Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia
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Popular TagsSky Blues Today 1970 Stepping Stone the Record Plant Band of Gypsys rough mixes Bob Hughes session Machine Gun Message To The Universe Room Full Of Mirrors February 15 Dave Ragno January 22 master mix the Records Plant April 13 Buddy Miles Voodoo Child
August 28th, 1969
Hit Factory, New York
1 ) Message To The Universe
2 ) Lover Man
3 ) Izabella
4 ) Message To The Universe
5 ) Izabella
6 ) Burning Desire
7 ) Easy Blues
8 ) Izabella
9 ) Beginnings
Jimi returned to the recording studio for the first time in nearly three months. The guitarist was accompanied by his expanded ensemble Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, as well as engineer Eddie Kramer. Jimi had readied a slate of promising new material and looked to make progress on his next studio album.
A number of recordings from this session were later issued on disc. The two most prominent were “Message To The Universe”, now a part of South Saturn Delta and “Izabella” from the box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
While no longer in print, two other recordings from this session have been previously released. An edited version of “Easy Blues” was part of the 1980 compilation Nine To The Universe. “Beginnings” was posthumously overhauled in 1974 and fitted with new overdubs as part of the ill advised [and long since deleted] Midnight Lightning album produced by Alan Douglas.
August 29th, 1969
Hit Factory, New York
2) Message To The Universe
4) Machine Gun
6) Message To The Universe
Jimi returned to the Hit Factory for new attempts at “Izabella” and “Message To The Universe.”
A sparse demo of “Machine Gun” was buttressed with overdubs by session musicians in 1974 and issued as part of the controversial [and long since deleted] Midnight Lightning.
November 07th, 1969
In a lively session with Hendrix on guitar and Buddy Miles on drums, the two musicians run through a number of takes of “Izabella” plus lay the foundations for “Room Full Of Mirrors.” As John McDermott explains in Jimi Hendrix: Sessions, “Shortly after reel two began, technical problems slowed the pair’s progress. Hendrix, in particular, was bothered by the volume and general quality of the recording being supplied to his headphones. [Engineers] Jack Adams and Dave Ragno feverishly attempted to remedy the situation, but when recording resumed, Jimi’s amplifier started to malfunction, causing his guitar sound to drop out intermittently. This again caused a scramble in the control room. To help salvage the session, engineer Tony Bongiovi was sent for, and, thought he was not listed on the tape box, his distinctive voice can be plainly heard from this point forward.”
As the session regrouped and recordings continued, a series of takes of “Room Full Of Mirrors” was laid to tape as was a couple of interesting takes of “Shame, Shame, Shame” (a song which eluded to the strained relationship with his step-brother Leon), plus a gritty rendition of “Ezy Ryder.”
It was during these sessions that Alan Douglas deepened his involvement with Hendrix. Although his exact role in the sessions of the 7th is unknown, the tape marked simply marked as being for client, Douglas Records. As Stefan Bright and Douglas increased their control and influence over Hendrix in the studio, their exact involvement and reason for being there seemed puzzling. Tom Erdelyi (second engineer for several Record Plant sessions) explained the changes in the studio in McDermott’s Jimi Hendrix: Sessions. “Douglas and Bright just sort of came in and took over. They were running the show. I was surprised, because I was a fan of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and no one seemed to understand what Jimi was trying to accomplish. Jimi was such a perfectionist. It seemed as if he was just taking his time, because no tracks were being completed. We thought that Douglas was being patient.
“I don’t know whether they had specific titles or not,” continues Erdelyi. “But Stefan Bridge was supposed to be the producer and Alan Douglas the executive producer. There were times when just Stefan Bright was there, but Jimi just played what he wanted, and those guys made comments from the control room.”
November 17th, 1969
Joined by Billy Cox, Hendrix and Miles returned to the Record Plant studios in New York City to continue work on several new tracks including “Room Full Of Mirrors,” “Stepping Stone,” and “Ezy Rider.” Second engineer Tom Erdelyi recalls additional recordings being worked on including “Izabella,” “Machine Gun,” “Dolly Dagger,” and “Message To Love.”
During this session, Hendrix brought in Albert and Arthur Allen (the Ghetto Fighters) to provide backing vocals for “Room Full Of Mirrors.” The basic track of “Room Full Of Mirrors” is the foundation for the recording heard on 1997’s First Ray s Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/ MCA, 11599). Afterwards, Hendrix and the Allen twins visited Studio B where Mountain was recording their latest hit, “Mississippi Queen.” Thrilled by the chance meeting, Hendrix invited Leslie West back to his studio for a jam.
January 22nd, 1970
Record Plant, New York
Sky Blues Today [Stepping Stone]
Hendrix prepared new mixes of “Sky Blues Today” and “Izabella”.