Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Jimi Hendrix, Album: Are You Experienced? (1966)

“Hey Joe”, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966)

“Hey Joe” is simultaneously one of Hendrix’ iconic tracks that nevertheless sees him threatening violence and death against an allegedly-cheating woman, with the lyrics, “I’m going down to shoot my old lady / You know, I caught her messing around with another man.””Hey Joe” was written by a singer named Billy Roberts, who was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early ’60s. The song is structured as a conversation between two men, with “Joe” explaining to the other that he caught his woman cheating and plans to kill her. They talk again, and Joe explains that he did indeed shoot her, and is headed to Mexico.

Billy Roberts copyrighted this song in 1962, but never released it (he issued just one album, Thoughts Of California in 1975). In 1966, several artists covered the song, including a Los Angeles band called The Leaves (their lead singer was bassist Jim Pons, who joined The Turtles just before they recorded their Happy Together album), whose version was a minor hit, reaching #31 in the US. Arthur Lee’s group Love also recorded it that year, as did The Byrds, whose singer David Crosby had been performing the song since 1965. These were all uptempo renditions.

The slow version that inspired Hendrix to record this came from a folk singer named Tim Rose, who played it in a slow arrangement on his 1967 debut album and issued it as a single late in 1966. Rose was a popular singer/songwriter for a short time in the Greenwich Village scene, but quickly faded into obscurity before a small comeback in the ’90s. He died in 2002 at age 62.

This is the song that started it all for Hendrix. After being discharged from the US Army in 1962, he worked as a backing musician for The Isley Brothers and Little Richard, and in 1966 performed under the name Jimmy James in the group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Hendrix introduced “Hey Joe” to the band and added it to their setlist. During a show at the Greenwich Village club Cafe Wha?, Chas Chandler of The Animals was in the audience, and he knew instantly that Hendrix was the man to record the song.

Chandler convinced Hendrix to join him in London, and he became Jimi’s producer and manager. Teaming Hendrix with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Chandler had the group – known as The Jimi Hendrix Experience – record “Hey Joe,” and released it as a single in the UK in December 1966. It climbed to #6 in February 1967, as Hendrix developed a reputation as an electrifying performer and wildly innovative guitarist.

America was a tougher nut to crack – when the song was released there in April, it went nowhere.

The song incorporates many elements of blues music, including a F-C-G-D-A chord progression and a story about infidelity and murder. This led many to believe it was a much older (possibly traditional) song, but it was an original composition.Hendrix played this live for the first time at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. It was the first time the group performed in America.

This was released in Britain with the flip side “Stone Free,” which was the first song Hendrix wrote for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The song was released in the UK on the Polydor label in a one-single deal. Hendrix then signed to the Track label, which was set up by Kit Lambert, producer for The Who.

Dick Rowe of Decca Records turned down Hendrix for a deal, unimpressed with both “Hey Joe” and “Stone Free.” Rowe also turned away the Beatles four years earlier.

This is one of the few Hendrix tracks with female backing vocals. They were performed by a popular trio called the Breakaways (Jean Hawker, Margot Newman, and Vicki Brown), who were brought in by producer Chas Chandler.

The Hendrix version omits the first verse, where Joe buys the gun:

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that money in your hand?
Chasin’ my woman, she run off with another man
Goin downtown, buy me a .44


In the original (and most versions pre-Hendrix), Joe also kills his wife’s lover when he catches them in bed together.

This was the last song performed at Woodstock in 1969. The festival was scheduled to end at midnight on Sunday, August 17 (the third day), but it ran long and Hendrix didn’t go on until Monday around 9 a.m. There weren’t many attendees left, but Hendrix delivered a legendary performance.

While Jimi’s version is by far the most famous, “Hey Joe” has been recorded by over 1000 artists. In America, three versions charted:

The Leaves (#31, 1966)
Cher (#94, 1967)
Wilson Pickett (#59, 1969)

Hendrix is the only artist to chart with the song in the UK, although a completely different song called “Hey Joe” was a #1 hit there for Frankie Laine in 1963.

