to Ed Chalpin. Jeffery called Redding and Mitchell about reforming the Experience. Both agreed to participate in what would seem to be a great money maker of a tour for the two men, Jeffery, as well as getting Jimi out of the financial debts he was in at the time building Electric Lady Studios. Hendrix was open to have Mitchell rejoin, but reluctant of bringing Redding back into the fold.

In early February of 1970, it seemed as if the original Experience was reformed from the ashes of Denver. Manager Michael Jeffery had even gone as far as setting up an interview with Rolling Stone magazine to announce the reformation of the group. This was not published until 5 years after Hendrix's death in the pages of Guitar Player magazine. While the interview gave the impression that the old wounds were healed and the future seemingly bright for the Experience, it was far from the truth. Redding was waiting for weeks to hear back about rehearsals for the upcoming tour when he finally spoke with Mitchell's girlfriend and was told, much to his disappointment, that he had been replaced by Billy Cox. The new line-up was referred to as "The Cry Of Love" (although often went under the name "The Jimi Hendrix Experience") and subsequently went on tour. Hendrix died later that year.

The Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 02:15:17 am »


UK success

After a number of European club appearances, word of Hendrix spread through the London music community. His showmanship and virtuosity made instant fans of reigning guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, as well as members of The Beatles and The Who, whose managers signed Hendrix to The Who's record label, Track Records.

Hendrix's first single was a cover of "Hey Joe", crafted after folk-singer Tim Rose's slower revision of the song and adapted to Hendrix's emerging style. Backing the first single was Jimi's first songwriting effort, "Stone Free". Further success came with "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries Mary". The three singles were all UK Top 10 hits. Onstage, Hendrix was also making a huge impression with fiery renditions of the B.B. King hit "Rock Me Baby" and an ultra-fast revision of Howlin Wolf's blues classic, "Killing Floor".

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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 02:17:26 am »



The first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, was released in the United Kingdom on May 12, 1967. It contained no previous UK singles or any B sides ("Hey Joe/Stone Free", "Purple Haze/51st Anniversary" and "The Wind Cries Mary/Highway Chile"). Only The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band prevented Are You Experienced from reaching No. 1 on the UK charts.

At this time, the Experience extensively toured the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. This allowed Hendrix to develop his stage presence, which reached a high point on March 31, 1967, when he set his guitar on fire. Later, after causing damage to amplifiers and other stage equipment at his shows, Rank Theatre management warned him to "tone down" his stage act. On June 4 1967, the Experience played their last show in England, at London's Saville Theatre, before heading off to America. The Sgt. Pepper's album had just been released on June 1st and two Beatles (Paul McCartney and George Harrison) were in attendance, along with a roll call of other UK rock stardom: Brian Epstein, Eric Clapton, Spencer Davis, Jack Bruce, and pop singer Lulu. Jimi chose to open the show with his own rendition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", crafted minutes before taking the stage, much to McCartney's astonishment and delight.

Months later, Reprise Records released the US version of Are You Experienced with a new cover by Karl Ferris, removing "Red House," "Remember" and "Can You See Me" to make room for the first three UK single A-sides. Where the UK album kicked off with "Foxy Lady", the American one started with "Purple Haze". The UK and US versions both offered a startling introduction to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the album was a blueprint for what had become possible on the electric guitar.

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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 02:19:14 am »


The first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, was released in the United Kingdom on May 12, 1967. It contained no previous UK singles or any B sides ("Hey Joe/Stone Free", "Purple Haze/51st Anniversary" and "The Wind Cries Mary/Highway Chile"). Only The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band prevented Are You Experienced from reaching No. 1 on the UK charts.

At this time, the Experience extensively toured the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. This allowed Hendrix to develop his stage presence, which reached a high point on March 31, 1967, when he set his guitar on fire. Later, after causing damage to amplifiers and other stage equipment at his shows, Rank Theatre management warned him to "tone down" his stage act. On June 4 1967, the Experience played their last show in England, at London's Saville Theatre, before heading off to America. The Sgt. Pepper's album had just been released on June 1st and two Beatles (Paul McCartney and George Harrison) were in attendance, along with a roll call of other UK rock stardom: Brian Epstein, Eric Clapton, Spencer Davis, Jack Bruce, and pop singer Lulu. Jimi chose to open the show with his own rendition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", crafted minutes before taking the stage, much to McCartney's astonishment and delight.

