Sunday, September 05, 2010

Jimi Hendrix 40 Years RIP: September 18th 1970. It seems like yesterday. Eating my dinner after getting home from work, the BBC News on TV, (in black & white), announcing that Jimi Hendrix was dead.
Nick Churchill at our local Daily Echo had emailed when I arrived home from Tenerife a couple of weeks ago. Nick is another true rock 'n' roller, and he said they would be running a feature about Jimi, and could I add an anecdote?
Love to.
An honour.
A privilege to be thought of, never mind asked.
So I got on with it and emailed it back, and yesterday it appeared, along with memoirs from other local musicians and fans, in the Saturday supplement - a double page spread. (Which Sarmad will be adding to the 'Scrapbook' at some point).
At the time I had a superb collection, official LP's, bootlegs on coloured vinyl, and quite a few cassettes. There was Woodstock, Maui, Hawaii, Monterey, Fehmarn Island, The Dusty Springfirld Show; etc; and when kids came along, we ran through a bad financial patch and I sold them for £300.
That was 1978, they would probably fetch £1,000 or more today?
But we needed to eat and pay some pressing bills.
Most of those same records are still available today, and admittedly, the label they were on would increase their rarity value, but there is only one I really miss.
Back then, bootlegs were advertised freely in the press, because they were in their infancy, and band's looked upon them as a feather in their caps rather than a loss of revenue. Virgin Records, Branson's shop in London, had a half page ad in Sounds or NME, and amongst the albums was a bootleg titled 'Live Experience 1967-68.' I sent away and much to my surprise, it came back. It was quite dodgy ordering bootlegs by post, and fans were often ripped off and had nothing returned. But Branson was always a good ol' hippie, and you got what you paid for. It had some excellent tracks from Liverpool Empire, so good, they had probably been recorded officially, and the legendary Lulu BBC TV show.
Well, I had the Lulu show linked here a short while back, and it is still a stunning performance to this day. It was so outrageous for an artiste to just stop playing, as JH did, and dedicate and play 'Sunshine Of Your Love' for the recently split-up Cream. Well, my dear boy, one just didn't do things like that, and on the jolly old BBC, good grief, whatever next! But it went out live, so there was nothing anyone could do, so history was made in more ways than one.
The Experience Hendrix website provides quite a few of the bootlegs, officially, but Liverpool Empire has never been advertised. It was a cracking show, and like I said, the quality was excellent.
Considering Jimi was a hero and a legend for 4 years, he left an amazing catalogue of music, and although you would have to be my age to say this, I am still thrilled I managed to see him play live - twice.