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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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.
The Experience work at the Record Plant in New York City. During the session, the group creates the basic track for “House Burning Down” and complete the recordings of “Gypsy Eyes” with take 5 being marked as ‘complete.’ The group also revisit “Tax Free” with Hendrix playing his guitar through a Leslie speaker on two of the takes; the later being marked as ‘use.’
Recording for “Three Little Bears” would take place at the Record Plant, where Steve Winwood, Jack Casady and a host of others visited the group. Although Hendrix originally coined the title, “Cherokee Mist” for the session, he later settled on “Three Little Bears” as its final working title. Throughout the session, Jimi developed a jazzy rhythm pattern that would eventually become “South Saturn Delta.” As the session progressed, Hendrix and bassist, Noel Redding get into a heated argument about the number of people in the studio. In his autobiography, Are You Experienced? Redding says, “There were tons of people in the studio – you couldn’t even move. It was a party not a session. He just said, ‘Relax man…’ I’d been relaxing for months, so I relaxed my way right out the place, not caring if I ever saw him again.” Taking a break from the session Hendrix leads an entourage to their local hangout at the Scene Club for some fun. Afterwards, Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Eddie Kramer, Winwood, Casady, Larry Coryell and others, return to the Record Plant to jam. These jams would become the foundation of “Voodoo Chile.” A number of recordings with Winwood and Casady participating were laid to tape on this night, with 3 of the takes being fused together as “Voodoo Chile Blues,” which was released on MCA’s 1994 release – :Blues.
Experience publicist, Michael Goldstein arranged for ABC-TV to record the group’s studio work today for a proposed news feature. Although the 16mm film recordings captured the Experience recording “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” at the Record Plant, no records indicate if the footage was ever used. Unfortunately, this footage, along with the recordings for the Experience’s May 10 show at Fillmore East and May 18 show at the Miami Pop Festival were all stolen from the ABC-TV archives sometime after Hendrix’s death in 1970. Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell are invited to jam with Joe Tex and his band at the Town Hall in New York City.
Larry Coryell (playing 12-string guitar) joins Noel Redding, at this early morning session at the Record Plant for the recording of his self-penned number, “Little, Little Girl.” A rough mix of the recording was also produced during the session. Later, Hendrix and Kramer prepare rough mixes of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and “House Burning Down.”
Returning once again to the Record Plant, the Experience prepare a rough mix of “House Burning Down” but later mark it ‘Don’t Use’ and discard it. Overdubs, including Jimi’s lead guitar part for Redding’s “Little Miss Strange” are completed, as is the final mix of the track.
The Experience complete rough mixes for “Three Little Bears,” “Voodoo Chile,” and “Long Hot Summer Night” during sessions at the Record Plant. Jimi also returned to the April 22 recordings of “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)” by adding a series of new recordings that were later added as edit sections to create a single, unified master. With Hendrix taking the music in his own direction, Chas Chandler stepped down as the producer for the Electric Ladyland project. “Both I and the group were exhausted,” explained Chandler in an interview with John McDermott for the book Jimi Hendrix Sessions. “I had spent three years with the Animals, and the next day I was working with Hendrix. I had put in as much time on the job as Hendrix, Mitchell, and Redding – plus my time with the Animals. The last thing I wanted to be doing was fighting with Jimi in the studio and then (Michael) Jeffrey in the office. I just walked away.” In a separate session, also at the Record Plant, Noel Redding worked recorded “How Can I Live” with engineer Gary Kellgren.
The Experience completed an overdub and mixdown session for “Gypsy Eyes” at the Record Plant.
It is unknown to what extent any studio efforts on this date had as no multitrack masters or tape copies are known to exist. However, the master list of tape boxes from the Record Plant sesssions refers to a track titled, “Inside Out” as having been recorded on this date. It has been reported that Buddy Miles, Jack Bruce and Jim McCarty may have joined Hendrix in the studio on this date.
A series of overdubs and remixes of “Gypsys Eyes” are completed with Eddie Kramer at the Record Plant.
The final mixes for “Rainy Day, Dream Away” are prepared are the Record Plant. It is decided that two separate songs can be created from this one recording – resulting in the original track being split into “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming.” Hendrix attends the Soul Together – the Martin Luther King Memorial Concert at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Jimi donates $5,000 to the memorial fund.
