Interview avec Klas Burling : 25 Mai 1967
Radiodiffusée à Stockholm sur la radio suédoise le dimanche 28 Mai 1967. On retrouve des extraits de cette interview sur le coffret Lifelines - The Jimi Hendrix Story (1990)
KB: Welcome to Sweden Jimi Hendrix.
KB: And congratulations to your great success out here in Stockholm.
JH: Uhm, thank you very much.
KB: What about the stage by the way.
JH: Uh well as you know, as, uh like when we played there yesterday; You know, where was that, Tivoli Garden?
JH: Well you know the PA system was very bad and the audience didn't really help us too much you know.
KB: Uhm it's tough like that.
JH: Yes you know, they didn't help us too much but I think it was alright later on and the second, the second show we did later on that night was very very good.
KB: I suppose you would feel much better to work indoor like for example when I've been watching you at The Saville.
JH: Oh yeah it's a little easier working indoor. Yeah it's alright working outside if you have, if the PA system is you know, alright you know and the amplifiers and everything's, you know set up nice.
KB: What about the effects of lighting and things you can use indoor in a place?
JH: Oh yes it is better. Like for example at The Saville, you know these, uhm I had this gadget on the guitar that every time I heard, hit a certain note, you know the lights would go up, you know.
KB: But for the rest of it now, your plans for the future? You are going for example to the States, you are planning a big international publicity thing.
JH: Yeah, we uhm, we're going to the States around, I think we're gonna leave about the 10th or 12th of June and uhm you know we're gonna play at the Monterey Pop Festival and then we have about four days at The Fillmore Auditorium. Well you know we have this TV and all this other stuff in between.
KB: That's for today and for the future but how did you really get started?
JH: Well you know, I mean I was in the army for about thirteen months, you know 'cause I got tired of that, it was very boring and so I pretended that I hurt my back, you know, and I really did break my ankle so I got out like that you know . So I start playin' around all over the south, you know we had a band in Nashville Tennessee, and I got tired of playin' in that 'cause they don't want to move anywhere they just want to stay there. So I start travellin' around and went to New York and won first place in The Apollo amateur contest, you know, twenty-five dollars. So I stayed up there, starved up there for about two or three weeks and then I got, Isley Brothers asked. You know The Isley Brothers? "Twist and Shout", asked would I like to uhm, you know play with them so I played with them for a while and got very bored you know 'cause you get very tired of playin' behind other people all the time, you know.
KB: Yeah you got to keep to the routine and the act.
JH: So I quit you know, I quit them in Nashville somewhere and uh, went out with this act who was on a tour with B.B King, Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke, you know and all these people, Chuck Jackson. So I played, I was playin' guitar behind a lot of the acts on the tour. And then I got stranded in Kansas City 'cause I missed the bus you know, so I was in Kansas City, Missouri and didn't have any money. I was, this group came up and brought me back to Atlanta, Georgia where I met Little Richard and I start playin' with him for a while.
KB: How long about?
JH: Uh I guess about, I guess I played with him for about six months, I guess. About five or six months. Then I got tired with that you know, played some shows with Ike and Tina Turner. Then I went back to New York and played with King Kurtis and Joey Dee, you know I was playin', but all the time I was playin' behind these different directions. Then I played with this little rhythm and blues group named Curtis Knight and the Squires, and I made a few records, you know arranged a few songs for him and I just got tired. Man I couldn't stand any more so I just went down to the Village and got my own little group together named The Rainflowers, you know.
JH: And we had two names. The Rainflowers and The Blue Flame you know. Any one of those names was alright you know. So uh, you know then Chas, I was knew this girl, I had this girlfriend from England that I met in one of the clubs in uh, New York and she told Chas about me 'cause Chas, you know The Animals were playin' in Central Park. So he came down and heard me you know, and asked would like to come over to England and start a group over here, over to England, I said yeah, you know. So I came over to England and meet Mitch and Noel, you know Noel Redding the bass player, Mitch Mitchell the drummer. You know we put our own arrangement, our you know, got our own way and did it.
KB: Err actually you didn't just pick up those two guys I suppose. They played somewhere else before.
JH: Yeah Mitch Mitchell, yeah he used to play with the Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames and Noel Redding used to be in a group named The Loving Kind and The Burnettes you know. And he used to play guitar until he came down you know. He came down for the audition for The New Animals with his guitar you know, and Chas asked him to play the bass. Tried at playin' the bass, so he been playin' the bass ever since and it's worked out, you know perfect. And Mitch, he's about the best out of about twenty drummers we heard you know...in England.
KB: I suppose before you really recorded Hey Joe you did a lot of club jobs in London?
JH: No we don't. We didn't do too much. You know we ah, I couldn't work too much 'cause uh, I didn't have a work permit so what they had to do was line up a lot of gigs. So when we did the first, one of the first jobs we ever did was, we had about four hours practice and uhm, Johnny Haliday asked whether we'd like to come to uhm, you know play at the Paris Olympia with him and we did after being together only about four days and after having about four hours of practice you know and so...
