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Interview Jimi Hendrix

Interview Jimi Hendrix image Interview Jimi Hendrix image
Parent Issue
Month
September
Year
1967
OCR Text

In the avant -garde of popmusio, one oí the most frultful thrusts is belng led by a 22 year old blaCk hlghschool drop-out named Jimt (spelling was never hls long snit) Hendrtx. On a good nlght, he can sound Uke the best of Ughtning Hopkins and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Hen drlx,on the thresholdofameteoric career, was greeted at the Monterey Pop Festival by the normaUy coolly laconlc Stone, Drian Jones, wbo rlpped hls glasses t'i trying to scramble over the press plcket fence to get closer to him. In England, Hendrix's home for the last 9raonths, the Beatles, M.B. E. s . and all, sit at hls feet in the front row of clubs and watch hlm whip an endless procession of mlracles out of hl guitar. He is normally Joined by Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding (who Hendrlx thinks looks suspiciously Uke Bob Dylan's grandmother) on bass, and together these three musicians produce a sound so wide and thick that it may well serve as more than just a figurative base for the Pop music of the future. Ifyoucangetyour mlnd together come across to me . . . Are you experlenced?" . . . Jimt asks the musical questlon. He is experlenced and he (S an experlence. Hendrix-doesn't just play a guttar, be rapes it, abuses ít, viólales it, eats it, and masturbaties t. Out of this chaos comes a beautlfuüy absurd electronic sound, a dlrty sound as opposed to a group likt the Paupers whose electronic sound is clean. Not in valué, bui In siyU-, like the dlfference between the Beatles' sound and the Stones' sound. Hendrlx and the vVho, both show stoppers at Monterey, along with ■unknown" Engli?;r groups 11 ke the Pink Floyd, the Move, the Action, and the Soft Machine are involved in not Just playtng musie but in acttng it out;performingtheatrlcal and envlronmental pleces that involve the audience as participan ts, not just spectators. They areaddIng experience to experience in their music, going far beyond just a llght show. The theatrics of HendrU stage performance is not merely a cover íor mediocre playing ability, it ts a part of a whole, and idea from a total concept. FP: How long have you been playing and how long has it taken you to develop your playtng and performine style? JH: V ve been playlng six or seven years, constantly developlng a playlng style. Most of itstarted about four years ago. When I flret started, some cat trled to get me to play betünd my head, because I never would move too much, y'know.-I sald, 'Oh tnan.whowants to do all that junk ' apd Uien all of a' sudden you start gettlng bored wlth your self. FP: You played aroond NashvlUe and the South for a whlle betare going to England. What was it like? JH-. In the bars I used to play Ín, we'd get up on the platform where the fan was in one of them nice, hot. greasy, funky clubs. We d play up there, and it was really hot, and the fan Is makin' love to you. And you really had to play, cause those people were really hard to please. It was one of the hardest audiences in the south . . . they hear It all the time. Everybody knows how to play glt-tar. You walk down the street and people are sittlogon their porch playing more gultar . . . That's where I learned to play, really, in Nashvllle. FP: What kind of equipment, guitars and arnps, do you use? JH: ( use a Fender Stratocaster. Everyone's screamlng about the seven year old Telecaster, and the 13 year old Gibson, and the 92 year old Les Paul. Theyve gone Intoan age bag rlght now, but lf s nothlng but a fad. The guitars now days play just as good. Y'know the salesman is always telling you that Chuck Berry took this one to the bathroom wlth him and he dldn't have no toilet paper, so watcb out for the plek guard . . . The Stratocaster Is the best all around guitar for the stuff we re doing. You can get the very brlght COMrtAUtU? ON PAi S2. JIMi HENDRIX ' trebles and the deep bass sound, I tried Telecaster and lt only has two sounds, good and bad, and a very weak tone variation. A Guild guitar is very delicate but it has one of the best sounds. I tried one of the new Gibsons, but I literally couldn't play it at all, so PU stick with Fender. I really like ray old Marshall tube arops, because whenit'sworkingproperly there's nothing can beat it, nothing In the vhole world. It looks like two refrigerators hooked together. FP: Y ou played on the recent Monkee's tour. What was that like? JH: We played seven performances on that tour. The personal part was beautlful, they're such good cats, but we weren' t getting any advertising. The people didn't even know we were there until we hit the stage. Us and the Monkees? Different audlences. But it was'n't their fault. They knew what they wanted to see. They carne to see the Monkees. FP: Were you influenced at all by the Yardbirds, especially the electronic stuff they did with JefT Beek? JH: I wasn't really influenced by Beek. I only heard one record by him, The Shape of Things, and I really dug it. I just llstened to it and I liked it. You've got to dig everything and then get your own ideas. Too much digging and not enough doing wlll set you spinning. I mean other musicians are doing so much in their own way. There's one cat Hm still trying to get across to people. Hls nameisAlbertCollins. He's buried in a road band socnewhere. He's good, really good. But he's a famlly cat, and doesn't want to go too far frora home. Aln't that always the way? FP: What American groups that you've heard do you like? JH: Well, I really, really like Bloomfleld's Electric Flag, and on the East Coast there's a group called the Mushroom. BlgBröther. Moby Grape. Vanilla Fudge has a good record, but I've never seen them so I can't really say. East Coast Clear Light will be good. I picked up a whole lot of albums here one time and it turned out to be a whole lot of mess. Now I'm scared to buy anymore untll I. get to hear them. FP: What do you think of the trend in Pop muslc, especially in England, toward the performance of theatrical pieces on stage, a total environment, utilizing a light show and such? JH: It's good in one wa.y, but it's kind of bad in another, because groups like the Procol Harum are overlooked because they don't move a round. Then the people read a review and say, "oh, thls proves lt, they bore the people," But the Harum's got words to say, they just don't jump around. Its not their fault. It's the fans who want only whatever's in fashion. A Ught show should work for you, not you tor it. The Jeiferson Airplane's nothing but -shadows; nothing but voices to the light patterns. It's sloppy now, they' II throw any kind of Hght behind thern. Like in the Roundhouse the strobes were on for tour hours straight I don't dfg that . . . that's Just pure nonsense. But theatre pieces is really a different scène. Can you imagine taking Othello and putting it on in you own way? You'd wrlte up some real groovy songs, you wouldn't necessarily .have to say the exact Unes . . . Great! The Who is doing theatre pieces Uke 'A Quick One While He's Away, but golly man, they Just stand there when they singit. They should jump into it ... like we' re golng to do in October. I can't say any more then that. We got a little somethlng in the skillet and I hope the grease dont burn away. Heh hen. FP: Have you worked with the Beatles? JH: Yeah, we work with them. Not musleally though. Heh hen. They re beautiful cats. Tlie Beatles and the Stones are all suchbeautiful cats off record, but it's a fatnily thing. Such a family thing that som e times lt all beglns to sound allke. Someti mes you Just don't want tobe part ofthe family. I belleve soon all the English records will sound alike, Just like Motown all sounds alike. That's nice in a way, but what happens if you have your own thing going? FP: What's happening with the Hippie Movement in England? JH: Ifs not as organized over there, they've just got weird looking cats. Ifs a small thing, n like it is here. I think the pólice are very groovy over there. They don't bother you very much. As a matter of fact, I was walking down the street ir London completely out of my mind, completely and utterly, and a Pólice wagon carne and they said, "Hl, Jimi, now are you doing? and I replied, Is it tomorrow ... or just the end of time ...