Progress is made during the mixing of, “At Last … The Beginning,” which later becomes “…And The Gods Made Love” during this session at the Record Plant.
Jimi Hendrix jams with Graham Bond at the Record Plant in New York City. Hendrix records the jam, however due to extensive technical difficulties the poor quality of the surviving recordings has rendered the tape useless.
At the Record Plant, Eddie Kramer experiments with the crossfades that will link the first three songs, “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland),” “Crosstown Traffic,” and “Voodoo Chile” together for the Electric Ladyland album.
Eddie Kramer prepared a rough mix of “Gypsy Eyes” at the Record Plant, but marks the tape box, ‘check with Jimi for usage.’
Gary Kellgren works on a mix of “Long Hot Summer Night” in an early morning studio session at his Record Plant studios. The Jimi Hendrix Experience receive Gold RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) awards for sales of more than $500,000 on their debut release, Are You Experienced. The presentation is made to Jimi, Mitch and Noel at Warner Brothers’ offices in Los Angeles.
A mid-day session at the Record Plant yields some additional mixes of “Long Hot Summer Night,” none of which are tagged as a final version. Linda McCartney photographs the Experience in New York’s Central Park. Several small children are gathered and hang-out with Jimi, Mitch, and Noel on the Alice In Wonderland statue in the heart of Park. Hendrix later chooses these photographs for the cover of the forthcoming Electric Ladyland double-LP.
The Experience return to the Record Plant to put the finishing touches on their forthcoming release, Electric Ladyland. Work on “Gypsy Eyes” on this night focused on the flanging effects, which had studio engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren physically putting pressure on the flange reel of the tape deck during recording. While Hendrix and Kramer labored over the master tape for Electric Ladyland, Kallgren, Mitchell and Redding recorded twelve-takes of Redding’s own composition, “How Can I Live,” which later appeared on the debut release for Redding’s new band, Fat Mattress. With only one more track required to complete the album, the group turned to Earl King’s “Come On (Part One)” to fill the final track. After fourteen takes, the final take was selected as the basic track for the album. Electric Ladyland was now complete.
Record Plant New York, N.Y. Destructive Love Jimi oversees a mixing session dedicated to the Buddy Miles Express song “Destructive Love”. The song would later be retitled “I Can See” and included as part of the album Electric Church. It’s Too Bad World Traveler Jam In addition to his work on the Buddy Miles Express recording, Jimi, Miles, and organist Duane Hitchings also focused on new material by Hendrix. “It’s Too Bad” would later be issued as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.
Record Plant New York, N.Y. Star Spangled Banner Hey Gypsy Boy Jimi Hendrix records “Star Spangled Banner” and “Gypsy Boy” at the Record Plant. “Star Spangled Banner” was included as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.
Record Plant New York, N.Y. Jam With John McLaughlin Jam With Jim McCarty John McLaughlin, Jim McCarty, Buddy Miles, and Dave Holland join Jimi Hendrix at the Record Plant.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) Room Full Of Mirrors 2) Crash Landing 3) Bleeding Heart These recordings represent Billy Cox’s first studio session with Jimi. For their explorations of “Room Full Of Mirrors”, “Crash Landing” and “Bleeding Heart”, Hendrix and Cox were joined by drummer Rocky Isaac and percussionist Al Marks. Take thirty-one of “Room Full Of Mirrors” from this session is featured as part of the box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience. At the time of the box set’s release, it was not known that Issac and Marks had been the musicians backing Jimi on that evening. More than three decades later, Al Marks, now a successful music executive for MCA Records, fills in the details about meeting Jimi and how the session came together EH: How did you first meet Jimi? AM: I met Jimi at the Monterey Pop Festival. I was in a band in New York called the Down Five. My guitar player wanted to go to Monterey. I said, ‘For what? I don’t want to go to Mexico.’ He said, ‘No, Monterey, California for the Pop Festival’. I agreed, so we got into a VW bus and drove across the country. He knew someone who was working at the festival and we got a crew pass. We spent a lot of time wandering around the backstage and all of the artists back there were really cool. You could walk up to people like Brian Jones, Mickey Dolenz, and Mama Cass and just talk to them. We watched Jimi’s performance and were just blown away. I didn’t even want to pick up my guitar again after watching him play. He blew me away. Sometime after his set, we went backstage and saw him having a conversation with Mitch Mitchell. When he finished, I walked over and said, ‘I also play guitar, but as of today I am putting it down.’ He laughed in that cool way he had and said, ‘Don’t put it down. Just practice.’ We spoke for about fifteen minutes, talking about guitars and amplifiers. I asked him about Stratocasters and why he played them upside down. He showed me his hands and they were twice my size. I told him that I played Gibson’s and he wanted to know which models I liked. I preferred the 335 which he had never played. He spoke of a Gibson Firebird which I had never heard of. He mentioned that one of the Kinks also played that guitar. He was very friendly and easy to talk with. He was just really cool. EH: How did you get involved with the Cherry People? AM: I moved from New York down to Washington in January 1969. I hooked up with this band known as the Cherry People. I was living in the basement of the guitar player’s house. Chris Grimes and I were good friends and I was working as their manager. Punky Meadows, later of Angel, was the lead guitarist. Rocky Isaac was their drummer and Jan Zechowski, later of the Nighthawks played bass. Doug Grimes was the lead singer. The band told me that everybody would be going up to New York in April. They were going to try and get out of their record deal with Heritage Records to whom they had signed in 1968. The group had a hit with the song “And Suddenly”, but they were not a bubble gum band and that’s what the album was. Jerry Ross owned Heritage Records and when they recorded the Cherry People album, they had used a lot of session players. The band didn’t have a lot of input into how it was made. The guys really resented that. We had a meeting scheduled with Jerry Ross, but he didn’t show. We left a note with his secretary asking to be released from the label. She laughed at us, but agreed to give it to Jerry. After that, we went out for pizza and heard that there was going to be a jam for guitar players at Steve Paul’s Scene Club that night. We didn’t have a hotel because we had originally thought we were just going to turn around and drive back home after the meeting with Jerry Ross. We decided instead to go check what was happening there. We got there at 9:00 and there were all kinds of people around like Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer. All of a sudden Jimi Hendrix walked in with two people. He sat down in the corner and no one was bothering him. Everybody at my table was going, ‘Wow! That’s Jimi Hendrix!’ I was excited. I told the guys that I had met Jimi at Monterey Pop and wanted to see if he had remembered our conversation backstage. The guys didn’t believe me and I sat there for a few minutes trying to get up the nerve to go talk to him. I got up the courage and introduced myself. I didn’t want to bother him, but I asked if he remembered meeting at Monterey. He did not, but told me it was cool to sit and talk with him. He asked what I was doing in New York and I told him that our band was trying to get out of its contract with the record company. He laughed and said, ‘Yeah, record companies…’ Then he said, ‘So you got a band here? Do you have a drummer?’ I said ‘Yes. He is sitting right over there.’ He then asked if we were doing anything at 3 or 4 o’clock that morning. I said no and asked him why. He was going to cut some things in the studio and wondered whether our drummer would like to sit in. I immediately said he would. Jimi then said, ‘Well, you didn’t ask him.’ I didn’t have to ask him. He’s gonna do it. He wanted to know if the guy was any good and I told him that Rocky was a great drummer. We’ll do it, I told him. He introduced me to Billy Cox who was sitting with him. Billy mentioned that he was a bass player. I asked about Noel Redding, but Jimi told me that Noel would not be sitting in. He described Billy as his buddy and said that the session would be with him. We agreed to meet later at the Record Plant. I walked to my table and told the band, ‘You are not going to believe this but Jimi Hendrix just asked Rocky to sit in’. Everybody at the table told me I was full of shit. I asked the guys to trust me and waved over to Jimi’s table. Jimi waved back and gave us the peace sign. Chris, Rocky, and I made plans to go while the other guys went back to this hostel we were staying at. At the Record Plant we told the receptionist that we were here to do a session with Jimi Hendrix. He asked who we were and I told him the Cherry People. We were not listed on the sheet. I told him about meeting Jimi at the Scene Club and he said, ‘Oh, you are the guys he called over about’. We were alone in the studio for about forty-five minutes before Gary Kellgren showed up with an assistant engineer and a tall, beautiful black woman [Devon Wilson] whom we were told was Jimi’s girlfriend. Gary reassured us that while Jimi was always late, he had phoned about the session and was on his way over. Twenty minutes later, Jimi and Billy Cox walked in with a friend who was a photographer [Willis Hogans Jr.]. Jimi was really cool and wanted to know if we were OK. Rocky saw him and said, ‘You’re Jimi Hendrix’. Jimi laughed and said ‘Man, I know who I am. Don’t you think I know who I am?’ We all just about fell on the floor laughing. Rocky admitted to him that he was really nervous. Jimi laughed and said, ‘Just relax. It will all be cool.’ Jimi was playing through an old Acoustic amplifier and not a Marshall. One big cabinet with a small head. Billy was playing through an Ampeg rig and a set of drums had been set up for Rocky. Jimi then started to move his amp and I told that I would do that for him. He said that if I really wanted to move something for him, his car was out front and if he didn’t move it across the street it was going to be towed. I asked for the keys and told him I would do it. He owned a silver Corvette and by the time I was outside I thought, ‘Shit, I don’t know how to drive a stick shift. I am going to ruin Jimi’s Corvette’. I opened the door and it was automatic. I thought, my God everything is working for me tonight! I got in the car and there were all of these tapes on the passenger seat. His car had a cassette player built in to the dashboard and I had never seen anything like that before. Sitting on the seat were these tapes which were marked, ‘Me, Steve Winwood’ and ‘Me, Buddy Miles’. I parked the car, came back in and he told me that he wanted a percussion section. Jimi asked me to play maracas—which I had never played before in my life—and Chris Grimes to play tambourine. We recorded “Room Full Of Mirrors” and it took forever because Rocky couldn’t keep the beat on drums. Midway through the session, Jimi turned to him and said something to the effect of, ‘Man, do you know how to play drums? What’s going on?’ I had been banging one of the maracas against my leg for three and a half hours and my leg was black and blue. I told Rocky quietly that he better get things right because I couldn’t walk! I had a knot on my leg that seemed four inches big. I was afraid that we were going to screw up the chance of a lifetime. At one point in the session, the photographer [Willis Hogans Jr.] got underfoot of Jimi. He had been laying on the ground taking pictures of Jimi and he got in the way. Jimi kicked the camera out of his hands, saying to get out of the way [Ed. These may be the few color shots Hogans took of Jimi from that angle]. We thought he was joking at first but he was actually really pissed. His kick broke the camera and the photographer started crying. Jimi gave him money to get it fixed but that was the end of photos that night. By eight that morning, Jimi said that we were going to give it one last try and if we didn’t get it we would have to come back the next morning. Jimi then just started wailing on the guitar and singing live on top of it. Rocky finally delivered what he believed was a good take and Gary Kellgren yelled ‘Yeah’ over the talkback microphone when we had finished. Jimi let us know that we were done for the night. Before we left, he told us that he had a couple more tracks that he wanted to cut on Thursday at the same time. We thought he meant after midnight Wednesday evening. As he was walking out, he gave each of us $100.00 cash and said to Rocky, ‘Man, I would practice a bit if I was you.’ Billy laughed and shook his head and they walked out together. Gary Kellgren then came over and asked us our names and if we were in the Musicians Union. We were, but Gary told us not to declare the work because Jimi had paid us more than union scale for the session. Union scale at that time for a session was $35.00. We were strutting. Jimi Hendrix had paid us $100.00 to play with him. We told the guys back at the hostel about the session and they didn’t believe us until we showed them the $100.00 bill Jimi had given each of us. We then drove back to Washington and made a plan to bring Mike Burke and Richard Harrington, a critic for the Washington Post who also wrote for a paper called the Unicorn Times to prove that we actually were going to record again with Jimi Hendrix.
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
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 fuck 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!
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Jimi returned to New York and booked an evening session at the Record Plant dedicated to playbacks of previously recorded material and mixing. His session concluded at 2:30 a.m. and the guitarist left the studio to go to the Scene nightclub.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) “Jam #1” 2) “Jam #2” 3) “Ships Passing Through The Night” 4) “Jam Part II” [“The Things I Used To Do”] In the early morning hours of May 7, Jimi returned from the nearby Scene Club with Steve Stills and Johnny Winter in tow. The three guitarists enjoyed a lengthy jam session which culminated in a rollicking rendition of Guitar Slim’s “The Things I Used To Do”. Memorial Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama With Fat Mattress, Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys Later that afternoon, Hendrix joined Mitchell, Redding and his road crew to fly to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The group checked into the Ramada Inn in Tuscaloosa prior to performing that evening at the Memorial Coliseum. Jimi Hendrix is photographed during The Experience’s performance at Memorial Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on May 7, 1969. Photo: Marshal Haglar / © Authentic Hendrix, LLC
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) Hear My Train A Comin’ 2) Villanova Junction 3) Earth Blues 4) Untitled Blues 5) Jam With Buddy Miles On Guitar 6) Earth Blues 7) Bleeding Heart Jimi returned to the Record Plant to record with Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, and an unnamed conga player. Over the course of this lengthy session, the group cut a superb rendition of the Elmore James blues standard “Bleeding Heart”. This recording was later edited and issued as part of Jimi Hendrix: Blues.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording 1) Message From Nine To The Universe For the second consecutive evening, Jimi was joined by Cox, Miles, and an unnamed percussionist. Their focus was centered on “Message From Nine To The Universe” an early hybrid of “Earth Blues” and “Message To Love”. A heavily edited version of this take was later issued as part of the [now deleted] 1980 compilation Nine To The Universe.
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.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Born Under A Bad Sign Lover Man Earth Blues Message To Love Changes Lover Man Burning Desire Back in New York, Hendrix returned to the Record Plant for an extended evening session. Jimi led Buddy Miles and Billy Cox through takes of “Lover Man,” “Izabella,” “Earth Blues,” “Message To Love,” “Changes,” and “Burning Desire”, although no masters were achieved. One recording from this session, an impromptu rendition of Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” was issued posthumously as part of the 1994 compilation Jimi Hendrix :Blues (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 11060).
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Ezy Ryder Message To Love Bleeding Heart A long and productive evening of rehearsing and recording for Hendrix, Cox, and Miles. It is not known which session came first, but the Band Of Gypsys spent time on this day at Baggy’s Studios, a makeshift rehearsal facility, and the Record Plant. At the Record Plant, Hendrix and the group made significant progress on “Message To Love,” “Ezy Ryder”, and “Bleeding Heart.” The last of eighteen takes provided a working master for “Message To Love”, although Hendrix opted to retry the song the following evening and this version as scrapped. However, the group successfully recorded the basic track for “Ezy Ryder” on this evening. Additional work in the form of numerous guitar, bass, and vocal overdubs would be completed for this track at Electric Lady Studios during the summer of 1970, but this inspired session yielded the basic rhythm track Hendrix desired. “Ezy Ryder” would later be issued as part of the 1997 compilation First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 11599)). Baggy’s Studios, New York Studio Rehearsals At Baggy’s Studios, Hendrix, Cox, and Miles devoted their efforts toward refining the body of songs Hendrix wished to perform as part of his upcoming performances at the Fillmore East. Hendrix had elected to record the Fillmore East performances for a live album he would deliver to capitol records to settle a longstanding legal dispute. “We rehearsed at a place called Baggy’s in New York,” explains Cox. “It was located down by Chinatown. We were there prior to Christmas and then a little after, practicing and rehearsing. We were working up a set with the songs we were going to perform for the [Fillmore East] concert. Then we realized that we had to do four shows and we used quite a few of those numbers in each of the shows.” Baggy’s Studios was a nondescript Manhattan rehearsal facility opened by former Soft Machine road manager Tom Edmonston. Baggy’s was by no means a recording studio designed to compete with the likes of the Record Plant. Baggy’s had no control room; its purpose was to provide a space for artists to rehearse without restriction and at full volume for as much time as they required. This was a simple, yet effective rehearsal facility geared to those such as Hendrix who had no other