Some of the notable covers include:
Shadows of Knight (1966)
Music Machine (1966)
The Mothers Of Invention (1967)
Deep Purple (1967)
King Curtis (1968)
Roy Buchanan (1973)
Patti Smith (1974)
Soft Cell (1983)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1986)
The Offspring (1991)
Eddie Murphy (1993 – yes, the comedian)
Walter Trout (2000)
Popa Chubby (2001)
Robert Plant (2002)
Brad Mehldau Trio (2012)

The liner notes for Are You Experienced? say this song is “A blues arrangement of an old cowboy song that’s about 100 years old.”

The phrase “Hey Joe” is something men in the Philippines often shout when they see an American. Ted Lerner wrote a book about his experiences there called Hey, Joe: A Slice Of The City-An American In Manilla.

In an early demo version, Hendrix is caught off guard by the sound of his voice in the headphones, and can be heard on the recording saying, “Oh, Goddamn!” Then telling Chas Chandler in the booth, “Hey, make the voice a little lower and the band a little louder.” Hendrix was always insecure about his vocal talents, but thought if Dylan could swing it, so could he.

6,346 guitarists played “Hey Joe” simultaneously in the town of Wroclaw, Poland on May 1, 2009, breaking a world record for most guitarists playing a single song.

The BBC apologized after “Hey Joe” was played following a report on the Oscar Pistorius trial, following the disabled athlete’s shooting of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (The song includes the lines: “Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand? I’m going out to shoot my old lady, you know I caught her messing around with another man.”)

This was one of five bonus tracks added to the album Are You Experienced? when it was re-released in 1997. The only song on the album not written by Hendrix, it is credited to Billy Roberts.

Not much is known about the song’s writer Billy Roberts, who apparently got in a car accident in the ’90s that left him impaired. Royalties from this song go to him through the publisher Third Palm Music.

This was used in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump when Forrest starts a fight at a Black Panthers gathering, but the song wasn’t included on the official soundtrack.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Rock Legends,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Getty Images

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career lasted only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

The guitarist and singer-songwriter is considered to be among the greatest electric guitarists in musical history. Hendrix died in London on September 18, 1970, at age 27. According to his death report, Hendrix had asphyxiated in his own vomit after drinking and taking drugs.

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jimi Hendrix delighted audiences in the 1960s with his outrageous electric guitar playing skills and his experimental sound.

Jimi Hendrix learned to play guitar as a teenager and grew up to become a rock legend who excited audiences in the 1960s with his innovative electric guitar playing. One of his most memorable performances was at Woodstock in 1969, where he performed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Hendrix died in 1970 from drug-related complications, leaving his mark on the world of rock music and remaining popular to this day.

Jimi Hendrix: Press shot for Curtis Knight and the Squires from 1965, featuring a young Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix (later changed by his father to James Marshall) on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives or acquaintances.

Jimi Hendrix With His Mother Lucille

His mother, Lucille, was only 17 years old when Hendrix was born. She had a stormy relationship with his father, Al, and eventually left the family after the couple had two more children together, sons Leon and Joseph. Hendrix would only see his mother sporadically before her death in 1958.

Mother Lucille, Father Al, Leon, and Jimi Hendrix

In many ways, music became a sanctuary for Hendrix. He was a fan of blues and rock and roll, and with his father’s encouragement taught himself to play guitar.

When Hendrix was 16, his father bought him his first acoustic guitar, and the next year his first electric guitar—a right-handed Supro Ozark that the natural lefty had to flip upside down to play. Shortly thereafter, he began performing with his band, the Rocking Kings. In 1959, he dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs while continuing to follow his musical aspirations.

In 1961, Hendrix followed in his father’s footsteps by enlisting in the United States Army. While training as a paratrooper, Hendrix still found time for music, forming a band named the King Kasuals. Hendrix served in the army until 1962, when he was honorably discharged after injuring himself during a parachute jump. 