Months later, Reprise Records released the US version of Are You Experienced with a new cover by Karl Ferris, removing "Red House," "Remember" and "Can You See Me" to make room for the first three UK single A-sides. Where the UK album kicked off with "Foxy Lady", the American one started with "Purple Haze". The UK and US versions both offered a startling introduction to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the album was a blueprint for what had become possible on the electric guitar.

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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 02:21:01 am »



US success

Although quite popular in Europe at this time, the Experience had yet to crack America. Their chance came when Paul McCartney recommended the group to the organizers of the Monterey International Pop Festival. This proved to be a great opportunity for Hendrix, not only because of the large audience present at the event, but also because the performances were filmed by D. A. Pennebaker and later shown in movie theaters throughout the country as the concert documentary Monterey Pop, which immortalized Hendrix's iconic burning and smashing of his guitar at the finale of his performance.

Following the festival, the Experience played a short-lived gig as the opening act for pop group The Monkees on their first American tour. The Monkees asked for Hendrix because they were fans, but their mostly teenage audience did not warm to his outlandish stage act and he abruptly quit the tour after a few dates. Chas Chandler later admitted that being "thrown" from The Monkees tour was engineered to gain maximum media impact and publicity for Hendrix. At the time, a story circulated claiming that Hendrix was removed from the tour because of complaints made by the Daughters of the American Revolution that his stage conduct was "lewd and indecent". Australian journalist Lillian Roxon, accompanying the tour, concocted the story. The claim was repeated in Roxon's 1969 Rock Encyclopedia but she later admitted it was fabricated.

Meanwhile in England, Hendrix's wild-man image and musical gimmickry (such as playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back) continued to bring publicity, but Hendrix was already advancing musically and becoming frustrated by media and audience concentration on his stage tricks and hit singles.

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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2007, 02:22:43 am »


Hendrix adapted the Howlin' Wolf blues classic "Killing Floor" into this wild and fast paced revision, and throughout the first year of his fame these became the first notes concertgoers would hear when witnessing a live Hendrix show. The Monterey performance included an equally lively rendition of the BB King hit "Rock Me Baby", Billy Roberts' "Hey Joe" and the Bob Dylan hit "Like a Rolling Stone". The set ended with Hendrix burning his guitar on stage, then smashing it to bits and tossing pieces out to the audience. The show instantly catapulted Hendrix into US stardom. Today, the charred remnants of Hendrix's psychedelically painted Stratocaster can now be found at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2007, 02:24:44 am »




Axis: Bold as Love


The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second 1967 album, Axis: Bold as Love continued the style established by Are You Experienced, but showcased a profound sense of melody along with his well-known technical virtuosity with tracks such as "Little Wing" and "If 6 Was 9". The opening track "EXP" featured a stereo effect in which a ruckus of sound emanating from Jimi's guitar appeared to revolve around the listener, fading out into the distance from the right channel, then returning in on the left. It should also be noted that this album marked the first time Jimi recorded the whole album with his guitar tuned down one half-tone, to Eb, which he used exclusively thereafter.

A mishap almost prevented the album's release: Hendrix lost the master tape of side 1 of the LP, leaving it in the back seat of a London taxi. Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer tried re-mixing it, but couldn't match the lost mix. It was only saved by the discovery that bassist Noel Redding had a copy on tape, which had to be ironed flat as his machine had chewed it up. With the release deadline looming, Hendrix, Chandler, and engineer Eddie Kramer remixed the missing side from the multitracks in an all-night session. Kramer and Hendrix later admitted that they were never entirely happy with the results.

Hendrix was also somewhat disappointed with the album's cover art. Although he appreciated the symbolic design, he had requested cover art that showcased his "Indian" heritage. The British art designers who created the cover assumed that he meant the culture of India, not of Native Americans, and thus created cover art that depicts Hendrix and his Experience bandmates as the Vedic deities Durga and Vishnu, illustrating a photo portrait of their heads by Karl Ferris.