convenient space to prepare for a live event or concert tour. “Baggy’s had two floors,” remembers Cox. “It was essentially warehouse space. We worked in the large room downstairs. It was a pretty simple set up. There were rugs on the floor and the walls were padded and soundproofed. “ While commonplace now, the concept of a dedicated rehearsal room for rock acts [as opposed to vacant halls or theaters] had only begun to take hold in 1969. Cox explains. “The recording studio was exclusively used for creating and coming up with something new and different. This was something else. Previous to that time, whenever Jimi wanted to rehearse something he would call me up and I would come over to his apartment and we would play through some small amps. Rehearsal space did not exist as we know it today.” Perhaps most importantly, Baggy’s rental rates were a fraction of the cost of similar time at the Record Plant. With Hendrix’s finances hamstrung by the construction cost overruns of his own Electric Lady Studios and the continuing PPX litigation, this was an important consideration. Some of Hendrix’s recordings of the Band Of Gypsys rehearsals have survived. They were originally made at 7 ½ i.p.s. on a two-track reel to reel tape machine. For Hendrix, these recordings served as a convenient tool to measure the group’s progress throughout the rehearsals. Gene McFadden, a member of Hendrix’s road crew, organized the group’s equipment and installed a sound system from which a feed was patched into the tape recorder. Hendrix loaded a full spool of tape and essentially left the machine to run. Each song was recorded live with no overdubs or other such attempts to finish or even polish them. Twelve examples of these spirited rehearsals, many from the long session on this and the following day, are featured as part of the Dagger Records release Jimi Hendrix: The Baggy’s Rehearsal Sessions. Although dates for each recording from Baggy’s are not entirely clear, it is known from tape box markings that “Burning Desire” and “Hoochie Coochie Man” were recorded on this day. Prior to the release of Jimi Hendrix: The Baggy’s Rehearsal Sessions, a few excerpts from Jimi’s rehearsals at Baggy’s have been commercially issued. “Burning Desire” and “Hoochie Coochie Man” first appeared overseas in 1973 as part of the long since deleted Loose Ends compilation. In recent years, the Baggy’s recording of Jimi’s yuletide medley of “Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, and “Auld Lang Syne” has been issued as the popular CD single Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Message To Love Earth Blues For the second consecutive evening, Hendrix, Cox, and Miles spent time at both the Record Plant and Baggy’s Studios. It would appear that the group began the evening with an extended rehearsal session at Baggy’s Studios. Afterwards, Hendrix began a separate session with Cox and Miles at the Record Plant beginning at 3 a.m. Hendrix returned to “Message To Love”, achieving a satisfactory basic rhythm track with just a single take. Sixteen takes of “Earth Blues” followed, with the eleventh designated as ‘complete.’ Hendrix would add a host of overdubs to this working master, including guitar, lead vocal, backing vocals by the famed Ronettes, and even a new drum track by Mitch Mitchell before his death the following year. First issued as part of the since deleted Rainbow Bridge soundtrack, “Earth Blues” was reissued in 1997 as part of First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 11599). “Message To Love” has since been issued as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set issued in September 2000.
Record Plant, New York Studio Recording Stepping Stone Cherokee Mist Hendrix returned to the Record Plant (321 West 44th Street, New York City) for a session that resulted in three takes of “I’m A Man,” (“Stepping Stone”) and one take of “Cherokee Mist” being put to tape. Take three of “I’m A Man” resulted in the basic track that would be revisited again during a session on January 20.
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.
Returning to the Record Plant Hendrix begins experimenting with different backward guitar effects. This session also saw additional work on “Burning Desire” but with little noticeable advancement on finalizing a basic track.
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.
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.
Returning to the “Studio C” at the Record Plant, continued work on “Freedom” was the focus of the group’s attention, resulting in 19 takes of the song, of which 15 were particularly spirited, although no master resulted from these takes Hendrix moved future studio work on “Freedom” over to his own Electric Lady Studios in late June. The session also featured work on “Valleys Of Neptune,” “Peter Gunn,” and “Catastrophe,” the later two debuting posthumously on War Heroes (Reprise Records, 1972). Making another attack on “Freedom,” Jimi was left unsatisfied and turned his attention back to “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” which at this point was styled similarly to the rendition that is currently available on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 1997). Before ending the session, he led the band through an energetic rendition of “Lover Man.”