After leaving the military, Hendrix began working under the name Jimmy James as a session musician, playing backup for such performers as Little Richard, B.B. King, Sam Cooke and the Isley Brothers. In 1965 he also formed a group of his own called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, which played gigs around New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

In mid-1966, Hendrix met Chas Chandler—bass player of the British rock group the Animals—who signed an agreement with Hendrix to become his manager. Chandler convinced Hendrix to go to London, where he joined forces with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

While performing in England, Hendrix built up quite a following among the country’s rock royalty, with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Eric Clapton all becoming great admirers of his work. One critic for the British music magazine Melody Maker said that he “had great stage presence” and looked at times as if he were playing “with no hands at all.”

Jimi Hendrix Hey Joe

Released in 1967, the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” was an instant smash in Britain and was soon followed by hits such as “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” 

On tour to support his first album, Are You Experienced? (1967), Hendrix delighted audiences with his outrageous guitar playing skills and his innovative, experimental sound. In June 1967 he also won over American music fans with his stunning performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, which ended with Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire.

This August 21, 1967 file photo shows Noel Redding, left, Jimi Hendrix – Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix, and Mitch Mitchell

Electric Ladyland

Quickly becoming a rock superstar, later that year Hendrix scored again with his second album, Axis: Bold as Love (1967). 

His final album as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (1968), featured the hit “All Along the Watchtower,” which was written by Bob Dylan. The band continued to tour until it split up in 1969.

Star-Spangled Banner

In 1969, Hendrix performed at another legendary musical event: the Woodstock Festival. Hendrix, the last performer to appear in the three-day-plus festival, opened his set with a rock rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that amazed the crowds and demonstrated his considerable talents as a musician.

Also an accomplished songwriter and producer by this time, Hendrix had his own recording studio, Electric Lady, in which he worked with different performers to try out new songs and sounds.

Band Of Gypsy’s, Billy Cox, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles

In late 1969, Hendrix put together a new group, forming Band of Gypsys with his army buddy Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. The band never really took off, however, and Hendrix began working on a new album tentatively named First Rays of the New Rising Sun, with Cox and Mitch Mitchell. Sadly, Hendrix would not live to complete the project.

Hendrix died in London from drug-related complications on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27. He left an indelible mark on the world of rock music and remains popular to this day. 

As one journalist wrote in the Berkeley Tribe, “Jimi Hendrix could get more out of an electric guitar than anyone else. He was the ultimate guitar player.”

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip

Jimi Hendrix, Hey Joe. Album: Are You Experienced?(1966)

  • “Hey Joe” was written by a singer named Billy Roberts, who was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early ’60s. The song is structured as a conversation between two men, with “Joe” explaining to the other that he caught his woman cheating and plans to kill her. They talk again, and Joe explains that he did indeed shoot her, and is headed to Mexico.
  • Billy Roberts copyrighted this song in 1962, but never released it (he issued just one album, Thoughts Of California in 1975). In 1966, several artists covered the song, including a Los Angeles band called The Leaves (their lead singer was bassist Jim Pons, who joined The Turtles just before they recorded their Happy Together album), whose version was a minor hit, reaching #31 in the US. Arthur Lee’s group Love also recorded it that year, as did The Byrds, whose singer David Crosby had been performing the song since 1965. These were all uptempo renditions.
  • The slow version that inspired Hendrix to record this came from a folk singer named Tim Rose, who played it in a slow arrangement on his 1967 debut album and issued it as a single late in 1966. Rose was a popular singer/songwriter for a short time in the Greenwich Village scene, but quickly faded into obscurity before a small comeback in the ’90s. He died in 2002 at age 62.
  • This is the song that started it all for Hendrix. After being discharged from the US Army in 1962, he worked as a backing musician for The Isley Brothers and Little Richard, and in 1966 performed under the name Jimmy James in the group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Hendrix introduced “Hey Joe” to the band and added it to their setlist. During a show at the Greenwich Village club Cafe Wha?, Chas Chandler of The Animals was in the audience, and he knew instantly that Hendrix was the man to record the song.

