Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia
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Popular TagsBuddy Miles Izabella billy cox Room Full Of Mirrors Stepping Stone lover man Record Plant Power Of Soul Message To Love session Machine Gun Burning Desire Henry Steingarten trial Baggy’s rehearsal studios Alan Douglas Stefan Bright Tony Bongiovi Paper Airplanes Them Changes
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 10th, 1969
Jimi fails to appear at a previous scheduled meeting with his attorney Henry Steingarten where an update of Hendrix’s broadening financial burdens were to be discussed. In a letter, dated November 11, 1969, Steingarten sent an outline of Jimi’s mounting debt and unfulfilled commitments to him.
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.
November 20th, 1969
Back at the Record Plant several spirited recordings were put to tape this evening, including six takes of Buddy Miles signature track, “Them Changes” plus a dozen meandering takes of “Burning Desire.” Hendrix was troubled by the tone of his guitar, resulting in few memorable highlights from the night’s session. Despite some technical problems the group continued recording, pressing through two takes of “Lover Man,” described here as “Here Comes Your Lover Man,” plus three lack-luster renditions of “Hear My Train A Comin’.” Prior to the session collapsing, Hendrix returned the group to “Burning Desire” and “Them Changes,” both of which were met with genuine disinterest.
November 21st, 1969
Overcoming the lagging spirits of the previous night, Alan Douglas and Stefan Bright brought Tony Bongiovi back into the control room as engineer to help spur on Hendrix’s musical style. As intended, Hendrix lead the group through a high-spirited session of recordings including nineteen takes of “Izabella” of which takes 1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 16, and 19 were tagged ‘complete.’ After a quick change of tape reels, one final take the 20th of “Izabella” was put to tape and flagged as the basic track. With the success of “Izabella” filling the studio air, the group turned to “Burning Desire” although none of the 24 takes featured the emotional intensity of the later. The marathon session continued with additional recordings of “Machine Gun” the fourth and final take was marked complete. Afterwards Hendrix guided the session through 24 takes (without vocals) of “Power Of Soul” which he then described as “Paper Airplanes.”