Upon the album's release, the Jimi Hendrix Experience continued to pursue an extremely demanding touring schedule, which involved performing in front of ever-larger audiences. This, combined with the influence of drugs, alcohol, and fatigue, led to a trouble-plagued tour of Scandinavia that culminated with the arrest of Hendrix in Stockholm after trashing his hotel room in a drunken rage.

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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 02:26:45 am »



Electric Ladyland

As the album's recording progressed, Chas Chandler became so frustrated with Hendrix's perfectionism and with various friends and hangers-on milling about the studio that he decided to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Chandler's professional and musical education was very business-oriented, and it taught him that songs should be recorded in a matter of hours, and written with a view to releasing them as singles. His influence over the Experience's first two albums is clear in light of the facts that very few of the tracks are more than four minutes long, that both albums were recorded in short times, and that most of the songs on both albums conformed to the structure of a typical pop song. However, as Hendrix began developing his own vision and started to assert more control over the artistic process in the studio, Chandler decided to move to other opportunities and ceded overall control to Hendrix. Chandler's departure had a clear impact on the artistic direction that the recording took.

Hendrix began experimenting with different combinations of musicians and instruments, and modern electronic effects. For example, Dave Mason, Chris Wood, and Steve Winwood from the band Traffic, drummer Buddy Miles and former Bob Dylan organist Al Kooper, among others, were all involved in the recording sessions. This was one of the other reasons that Chandler cited as precipitating his departure. He described how Hendrix went from a disciplined recording regimen to an erratic schedule, which often saw him beginning recording sessions in the middle of the night and with any number of hangers-on.

Chandler also expressed exasperation at the number of times Hendrix would insist on re-recording particular tracks; the song "Gypsy Eyes" was reportedly recorded 43 times. This was also frustrating for bassist Noel Redding, who would often leave the studio to calm himself, only to return and find that Hendrix had recorded the bass parts himself during Redding's absence. The effects of these events can clearly be identified in the album's musical style. On a purely superficial level, the tracks no longer conformed to the standard pop song format, often lacked easily identifiable patterns or sections, and would sometimes lack even a recognizable melody. More particularly, however, the themes that the songs addressed, and the music that Hendrix set out to record, went far beyond anything that he had attempted to achieve before.

Electric Ladyland includes a number of compositions and arrangements for which Hendrix is still remembered. These include "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" as well as Hendrix's rendition of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". Hendrix's version was a complete departure from the original, and includes one of the most highly praised guitar arrangements in modern music. It was around this time that Hendrix lived with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham at her Brook Street home, now the Handel House Museum, in the West End of London.

Throughout the four years of his fame, Hendrix often appeared in impromptu jams with various musicians. A recording exists of Hendrix playing in March 1968 at Steve Paul's Scene Club, in which a rendition of the Beatles' 1966 Revolver album's closing track "Tomorrow Never Knows" is played. The band members remain largely unknown but singer Jim Morrison clearly can be heard contributing a growling, obscenity-laced vocal accompaniment. The band continued to play behind him, and Hendrix can be heard on the tape announcing Morrison's presence and offering him a better microphone. The recording, circulated among Hendrix and Doors collectors, is titled Morrison's Lament. Albums of the recording were sold under various titles (originally Sky High, then Woke Up this Morning and Found Myself Dead), some falsely claiming the presence of Johnny Winter's band. Johnny Winter has denied, several times, being a participant at that jam session.

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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 02:52:28 am »



Breakup of Jimi Hendrix Experience

The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at London's Royal Albert Hall February 18 and February 24, 1969, two sold-out concerts which became the last British appearance of the band. A Gold and Goldstein-produced film titled "Experience" was also recorded at these two shows, but remains to this day unreleased.

Noel Redding felt increasingly frustrated by the fact that he was not playing his original and favored instrument, the guitar. In 1968, he decided to form his own band "Fat Mattress", which would sometimes open for the Experience (Hendrix would jokingly refer to them as "Thin Pillow"). Redding and Hendrix would begin seeing less and less of each other, which also had an effect in the studio, with Hendrix playing many of the basslines on Electric Ladyland.