KB: And you went there and...
JH: Yes, so we came back, you know we was, record Hey Joe around December. You know, well we couldn't work too much because of the uhm, you know I had to get enough jobs to have a long work permit so I could stay in England longer.
KB: And then things really started to happen and really you found another song. You didn't find it 'cause you wrote it.
JH: Yeah I realised you know on it, 'scuse me, on the new LP and you know, the last two records I wrote myself. You know we write all our own stuff now.
KB: How do you get the ideas of songs? For example like Purple Haze?
JH: I don't know. I don't know (laughs).
KB: Some people say there is a bit of Dylan in some of your lyrics.
KB: Well if you think of Mary with the traffic lights turning blue.
KB: That's right to compare you with Dylan in that way?
JH: Well you know, whatever they want to do, you know 'cause they don't, I don't know who I seem like, you know. 'Cause I been livin' with myself for about twenty one years so I don't know really, you know so, there's nothin'. They can, I don't care who they compare me with actually.
KB: But when you write a line like that for example...
JH: Oh I don't think...
KB: You got the deep meaning behind it or is it just...
JH: Oh yeah like, oh yeah. Well like the traffic lights turn out blue tomorrow that means like tomorrows everything's gonna be, you know blue. Blue means feelin' bad, you know. In other words, like for instance if you do your every day things like go across the street or somethin' like that, instead of the traffic lights bein' red and green well theys be blue 'cause, you know in your mind, yeah 'cause it's nothin' but a story 'bout a break up, you know. Just a girl 'n' boy breakin' up that's all. And even when you just say one thing and (coughs),'scuse me. Like you say somethin' like that, did you mean what, you know, this means something else, you know? There's no hidden meanings just the way you say it; express the words.
KB: What do you call it yourself?
JH: I don't know. Just a slow song. That's what I call it.
KB: A slow song. And uh...
JH: Slow, quiet.
KB: You got an LP for release in Sweden in about a weeks time.
JH: Yeah I hope so. It's named Are You Experienced? And uhm, you know, it has about three or four different moods. It has a little, you know, rock 'n' roll, it has about two rock 'n' roll songs which you can call rock 'n' roll, you know. And then it has maybe, you know it has a blues and it has a few freak out tunes, you know.
KB: You're not playing your psychedelic music in there?
JH: Yeah there's one or two in there. There's the one named Are You Experienced is one. Well you know that's the name of the last track on the LP. It's like you know, an imaginary free form song, where you just use your mind, where you just imagine with your mind, you know. And this other song named Third Song From The Sun. It's completely imaginable you know. It's just about these cats comin' down and takin' over the Earth but then they find out they don't really see anything here that's worth takin', you know, except for chickens you know.
KB: And this thing about Translyvania and err
JH: Oh but. Oh. Oh what do you mean like vampires and all that?
KB: Oh yeah.
JH: Oh that isn't nothing like that. It's just like, uh; you know The Third Stone From The Sun it lasts about seven minutes and it's an instrumental on uhm, these guys comin' from another planet you know. And Third Stone From The Sun is Earth you know, that's where it is you know. They have Mercury, Venus and then Earth. And uh, they uh, you know observe Earth you know for a while and they think that the smartest animal on the whole Earth is chickens, you know hens. And so they just, you know there's nothin' else here to offer; they don't like the people so much so they just blow it up at the end, you know. So we have all these different sounds, all of them made from just nothin' but a guitar, you know bass and drums and then our slowed down voices, you know.
KB: Tell us one thing. After watching you, for example, the sound for the introduction of Wild Thing. The plane crash and all of what you can describe it like? How do you really get that sound?
JH: Well I guess; No I just turn the amp up very loud and it's mostly feedback and the way you control the knobs. And the back, see I play a Fender Stratocaster guitar you know, and you can take the back off. A little small plate and you can tap the springs. There's little springs back there. And it makes these weird little sounds sometimes.
KB: Got some other tricks as well of course and err, aren't you a bit fed up like playing picking with your teeth and...
JH: Well I do it just when I feel like it. Like, you know. I don't, I don't have. I don't consider myself that I have to do it you know, 'cause sometimes we don't do it at all. It's just when I feel like doin' it.
KB: Because the audience might expect it from you really.
JH: Yeah but you know, that's what I try to get straight to them now that it's best not to expect anything from us, you know. That it's best just to go on stage, you know, 'cause if you expect something then you might not see it, then quite naturally you gonna be disappointed, you know.
KB: Some people say for example, playing with your teeth that you are also helping with your hands. Your fingers...
JH: Oh no. No, no, no. It's like playing with your hands like this. You have to move this finger in order to make the notes. So instead of pickin' it with my, you know left hand, I just pick it with my teeth. That's all, you know.
KB:And also the guitar it really seems like it was playing by itself at times. You just keep your...
JH: Well that's when you play with the one hand.
KB: Yeah. Only one hand.
Source : Just Ask The Axis