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On the heels of Hendrix delivering the completed Band Of Gypsys release to Capitol Records on February 25, 1970, the label quickly jumped into the mastering stage for the record, ensuring its speedy delivery to store shelves.
Noel Redding returns to New York expecting to begin rehearsing with Hendrix and Mitchell for the next Jimi Hendrix Experience tour unaware that Billy Cox has replaced him in the band. “Noel wasn’t told until he came back, expecting to rehearse for the tour,” explains Mitch Mitchell. “Basically, no one had the balls to do it.”
Hearing news that Kathy Etchingham had just married, Jimi calls her in London to confirm the account. “I hadn’t heard from Jimi for a while and apparently he was having problems,” explained Etchingham in her book Through Gypsy Eyes (Victor Gallancz, 1998). “He had a disastrous gig at Madison Square Gardens and walked off-stage. Around this time someone must have told him about me getting married to Ray. [Jimi] rang to find out if it was true.”
Jimi flies to London where he meets Kathy Etchingham and tries to convince her to leave her new husband and move back to New York, where Jimi assures her, “everything will be all right, all those people I was hanging out with have gone.” With Ray now living with Kathy at her Brook Street flat, Kathy helped get Jimi checked in at the Londonberry Hotel (Park Lane, W1).
While in London, Jimi heads to The Revolution where he attends a performance by Rubber Duck.
Petticoat’s Keith Altham interviews Hendrix for a May 30th piece where Jimi talks about his voice. “Singing… I used to be embarrassed by my voice. We drowned it on the first few albums I made, but then I realized I was judging it by the wrong yardstick. Dylan has a lousy voice technically, but it is good because he sings things he believes in. True feelings are really the only qualities worth listening for in a voice.” Jimi also entered into discussions with Emerson, Lake & Palmer about a possible joint tour in the future.
Hendrix and Stephen Stills jam at the famed London nightspot The Speakeasy.
Capitol Records released the eagerly anticipated live album, Band Of Gypsys. The album featured six tracks from the two Fillmore East performances on January 1, 1970. “Who Knows” and “Machine Gun,” were recorded during the evening’s first while all of the album’s second side was drawn from the second show. Despite the dramatic shift in sound and style—especially when compared with Electric Ladyland–Band Of Gypsys nonetheless enjoyed wide commercial approval. The album debuted on Billboard’s US Top 200 chart at 18 and climbed to its peak at 5. The album remained on the chart for sixty-one weeks. At the time of Jimi’s death, Band Of Gypsys was Hendrix’s most commercially successful album since Are You Experienced, his 1967 debut.