Redding was also increasingly uncomfortable with the hysteria surrounding Hendrix's performances. The last Experience concert took place on June 29, 1969 at Barry Fey's Denver Pop Festival, a three-day event held at Denver's Mile High Stadium that was marked by rioting and tear gas. The three bandmates were smuggled out of the venue in the back of a rental truck which was crushed by a mob of fans. The next day, Noel Redding announced that he had quit the Experience
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2007, 02:54:05 am »




Legal troubles

Throughout 1969, Hendrix also experienced a number of legal difficulties. First, a contractual dispute arose in relation to an unfavorable agreement Hendrix had entered into with producer Ed Chalpin long before he became successful. The dispute was resolved when the parties agreed that Hendrix would record an album specifically for Chalpin which would be released under his auspices. This was the genesis of the live album entitled Band of Gypsys. Then on May 3, 1969, Hendrix was arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport after heroin and hashish were found in his luggage. Hendrix argued in his trial defense that the drugs were slipped into his bag by a fan without his knowledge, and he was acquitted.

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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2007, 02:55:22 am »



Gypsy Sun and Rainbows

After the departure of Noel Redding from the group, Hendrix moved into a rented eight-bedroom mansion near the town of Shokan in upstate New York for the duration of the summer of 1969. Manager Michael Jeffery arranged the stay, with hopes that the respite would produce a new album. To replace Redding as bassist, Hendrix immediately tracked down Billy Cox, his old and trusted Army buddy. The trio of Hendrix, Cox, and Mitch Mitchell fulfilled his last commitment at the time, which was an appearance on The Tonight Show. In an effort to expand his sound beyond the power trio format, Hendrix then added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee (another old friend from his R&B days), and percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez.

He dubbed the new band Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, although this was never formally announced by management. The cohesion of the group in the relaxed, country atmosphere of the Shokan house inspired fresh material like "Jam Back at the House", "Shokan Sunrise", "Villanova Junction", and the funk driven centerpieces of Hendrix's post-Experience sound: "Message to Love" and "Izabella".

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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 02:57:02 am »




Woodstock

Hendrix's popularity eventually saw him headline the Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969. Although a number of the world's most talented and popular musicians were invited to the festival, including The Who, Santana, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix was considered to be the festival's main attraction. The band's $18,000 fee[citation needed] was the highest of all Woodstock performers, and the group was given the top-billing position, scheduled to perform last on Sunday night.

Due to enormous delays caused by bad weather and other logistical problems, Hendrix did not appear on stage until Monday morning, by which time the audience, which had peaked at over 500,000 people, had been reduced to, at most, 180,000, many of whom merely waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving. The band was introduced at the festival as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Hendrix quickly corrected this to Gypsy Sun and Rainbows and launched into a two hour set (the longest of his career) that was plagued with technical difficulties. Besides suffering microphone level and guitar tuning problems, it was also apparent that Jimi's new, much larger band had not rehearsed enough, and at times simply could not keep up with him. Despite this, Hendrix managed to deliver a historic performance, which featured his highly-regarded rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a solo improvisation which became a defining moment of the 1960s.

The controversial nature of Hendrix's style is epitomized in the sentiments expressed about his renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner", a tune he played loudly and sharply accompanied by simulated sounds of war (machine guns, bombs and screams) from his guitar. His impressionistic renditions have been described by some as anti-American mockery and by others a generation's statement on the unrest in U.S. society, oddly symbolic of the beauty, spontaneity, and tragedy endemic to Hendrix's life.

Hendrix claimed that he did not intend for his performance of the national anthem to be a political statement, that he simply intended it as a different interpretation of the anthem. When taken to task on the Dick Cavett Show regarding the "unorthodox" nature of his performance of the song at Woodstock, Hendrix replied, "I thought it was beautiful," which was greeted with applause from the audience. His later-career live favorite "Machine Gun" however, was clearly a protest song against war.

Woodstock was not the first time Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner in concert. It was in fact a setlist staple from fall 1968 through the summer of 1970, and a studio version was released on the 1971 "Rainbow Bridge" album and later re-released on the 2000 The Jimi Hendrix Experience Box Set.

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