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Memories of Jimi Hendrix

September 24, 2010

In this week of BBC programmes commemorating his life, forty years after his death, I thought I’d share my own.
Jimi IoWIn May 1967 I was nearing the end of my second year at University. I can’t remember now how I’d learned about Jimi. I know I was already hooked on his music. I’d been to a record store in Tottenham Court Road and reserved a copy of their first album “Axis – Bold as Love’. On the day it was released I went out to collect it at lunch time and brought it back to College. I was so desperate to listen to it I sought out the College music room. It had a good quality record deck and a loud, powerful amplifier and speaker set-up. The room was empty. As I listened to those tracks for the first time in raptured amazement confused faces would appear at the window in the music room door from time to time. Quite what they thought of Jimi’s music which was reverberating along the corridors I didn’t know. And I didn’t care. The pop music of the 60s had changed for ever.

Three years later I had a weekend ticket for the Isle of Wight festival. For reasons I probably don’t need to go into, I don’t remember every act from that weekend. The music started about 4 p.m. and went on until about 4 a.m. They let us sleep for a few hours then chucked us out of the arena to clean it up before it all started again. At least that’s how I remember it, forty years on. Jimi came on stage some time between 2 and 3 a.m. – the dead hour. Most of the audience seemed to be asleep, or maybe too stoned, by then to react properly when he started.

It wasn’t his best performance, I was too far away to see him clearly and it was much too late. But I was there. I did see him perform live and some memories at least will, I hope, stay with me forever

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 18, 2010 10:32 am

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