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Jimi returned to Toronto, Ontario where he appeared in court before Judge Fred Hayes. Hayes ordered Hendrix to return for a preliminary hearing for possession of narcotics on June 19. Photos of Jimi walking to the court house were later featured on the cover of Rolling Stone’s May 31, 1969 issue.
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.”
The February 7 edition of Rolling Stone took a candid look at the year that was… 1969. And in top marks to Jimi Hendrix, RS said, “Jimi Hendrix had a big year, a pretty neat trick for a musician who made no music. He was busted for dope and got off, his Experience broke up with Hendrix starting a “serious” new experimental group, he quite gigging except for a few festivals, and there were no new records. To Jimi Hendrix, the No News Is Big News Award.”
Under the watchful eye of manager, Michael Jeffery Rolling Stone’s John Burks was invited to Jeffery’s office on West 37th Street in New York to interview Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding (who was recently brought in from England). Jeffery clearly wanted to present the original Jimi Hendrix Experience as a united group and that the disastrous Madison Square Garden performance by Hendrix with the Band Of Gypsys was a single, isolated episode. Rolling Stone was at the forefront of the counter cultural press and Jeffrey desperately wanted to the benefit of positive coverage for his artist. In his interview, Burks made several attempts to pin Hendrix down on his present musical course, but Hendrix offered no definitive explanation or plan. Rather than lay out a comprehensive plan for the Experience, Hendrix alluded to possible future jamming and recording with Cox and Miles. The guitarist also described the recent Madison Square Garden performance as ‘the end of a big fairy tale’.
Under the watchful eye of manager, Michael Jeffery Rolling Stone’s John Burks was invited to Jeffery’s office on West 37th Street in New York to interview Hendrix, Mitchell and Redding (whom was recently brought in from England), in a carefully controlled environment. Wanting the trio to appear as a united force that was to again be known as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jeffrey pressed to get positive press coverage in the pages of Rolling Stone.
During the interview Hendrix is asked several questions about his evolving music direction where he eludes to expanded musical offerings. Have you given any thought to touring with the Experience as the basic unit, but bringing along other people? Or would that be too confusing?
No, it shouldn’t be. Maybe I’m the evil one, right [laughs]. But there isn’t any reason for it to be like that. I even want the name to be Experience anyway, and still be this mish-mash moosh-mash between Madame Flipflop And Her Harmonite Social Workers.
It’s a nice name.
It’s a nice game. No, like about putting other groups on the tour, like our friends – I don’t know about that right now; not at a stage like this, because we’re in the process of getting our own thing together as far as a three piece group. But eventually, we have time on the side to play with friends. That’s why I’ll probably be jamming with Buddy [Miles] and Billy [Cox]; probably be recording, too, on the side, and they’ll be doing the same.
Do you every think in terms of going out with a dozen people?
I like Stevie Winwood; he’s one of those dozen people. But things don’t have to be official all the time. Things don’t have to be formal for jams and stuff. But I haven’t had a chance to get in contact with him.”
With Hendrix’s growing interest in Steve Winwood and a growing relationship with Billy Cox, it was clear in Hendrix’s mind that the original Experience group would never reform – he was right.