Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia

Did you see Jimi Hendrix in concert? Did you meet Jimi Hendrix or have the opportunity to interview him or have some other unique, first-person encounter with Jimi Hendrix? If so, Experience Hendrix wants to hear from you.

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Events

April 18th, 1969

Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, Tennessee [Two Shows]
With Fat Mattress

Set List: [Second Show]
Fire
I Don’t Live Today
Hear My Train A Comin’
Sunshine Of Your Love
Stone Free
Foxey Lady
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Burdened with an exhaustive schedule of personal appearances, the tense relationship between Hendrix and bassist Noel Redding further deteriorated. Frustrated, Hendrix reached out to old friend Billy Cox, with whom he had served in the US Army and performed on the famed R&B ‘chitlin’ circuit’ prior to leaving for New York.

The bassist reunited with Hendrix backstage at this Experience concert in Memphis. “We met when the Experience played in Memphis,” Cox explains. “He told me that he wanted me to be his bass player. He said that things weren’t in the order the way he wanted them and would I come as a friend and help him out. He said he’d take care of me and everything would be okay and so I gladly accepted. I went back to Nashville, closed my publishing company, dropped everything else and left for New York.”

Three days after the backstage meeting in Memphis, Cox joined Hendrix at the Record Plant recording studio in New York.

Events

June 29th, 1969

Denver Pop Festival, Denver, Co.

Set List:
Tax Free
Hear My Train A Comin’
Fire
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Foxey Lady
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze

The Experience topped the bill at the 1969 Denver Pop Festival. The festival, staged at Mile High Stadium, boasted a stellar lineup which also included Johnny Winter, Joe c***er, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Poco, Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention, Iron Butterfly, Tim Buckley, and Big Mama Thornton.

An inspired set by the Experience was marred by a riot following the group’s performance. Police officers began firing tear gas at the audience while Eric Barrett, a roadie for the Experience, rushed the band off stage and into the back of their rented equipment truck. Fans climbed all over the vehicle, nearly buckling the roof before the Barrett and the road crew could whisk the group away.

The Denver Pop Festival would prove to be the last performance by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. Immediately afterwards, Noel Redding elected to leave the group and returned to London. Redding cited Hendrix’s stated desire to expand the group without consulting him as one of the factors influencing his decision.

Media

December 14th, 1969

Just months after leaving the Experience to front Fat Mattress, Noel Redding’s group was coming undone. Rolling Stone magazine was among the first to reveal the group’s undoing.

“Despite reports to the contrary, Noel Redding’s Fat Mattress was not breaking up. Redding became ill during the group’s million-dollar American tour. In a statement from the Robert Stigwood Organization (Fat Mattress’s management company) said, “Fat Mattress’s debut tour of America has been postponed because of lead guitarist Noel Redding’s sudden illness.” Chas Chandler, the group’s manager strongly denied all rumors pointing the groups split saying “Noel flew home from New York after consulting his doctor and Rik Grunnell, head of the Stigwood office in the States. Noel will be taking a complete rest over the Christmas holiday at a secret address. New plans for Fat Mattress will be put into operation and announced in January.”

Media

December 27th, 1969

Despite initial reports that Fat Mattress had not disbanded, new information surfaced about the group’s messy split. Guitarist Noel Redding left for home after suffering what was being called a “nervous breakdown.” A spokesman for the Robert Stigwood Organization said, “the American tour could have been worth a million dollars.” Meanwhile, Jimmy Leverton of Fat Mattress told Melody Maker “the whole thing got out of hand. It was down to a personal thing within the band. We just couldn’t go on.”