It wasn’t my introduction to Jimi Hendrix but it was my introduction to his live work – in an aural sense (the first live Hendrix tape I had). I had (already) watched the Monterey video. But at 13 years old I just had my mind blown by Jimi. Well, it was a repeat thing – I was regularly having my mind blown. I was obsessed with his music. I had the Smash Hits compilation. Tape. I can remember sitting in my grandparents’ lounge – we’d gone to visit – and I was listening to my walkman while everyone else chatted with the TV as a mild distraction. How rude I was. But what 13 year old isn’t? If you’re not rude when you’re a teenager you’re a dork. You grow up and out of being rude and realise – later – that you were a dork for being rude. But it’s necessary. Anyway, my grandfather goes, “what are you listening to?” And I go, “a tape”. I wasn’t trying to be rude (naturally gifted, I guess). I just didn’t think he’d understand. My mum prompted me, “well – what tape?” And I go, “well, it’s Jimi Hendrix“. Of course everyone knew who Jimi Hendrix was but I was still pretty sure they didn’t (really) understand. And I’m still pretty sure that I was right. They didn’t. There was no way they knew how I felt right then, right there. Anytime I heard that music it just tore my world down and reconstructed it. And a year or so on The Jimi Hendrix Concerts did the same thing. First I loaned it from a friend, made a copy. Then I bought it on tape. A few years on I bought the CD. Now I have the double LP and that version of I Don’t Live Today is just (still) beautifully chaotic. That’s world-crashing-down-and-rebuild stuff right there. There might be better performances – better compilations (there sure is a glut of them) but this cemented Hendrix the live performer for me; this showed the way. This showed how wonderfully wild trio rock music could be. The version of Stone Free – killer. The version of Voodoo Chile – killer. No filler. I would find other things but this shined the brightest – and for such a long time. And it’s nice to hear that shine still. My god.
Sample Track: Red House
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown