Jimi Hendrix UK Debut

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After word got around about the guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was able to perform their first major gig in the UK on Novmeber 25, 1966.

That first gig would be played at the Bag O’Nails in London. The venue was not very large but was very influential in the music scene. The performance would be very hyped up and many of the biggest rock stars at the time were going to be in attendance.

Jimi and The Experience would live up to the hype this night and catch the eye of many journalists and musicians of the time. The performance was seen by Paul McCartney, The Who, Eric Burdon, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Mick Jagger.

The Jimi Hendrix began the night with an incredible cover of “Wild Thing.” The band also covered “Killing Floor” and previewed their first single with a performance of “Hey Joe.”

Jeff Beck said on the performance,”The thing I noticed was not only his amazing blues but his physical assault on the guitar. His actions were all of one accord, an explosive package. Me, Eric and Jimmy, we were cursed because we were from Surrey. We all looked like we’d walked out of a Burton’s shop window. He hit me like an earthquake when he arrived. I had to think long and hard about what I did next.”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience would continue to light up the World from here. Jimi would continue to leave even the top rock stars at the time in a daze and showcase himself to millions.

 

Jimi Hendrix played his last live concert, 47 years ago today

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At the Open Air Love and Peace Festival in Fehmarn, Germany, Jimi Hendrix gave his final concert on this day, 47 years ago. The Jimi Hendrix Experience looked different from a couple years ago with their new lineup. Jimi Hendrix was of course on vocals and guitar, Mitch Mitchell stayed on drums, and the newly appointed Billy Cox was on bass. All of this however would not stop the band from giving a great performance.

The band was originally supposed to play the night before but got pushed back a day because of rain. Hendrix said on the event,”I’ll play tomorrow. Tomorrow at noon. I don’t have to, but I want to. The fans are out there in the dirt, I have to play for them. They came because of me. Otherwise I would have a bad conscience.” The band was also about to play a concert for the sixth night in a row. Two of the six concerts included headlining the Isle of Wight Festival and performing in Berlin five days later.

Despite the multiple days of playing in a row, this did not stop the band from playing an electrifying 13 song set. The set opened with a cover of “Killing Floor” which Jimi famously played the night he jammed with Eric Clapton to Clapton’s amazement. The set also included hits like,”Hey Joe,” “All Along The Watchtower,””Purple Haze,” and “Voodoo Child”to close out the night.

The only recording of the event is found on The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at the Isle of Fehmarn which was released in 2005. The sound quality of the concert is not great. Concert promoters recorded the concert using two overhead stage microphones into a consumer grade Revox reel-to-reel tape machine that Hendrix did not know about.

There was a rumor circulating that a stage-hand named Rocky was shot in the leg during the concert. The problem was there was no one who worked with Jimi on the road named Rocky. The only credible fact that may make this true is the trouble the Hells Angels caused during the weekend. The concert promoter’s trailer was later burned down which was reportedly caused by the Hells Angels.

Despite all the violence, there was no denying the historical impact of the concert. Though historical for an unfortunate reason, this was not supposed to be the band and Jimi’s last concert. The band was supposed to play in Rotterdam on September 13th but was cancelled when Billy Cox became sick. Jimi was also supposed to play on September 15th at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho with Eric Burdon and War, but that was put off when Jimi was too stoned to perform.

Jimi would end up playing some songs with Burdon the next night which would end up being his final live performance and public appearance. Jimi was shockingly and tragically found dead in his girlfriend’s apartment in London just two days later. Jimi laid down a foundation the World will never forget and inspired a generation like no one else could.

Check out some footage and background on the show below:

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