    Chandler convinced Hendrix to join him in London, and he became Jimi’s producer and manager. Teaming Hendrix with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, Chandler had the group – known as The Jimi Hendrix Experience – record “Hey Joe,” and released it as a single in the UK in December 1966. It climbed to #6 in February 1967, as Hendrix developed a reputation as an electrifying performer and wildly innovative guitarist.

    America was a tougher nut to crack – when the song was released there in April, it went nowhere.
  • The song incorporates many elements of blues music, including a F-C-G-D-A chord progression and a story about infidelity and murder. This led many to believe it was a much older (possibly traditional) song, but it was an original composition.
  • Hendrix played this live for the first time at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. It was the first time the group performed in America.
  • This was released in Britain with the flip side “Stone Free,” which was the first song Hendrix wrote for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
  • The song was released in the UK on the Polydor label in a one-single deal. Hendrix then signed to the Track label, which was set up by Kit Lambert, producer for The Who.

    Dick Rowe of Decca Records turned down Hendrix for a deal, unimpressed with both “Hey Joe” and “Stone Free.” Rowe also turned away the Beatles four years earlier.
  • This is one of the few Hendrix tracks with female backing vocals. They were performed by a popular trio called the Breakaways (Jean Hawker, Margot Newman, and Vicki Brown), who were brought in by producer Chas Chandler.
  • The Hendrix version omits the first verse, where Joe buys the gun:

    Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that money in your hand?
    Chasin’ my woman, she run off with another man
    Goin downtown, buy me a .44


    In the original (and most versions pre-Hendrix), Joe also kills his wife’s lover when he catches them in bed together.
  • This was the last song performed at Woodstock in 1969. The festival was scheduled to end at midnight on Sunday, August 17 (the third day), but it ran long and Hendrix didn’t go on until Monday around 9 a.m. There weren’t many attendees left, but Hendrix delivered a legendary performance.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The 27 Club Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

When Jimi Hendrix’s debut album, Are You Experienced? was released in 1967, it turned the music world upside down. With its crackling feedback and ground-breaking guitar playing, Are You Experienced? fused the psychedelic sounds of the late ’60s with the classic traditions of rock, blues and soul.

Released first in the United Kingdom and a few months later in the United States, the album propelled Hendrix to international fame.

Today Are You Experienced? is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential debut releases in rock and roll.

“It’s still a landmark recording because it is of the rock, R&B, blues… musical tradition,” notes Smithsonian musicologist Reuben Jackson. “It altered the syntax of the music, if you will, in a way I compare to, say, James Joyce’s Ulysses. You read a page or two of Ulysses and then you listen to just “Purple Haze,” and you think, my goodness, what is this?”

The recording introduced the world to the guitar virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix. A master at the instrument, he pioneered new techniques in distortion, echo and volume.

“We were experimenting,” says Eddie Kramer, the audio engineer for the album. “That was the exciting part. Whatever he did in the studio we had to just keep up and try to figure out how to record it in a halfway decent fashion.”

But musician Vernon Reid says that Hendrix’s guitar skills have often obscured his other gifts: “I think Jimi’s singing, I think his lyrics have often been given short shrift in consideration of his guitar playing, because his guitar playing is so overwhelmingly powerful. See, there was no dividing line in Hendrix between a song, the improvisation, the singing. It was all one thing.”The question “Are you experienced” was commonly interpreted as Hendrix asking if you have experienced drugs. He said that this song was not necessarily about drugs, but about being at peace with yourself.

Guitar, bass and drums were all played backward as part of the effects. The part at the beginning may have been ahead of its time, as it sounded a lot like the record scratching Hip-Hop DJs began using years later.

Hendrix played the piano on this.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Thirty one years ago, Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose in London. He was 27 years old.

For more than three decades, this music has inspired and humbled guitar players everywhere.

Jimi Hendrix once said, “When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do.”

