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Recording

April 22nd, 1969

April 22, 1969

Record Plant, New York
Studio Recording

1) Mannish Boy

Jimi, Buddy Miles, and Billy Cox dedicate this evening to recording an uptempo remake of Muddy Waters’ classic “Mannish Boy”. The song was later issued as part of the popular album Jimi Hendrix :Blues.

This multi-exposed image of Jimi Hendrix recording at Record Plant Studios in New York, New York was taken on April 22, 1969.

Photo: Willis Hogan Jr. / © Authentic Hendrix, LLC

Interviews

April 24th, 1969

April 24, 1969

Record Plant, New York
Studio Recording

1) Crash Landing
2) Bleeding Heart
3) Hey Gypsy Boy

On this evening, Jimi and Billy Cox were again joined by percussionist Al Marks and drummer Rocky Isaac from the Washington D.C. based group The Cherry People. Al Marks details the events of that memorable evening.

EH: What happened at the April 24, 1969 session?

AM: We drove back Wednesday [April 23, 1969] and went to the Record Plant. We spoke to the receptionist and told him we were here to record with Jimi. He remembered us from the other night but informed us Jimi had not booked a session for that night. All of a sudden our jaws dropped. Mike Burke and [Washington Post critic] Richard Harrington looked at us and were complaining that we had driven all this way for nothing. Mike Burke agreed to stay, but Harrington left to take a train back to D.C. We had no place to stay so we asked if we could hang out at the studio. They let us in and we crashed on the floor of the studio. In the morning, we were awoken by Vinnie Bell and Tony Mottola from the Tonight Show band. Vinnie was the guy who invented the electric sitar. [Ed. Marks may have also solved another puzzling Hendrix historical question. On April 6, 1969 Jimi was recorded playing a Coral electric sitar at the Record Plant. It now seems apparent that he was given the instrument by Bell]. They were arriving to do session work for a movie soundtrack. These guys were in suits and we were a bunch of scraggly hippies in buckskin jackets.

Before we left that morning, Jimi called the studio to set up the session for that night. The studio told him we were there and he asked us to return that night at 9. Somehow we then lost Rocky. We couldn’t locate him, so we ended up spending the day walking around the city. He showed up back at the studio around 7 p.m. looking refreshed. He asked us where we had been because Jimi had reserved a hotel room for us. We were stunned. Rocky had left a note for us but the guy at the Record Plant had forgotten to tell us. We all ran over to the hotel room Jimi had reserved for us and took quick showers. When we returned to the studio, Jimi and Rocky were going over the new songs he wanted to play.

The first number we did was “Bleeding Heart”. We did about fifteen or sixteen takes and it seemed to work out fairly well. It was the same line-up as the previous session.

Jimi then wanted to try another song so Chris and I took the opportunity to switch instruments. My leg was so damn sore that I couldn’t keep doing it anymore so I took over tambourine and Chris picked up the maracas. [Ed. Jimi made several attempts at “Hey Gypsy Boy”, an uptempo new original song whose lyrics bore close similarity to what would later develop as “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)”].

Jimi then started to play “Crash Landing”. There were no vocals at first. He was focusing on the track itself. This went really well and after ten or fifteen takes he asked everybody to leave the studio. I asked him if we were being thrown out and he explained that he would not allow anybody to be in the studio while he recorded vocals on a track. In the control room, Gary Kellgren told us that it was just an idiosyncrasy that Jimi had. Gary went out and constructed a booth around him. Jimi had a sheet with lyrics and he stood behind there and sang beautifully. We were bug eyed in the control room. Then, all of sudden, Punky Meadows, who had been sleeping in the back of the studio, woke up and started walking across the room. Jimi saw him and literally flipped out. He threw down the papers in his hand and yelled, ‘What the f*** are you doing in the studio when I am doing vocals?’ In the control room, Gary Kellgren put his hands to his head. Apparently, that was the worst thing anyone could do on a Hendrix session. He yelled to us, ‘Get him out of there!’ We hustled Punky out to the bathroom and Jimi regained his composure and started doing vocals again. When he finished, he walked in to the control room and said, ‘Man, no one walks through that studio when I am doing vocals. Didn’t Gary tell you that?’ We explained that Punky had been asleep and we didn’t know where he was. Jimi laughed. ‘Punky? What kind of name is Punky?’ Punky came out from hiding and they met. All Jimi kept asking him was what kind of name was Punky? It was funny.

At the end of the session, he thanked us and hoped that we would run into each other. We drove back to D.C. after that.

EH: Did you ever imagine that any of the music to which you contributed would be released?

AM: Years later I bought the Crash Landing album thinking it was us on the track but they had erased everything. I have been looking for some validation of this session for thirty years. Every time I would see “Room Full Of Mirrors” on a Jimi Hendrix album I would look to see if my name was on it. Then this year I got an advance of the new box set. I heard “Room Full Of Mirrors” and lo and behold it was it us. This is the song I played on! When I saw the credits, I was disappointed that no one seemed to know who the hell I was! It was great to talk to you about it. I am so grateful to know that this track is on the box set. I love Jimi and its an honor to be a part of something like this. I’ve been on a high since!

Recording

January 16th, 1970

In a session at the Record Plant, overseen by engineer Bob Hughes and second engineer Dave Ragno, Hendrix crafted a rough sketch of "Send My Love To Linda" which featured Miles on drums and Cox on bass. As the track progressed it extended into a lively extended jam. Additionally, twelve takes of "Paper Airplanes" (AKA "Power Of Soul") and five takes of "Burning Desire" were also put to tape.
Recording

February 16th, 1970

Juggy Sound, New York
Studio Recording

Record Plant, New York
Studio Recording

On this evening, Hendrix traveled to the Record Plant after mixing sessions at Juggy Sound had concluded. Upon his arrival, an informal jam session with Buddy Miles ensued. Two instrumental attempts at “Blue Suede Shoes” were put to tape. Later, Hendrix put forward an early version of what would become to “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).” Singing live and supported only by drums and percussion, Hendrix wove gorgeous touches of Spanish flamenco styling within the arrangement. An impish stab at Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues”—a favorite of the guitarist’s when he was a teenager in Seattle—was followed by a funky original work reminiscent of “Day Tripper.”

Soon thereafter Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell arrived. Buddy Miles departed and work began on “Freedom”. This recording, issued on The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set, is dramatically different than the version now included as part of First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Most notably, Jimi devised an inventive, extended introduction and, in contrast to his efforts the previous summer with Gypsys Sun & Rainbows, skillfully integrated the percussion effort of Juma Sultan.

Recording

March 23rd, 1970

Working alone, Jimi arrived at the Record Plant intent on realizing a more traditional Delta blues arrangement of “Midnight Lightning” than he had previously attempted. Singing and playing live as he sat on a chair, Jimi utilized a finger picking style he rarely incorporated on his recordings. The song’s slow beat was accented, in the tradition of such blues men as Lightnin’ Hopkins and John Lee Hooker, by the steady tapping of his foot on the floor.

One of his favorite blues themes, Jimi would later make several attempts to complete a group version with Cox and Mitchell that summer at Electric Lady. Sadly, his untimely death in September 1970 came before “Midnight Lightning” and many other scintillating works in progress could be completed.