Bill Rich :
I first met Jimi in Hollywood, Ca. 1968. Our first gig with the Buddy Miles Express was at the Whisky A-Go-Go. Man, everybody was there. Jimi Hendrix, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, some of the Chamber Brothers, Peter Tork of the Monkeys, Dr. John and some others I can’t remember right now. Jimi sat in with us that night. What a night! We clicked big time the first time we played together. Playing with Jimi was unbelievable. It brought out the best in me and then some. We both knew that we would have to do it again. Which we did. We kept running into each other. I think the next time I saw him was at this party in the Hollywood hills, at Peter Tork’s house. Wheeeew, I’ll leave that alone. But we played together a lot in
New York. We would meet at this club called The Scene and jam all night. I remember going to his recording studio “Electric Ladyland” and jammin’ with the recording tape rolling. I have copies of that night. When we were in London at the Royal Albert Hall, the Express opened up the show for him. Yep, more hanging. Check this out. My brother Herb and I were in Denver between gigs. We were playing this wedding gig in Cheesman Park and Jimi was in Denver to play at Mile High Stadium that night. We were set up in this back yard next to the park and a limo pulls up. Jimi gets out, comes over and of course our guitar player takes off his guitar and gives it to him. We start jammin’ and the next thing you know all these people start gathering around. The police show up to see what’s going on so Jimi jumps back into his limo and takes off. I never will forget that. Then we were back in New York recording the next Buddy Miles album. I wrote this song on it called 69 Freedom Special. Jimi came up with that name. I will have to tell you about that sometime. He produced three songs on that album and that was one of them. That was way cool, sittin’ in the studio recording and looking up and seeing Jimi at the recording board mixing. I played my butt off! After that, I finally left the Buddy Miles Band and went to Denver. I stayed there for 3 months and then moved to Petaluma, Ca. Then I got this call from Alan Douglas, Jimi’s producer. He said Jimi wants you to come out and record the Band of Gypsies album. I said Shit! I was scheduled to record another project, which I couldn’t get out of because I had received some of the money ahead of time. And besides. I had just quit Buddy’s band and didn’t want to work with him at that time. I figured Jimi and I would get together some other time. Alan Douglas called me again two months later and asked if I would come to New York to do the John McLaughlin “Devotion” album. Of course I said shit yes!, but I didn’t know who he was or what type of music he played till I got there. Damn... What a trip that was. Space music, big time. But I enjoyed it. It was something new and different. I talked to Jimi while I was there. We still had that desire to play together again, but he left us to soon..... god bless his soul.
Source : http://www.billrichmusic.com/press1.html