jimi – flying high!
So, there we are in the backyard. It’s a warm Saturday afternoon and we’re hanging out like a couple of ten and twelve year old brothers would. The lady next door comes out and shouts something and hurls this record over the fence. It’s a copy of Band of Gypsys – the relatively new Jimi Hendrix live album.
Now, turns out the reason it came to be jettisoned over the fence is that her kids have been playing it on high, high rotation and she’s well and truly over it – their loss is our gain.
It’s not the first time we’ve come across an album in such circumstances – refer to my Brown Sugar blog; April 11, 2011.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth, so they say. We take Jimi straight inside and crank up the stereo and I’m hooked.
jimi – shot!
So, there we are inside with the album blaring. I pick up the cover and notice there’s a hole that goes right through it. It’s perfectly round and about a centimetre in diameter. And it has burn marks around it.
“It’s a bullet,” my brother tells me. “Someone’s shot a hole clean through it.”
Well I’m awestruck. I’ve never seen a bullet hole before and because he’s almost 12 and, in my eyes, a man of the world, I assume my brother’s seen shotgun blasts a-plenty and therefore knows what he’s talking about.
It was years later that it suddenly dawned on me that the hole was not caused by some record-album hit-man. Someone had used a cigarette to burn a hole through the cardboard!
jimi – short time career, long time legend
Jimi Hendrix is widely acclaimed as being the greatest guitarist of all time. I’ve seen him play (only on film, of course) and he’s truly something to behold. I recall the first time I saw him. I was transfixed by the way his hands move. They are so fast and seem to barely touch the instrument. I’ve heard people talk of musicians whose hands float on the strings, but Jimi is the only one I’ve ever seen.
Jimi Hendrix put out a mere three studio albums in his lifetime. Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland. Technically these albums were by the band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Jimi split with his band and produced a live album – Band of Gypsys – just six months before his death on September 18th (my birthday) 1970.
There have been at least eleven posthumous studio albums.
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is the last track on Jimi’s final studio album Electric Ladyland.
- Also on Electric Ladyland is a 15 minute blues jam named Voodoo Chile. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is a shortened version of that track. The story goes that while Electric Ladyland was being recorded a film crew visited the studio to do a news piece on Jimi and the band. They told them to make out like they were playing something. Jimi simply said, “Okay, let’s do this in E,” and launched into Voodoo Chile. The result was this shortened version – Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was released as a single a week after Jimi’s death in 1970.
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) went #1 in the UK – Jimi’s only #1 single.
- On September 6th 1970, 12 days before his death, Jimi played a concert in Germany. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was the last song Jimi performed live.
- Jimi’s guitar solo in Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was voted the best guitar riff in rock’n’roll history, by readers of Music Radar.
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is #101 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest songs of all time.
- On the Live at Fillmore East version, Jimi introduces Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by saying: “This is the Black Panthers’ National Anthem.”
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Lyrics.