As a kid in Seattle, Jimi Hendrix taught himself to play by listening to blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

The Song Purple Haze is one of Hendrix’s most widely known personal anthems.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Rarezas Galleria Arizona Circa 1968

Part of the lyrics were formed from some of Jimi’s free verse ramblings that he jotted down from time to time.

Hendrix claimed this was inspired by a dream where he was walking under the sea. In the dream, he said a purple haze surrounded him, engulfed him and got him lost. It was a traumatic experience, but in his dream his faith in Jesus saved him.

At one point, Hendrix wrote the chorus as “purple haze, Jesus saves,” but decided against it.

This song was written under the guidance of Hendrix’ manager, ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler. They had just released Hendrix’ first single, a cover of Tim Rose’s “Hey Joe” and were looking for a follow up. Chandler was impressed when he first heard the riff, and inspired Jimi to finish writing the song. On the original recording, you hear the line up of the Experience with Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The opening chord of two riffs then an interval of flattened fifth is the d5 or “tritone,” which has long been regarded as the “Most imperfect of dissonances” and was generally avoided in composition for that reason.

Hendrix claimed this had nothing to do with drugs, but it’s hard to believe they weren’t an influence. The lyrics seem to vividly portray an acid trip, and Hendrix was doing plenty of drugs at the time.

Jimi and producer Chas Chandler used some unusual studio tricks to get the unique sound. To create the background track that sounds distant, they put a pair of headphones around a microphone and recorded it that way to get an echo effect.

Hendrix wrote the lyrics on the day after Christmas in 1966. He wrote a lot more than what made it to the song. The track was developed at a press function that he attended at East London’s Upper Cut Club, run by the former boxer Billy Walker. Hendrix launched into the scorching riff in the club’s compact dressing room and every head turned. “I said, write the rest of that,” said Chandler. “That’s the next single!” It was premiered live on 8 January 1967, in Sheffield in the north of England.

For one of the guitar tracks, Hendrix used a device called an Octavia, which could raise or lower the guitar by a full octave.

This contains one of the most misheard lyrics ever, with “Scuse me while I kiss the sky” interpreted as “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.” Hendrix added to the confusion by sometimes singing it that way and pointing to one of his band members.

A month before Hendrix died, he opened a recording studio in Greenwich Village called Electric Lady. One of the studios is known as “Purple Haze” and contains a purple mixing board. The studios have remained active with The Clash, Weezer, Patti Smith and Alicia Keys all recording there at some point.

This song is apparently referenced in an episode of The Simpsons. Homer is shopping (for useless garbage, of course) and finds a back massaging chair called the Spinemelter 2000. Homer sits in the chair and orders the store clerk to put it on full power. As the chair begins to massage Homer, he tells his family, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky…”

When the recording was sent to Hendrix’s American label, a note said, “deliberate distortion, do not correct.”

The track was the penultimate song Hendrix played in concert, on September 6, 1970, days before his death.

Psychedelic Lunch

Did Jimi “Kill” Clapton?

Who shows up to a Cream concert and request to jam with Eric Clapton? NO ONE… unless of course you’re Jimi Hendrix– and that is exactly what he did.

At a time when Cream was at the top of the food chain, they were untouchable. Clapton was a mere mortal among his peers. A Rock God if you will…

Jimi plugged in and blew the entire band away. He ended up playing a song (Killing Floor), that even Clapton had expressed he had not been a fan of playing because of it’s difficulty. Jimi played his bum off, and owned the entire song. He had played with his teeth, behind his head- Jimi had quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

He had come on stage, and cutoff Clapton. CUT OFF, CLAPTON. Who was this kid? Did Jimi kill Clapton, or was he simply honoring one of his idols? You be the judge.

 

Killing Floor Lyrics Below

I shoulda quit you, a long time ago,
I shoulda quit you, baby, a long time ago,
I shoulda quit you pretty baby, and went on to Mexico.
If I had’a followed, my right mind,
If I had’a followed, my right mind,
I’da been on the border, my second time.

If I had’a went on, when my best friend come at me,
If I had’a went on, when my best friend come at me,
Lord, I wouldn’t be here tonight, down on the killin’ floor.

If I had’a went on, when my friend come at me,
If I had’a went on, when my best friend come at me,
I wouldn’t be here tonight, down on the killin’ floor.

God knows, I shoulda went on,
God knows, I shoulda went on,
And I wouldn’t be here tonight, down on the killin’ floor.

Did Jimi Kill Eric Clapton?

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix was so much more than just a gifted guitarist. With his final studio album, 1968’s double disc opus Electric Ladyland, Hendrix exploded the boundaries of what was possible in a recording studio.

Assisted by ace engineer Eddie Kramer, Hendrix was able to utilize every aspect of the limited (though state of the art for the time) amount of tracks available, seemingly inventing sounds out of thin air and panning them left to right and surrounding the listener with a dense array of sonic textures.

Jimi had influences just like any other artist, but what set him apart was the fact that there was really no precedent for much of what he did in his short career. He had such a vivid musical imagination, and he found ways to make his visions come to life. Guitar effects pedals were invented from ideas he had and was able to communicate to the manufacturers.

In addition to all this innovative playing, the Experience also gathered some top notch guest stars, like Steve Winwood, Jack Casady, Chris Wood, Al Kooper, and Buddy Miles.

Jimi’s writing and singing always lived in the shadow of his playing, but he both wrote and sang some great stuff on Electric Ladyland. Voodoo Chile, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Gypsy Eyes, House Burning Down, Crosstown Traffic, 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be), Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, and Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) were all great pieces of work, but of course his iconic cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower was the song that drew the most attention. It was so good that Dylan himself started performing Hendrix’s arrangement of it in his own concerts.

Electric Ladyland stands as a monumental achievement of the psychedelic ’60’s, and a testament to Jimi Hendrix’s lasting status as one of the greatest guitarists (and musicians) in history.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

JIMI HENDRIX: RAINBOW BRIDGE

Rainbow Bridge by Jimi Hendrix was the second album released following his death in 1970.

It was compiled of odds and ends, some of which were intended for a double album he was working on before he passed away. This was actually the very first music I ever heard of Jimi.

I bought it out of a bargain bin along with Muswell Hillbillies by the Kinks.

I paid $1.99 for the Kinks album and got Rainbow Bridge for a penny. Pretty good haul for 2 dollars, even back in the day!

I will never forget dropping the needle onto the vinyl and

hearing the opening track, Dolly Dagger, for the first time.

Absolutely mind blowing…Hendrix was preparing to enter the new decade with a hard rocking funk edge to his playing and the groove on that song is totally SICK! It still ranks as one of my all time favorite songs by the master of the Stratocaster.

Other monumental songs included an epic 11 minute live version of Hear My Train A Comin’, a multi-tracked studio version of The Star Spangled Banner, a couple of songs recorded with Band Of Gypsys (Earth Blues and Room Full Of Mirrors), plus a completely sublime instrumental track called Pali Gap, in which Jimi weaved two tracks of himself playing lead that intertwine throughout the song.

The final song on the album was obviously a work in progress, but Hendrix’s rough cuts were better than most people’s finished products.

This one was called Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).

Needless to say, that was the best penny I ever spent, because it was my introduction to one of my biggest musical inspirations of all time.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Okay, so I was only 5 years old when it came out, but Axis: Bold As Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience has influenced my entire adult life as a guitarist, songwriter, and musician. It is rather mind boggling to conceive of the fact that Jimi released this album in the same magical year that produced his debut, Are You Experienced? I chose the second album for various reasons, but both are monumental in the development of rock music. Some of the songs on Axis that resonate most powerfully with me are the ballads; Little Wing, Castles Made Of Sand, One Rainy Wish…these are great compositions by a man who is known primarily for (justifiable) guitar heroics. Up From The Skies, Spanish Castle Magic, and If 6 Was 9 feature some subtle blues, harder rocking, and psychedelia. The crown jewel of the album, though, is the glorious title track, featuring some of Jimi’s best lyrics ever, and some soaring lead guitar for the ages.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind