Un entretien avec Chris Squire (Yes) où ce dernier se souvient de sa rencontre avec Jimi, alors que l'Experience n'était encore qu'à ses débuts. Très intéressant.
Again for those who may not have heard or read this story before, from an old interview with Chris while he was working on his book...
MOT (Mike Tiano, of Redmond, Washington at the time): Did you every interact with Jimi Hendrix?
CS (Chris Squire): Yes, I met Jimi Hendrix back then, but that's kind of long story...I don't know if I'd like to just tell that later on!
MOT: Aw, come on! [Laughs]
CS: It was a long time ago, that was when I was in the Syn, which was the band I was in before Yes, and we had been touring around England and it was kind of a miserable time of the year; it was wet and cold and a lot of the shows we'd been doing were in the north of England where it was particularly bad weather, it hadn't been very well attended and we didn't get our percentages and we were kind of looking forward to coming down to playing at the Marquee Club. Because that was in London usually that was well attended because we had the regular Tuesday night support band spot, and that usually meant there'd be a major band playing on the Tuesday night and we'd be the support band but we also got a cut of the profits, and so we were looking forward to that. When we got down there we unloaded our equipment out of the van and there was this band rehearsing on the stage, and the bass player was trying to learn the riff to what we later knew would be "Purple Haze". And being an English rock musician this was one of my very early encounters of actually--apart from Muddy Waters and things like that, I'd never really met any black players in rock 'n' roll so it was quite a novelty watching this band rehearsing, and also it was kind of frustrating because the bass player didn't seem to be able to learn to play the riff very well, and I kept thinking I'd go and grab the bass and show him exactly what the notes were that the black guy was telling him, how he could do it. That was Noel Redding, of course; not the greatest bass player of all time.
However, what happened then was that I wandered around to the front because I got bored with listening to this sort of rehearsal and I was wondering how long they'd been renting the place out in the afternoons for people to just go in and rehearse! And the assistant manager came in and I said to him, "Wow, is this band going to stop rehearsing soon? Because you've got to get Cliff Bennett in," who was going to be the main band that week; they had covered the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life" and had a hit with it in England. So we were expecting a lot of people to come and they were pretty high in the charts for that song. The assistant manager said to me, "Yeah, I just got a phone call from the office and they told me the band that rehearsing, they're the main band tonight," and I kind of said [laughs], "You're kidding, aren't you!? They can't even learn to play five notes! I listened to them painfully rehearse for half an hour." He said "Well, that's what I've been told." So of course we were all kind of pretty upset about that, so they finished rehearsing and we set our equipment up in front of theirs, as we would do being the first band on, and we kind of counted out our last spare change, and we decided to go down and grab the cheapest possible something or other to eat at this caf‚ that was pretty local to the Marquee, just down the street. So as was customary to me I went off the stage after we did our little sound check and I was changing strings on my Rickenbaker in this small dressing room at the Marquee Club, and Jimi came in and started talking to me, which I found was quite surprising because guitarists didn't usually talk to bass players much in those days, let alone this black guitar player, so I ended up kind of having about a thirty minute conversation with him about bass guitars, and how his friend in Seattle used to have a Rickenbaker, and various stuff.
And so I left the dressing room after this rap thinking, "Well, he's a real nice guy, it's a shame that the band can't play and no one's going to come and see us tonight," because we'd been away and we weren't really aware of what had been going on in town. So I went down to the cafe to eat and we all had the cheapest thing on the menu, and as we were sitting there the line for the Marquee Club started to pass the window of the cafe‚ and we thought, wow, that's amazing, there's actually a line for the show tonight. We thought that's good, for some reason people are just coming out. We all ordered dessert because we figured we'd be able to afford the gas money to get home, then we went back to the Marquee Club and we could hardly get through the doors; and there was the same assistant manager just taking money hand over fist from people and it was just crazy, and of course I had no idea that during the week we'd been away that Hendrix had played a couple of late night clubs and jammed with Mick Jagger or somebody at this late night club, and there was this whole buzz around town, and this was his first ever gig to the public. We went to the dressing room and we got changed and we went on stage and the place was really packed. And then they had a few chairs in the front there, about the first, I don't know, four rows, and there's about sixteen chairs in each row and the rest was standing room, and then as we were beginning to start our first song I looked down at the front rows and realized that all my rock heroes of all times, like the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, everyone was sitting in the chairs in the front row!
We went through our set and we got really good applause after each song, and later on I asked Pete Townsend, who was one of the guys sitting there, I said, "God, did anyone like us or were they just applauding us so that we'd get off?", the politely "Thank you very much," because they were obviously all waiting to see Hendrix, and there was Eric Clapton, and all these people sitting there. And Townsend said, "Oh no, no, I've always liked the band, I thought you were really good that night," because we'd supported the Who a couple of times. We finished our set, Hendrix came on, and that was his first ever show in England, of course he completely brought the place down and it was amazing. So that's my little story of meeting Jimi Hendrix and actually it was so packed in the place I couldn't even leave the dressing room, so I just decided to hang on the stage while he played his set. There was this piano at the back of the stage, this grand piano, I just wanted to kind of lay on top of it and watch the Hendrix set from behind the drums, so I obviously got a real closeup view of the whole thing. The amazing thing was that after that show every chick who'd never, ever really wanted to talk to me before, down at the clubs and late night clubs [laughing] all suddenly became my best friend, wanted to know how Jimi was, and of course I played that one up and said, "When Jimi and I were rapping before the show..." That was the funny twist to it, that all of a suddenly all these chicks who hadn't been interested in talking to me before became real friendly.
MOT: [Laughs] "Come back to my place and I'll tell you more," huh?
CS: [Laughs] Exactly!
MOT: That's an amazing story, Chris!
CS: It is, yeah! And that's the only time I was ever with him, it's amazing that obviously I just didn't know who he was or what the band were capable of or anything during that half hour conversation, so it was a completely untainted conversation I suppose, in terms of me being in awe or anything like that, it's just a natural thing. So I'll always remember that.
MOT: I take it they were together by show time!
CS: They didn't do "Purple Haze", I'll tell you that [laughs], they did the songs they did know. At the time he was teaching "Purple Haze" to Noel Redding because it was a new song and they were just learning it, because they didn't do it at the show.
MOT: Were you intimidated looking down and seeing the Beatles, and--
CS: Oh, well, kind of, yeah [laughs]! We just kind of gritted our teeth and played the best we could! Of course that was the Syn, that was prior to Yes... But it was definitely an interesting night.
MOT: Did you see Hendrix at all after that? Did he ever come see Yes at all?
CS: I don't know if he ever came to see Yes. I suspect not. I went to see him play after that at a couple of different shows he did in London, but by then of course he was the darling of the music industry.
MOT: That is an amazing story. Thank you for telling it.
CS: OK...now you've just blown chapter two of my book, but still, let everyone know that [laughs]!
MOT: Thanks for giving that to me, that is very nice of you!
CS: That's all right!
Source : ESC