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 Interview avec Chris Romberg : Berlin le 4 Septembre 1970

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Date d'inscription : 05/06/2010

MessageSujet: Interview avec Chris Romberg : Berlin le 4 Septembre 1970    Mar 13 Juil 2010 - 21:13

Interview : Berlin le 4 Septembre 1970

Pre-concert backstage interview by Chris Romberg and an unknown English man for British Forces Broadcasting Service TV (BFBS Germany)

? : …I nearly forgot the…
CR: Introduction?
Girl: Yeah-heh, that would be nice
CR: All right
JH: [Singing in a operatic voice:] ‘Fee-eel my love..
? : You were feelin’ him!
Mitch?: May I heckle?
All : [Laughter]
CR: [Mock admonition:] That’s not the right kind of introduction, we have to be serious.
We’re back stage at the Deutschlandhalle, speaking with guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and, Jimi I’d like to know, first of all, what you thought about your appearance in the film Woodstock, especially the, the scene at the end with the National Anthem?
JH: [Barely containing himself:] I guess they could have showed ah, some other songs
probably, you know, and, like, they, they, like, they came in on, ‘little shower?’ at the end of it, an’ I wish they could have caught more of the musical side of it really, you know
CR: Think they tried to make a political issue out of it ?
JH: Well, I really don’t know. I don’t know. Not really, I don’t think so ha-ha-ha, it’s just the
way it is, you know
CR: Yes…

CR: [Tape cut]…festivals like Woodstock. Do you think there’ll ever be another gathering
of people that large that’ll have the same kind of vibes?
JH: Well, I don’t know, because, like-ah, it’s pretty hard for the sound to get to all those people, you know, it’s such a big crowd. Like, if they had a smaller, smaller crowds that, you know, you can really get next to them more, you know
CR: Mhmm
JH: But it’s just too big, you know.
CR:Now how do you feel about playing before, say, four hundred thousand people?
JH: Well, that’s what I mean, it’s just ha-ha too big, you know. You’re just…You know
you’re not gettin’ through to, you know, all of them. And-uh, the idea to play to them is to try to, you know, turn them on or something
CR: Do you think that-uh, large music festivals are actually just an extension of the
commercialism angle, is it too, is it too commercial?
JH: Oh, I don’t know, I really, you know, let’s, I don’t that, I will play too many more of
those, you know, anyway, so it’s, it’s really not too much to talk about really. It’s just too much, it’s just too many things going on, and not enough, you know, love or concentration on one certain thing
CR: Hmm

Romberg’s commentary on the interview

CR: Prophetic words perhaps, because the last gig that Jimi Hendrix played was the night
after he did this concert in Berlin, on the Isle of Fehmarn, it was another one of the large festival gatherings. It would be very hard to characterise Jimi Hendrix in words. You had to meet him, you had to talk to him, you just had to watch him. The night that he played the concert here in Berlin he seemed very tired. I wouldn’t say that he was strung out, but he just seemed tired and sort of uninterested. Let’s go on with the interview, this is Chris Romberg of BFBS
Backstage interview by [unknown Englishman]

? : And Jimi you’ve just come from the Isle of Wight, which is another of these last-large festivals. Did you enjoy that?
JH: Well, you know, I enjoy playin’ anywhere. But, like it was dark, you know, we was playin’ at night time we couldn’t see-hah everybody. You know, if I could see the people instead of just lines of bonfires up there, you know. That’s the only way I could tell there was a hill back up there, ha-ha-ha, well, like-uh, oh, wow, it’s all right ha-ha-ha
? : Do you prefer playing at a concert like this one where-uh, the accent is more, it’s coming to listen to music, than gathering in a folk festival?
JH: Yeah, I guess so, y’know
? : Do you think-yuh, you’re more appreciated here?
JH: Oh, don’t know. It’s pretty hard to say. Sometimes it’s easier playin’ at different places, you know, at different times, y’know. An’ Germany in the summertime is, it’s beautiful you know
? : Do you enjoy playing in Germany?
JH: Yeah… Yeah
? : Do you think German audiences differed from English audience-ces?
JH: I don’t know, it’s pretty hard to say. We haven’t played in England in a long time, you
know. We have to out there and play again and see. But it’s, you know, it’s, it’s pretty hard to say

Backstage interview by Chris Romberg

CR : Is there really um, anyone in, in pop music or say rock music that when you hear their
stuff you go, you know, “Wow!, they really knocked me out”?
JH : Yeah
CR: Who?
JH : Sly hee-hee-uh
CR: Sly Stone?
JH : Yeah, ‘cause I like his feet [beat?], you know, I like his pulse, you know, ‘Music Lover’,
and ‘Dance To The Music’ all those type of things, you know, and Ritchie Havens which is out of sight…

Romberg’s commentary on the interview

And remembering past performances I’ve seen by Jimi Hendrix, I had seen him in concert three times. This time was the first in about a year and a half, and he had changed his style quite a bit. I think it probably had something to do with the Band Of Gypsys album earlier this year, but he was, he was much more melodic than he was in the past, in the past he was fire and brimstone and that type o’ thing, and now his style had changed slightly he had become more toonful more into being a creative guitarist. I-in otherwords he was creative before, but now he was becoming creative in a different vein. Later on in this interview you’ll here a question about the ‘Monterey Pop Festival’ that was the first time that I had been exposed to Jimi Hendrix and that was probably his big national break-out [it got him a bit of press but it was fairly mixed and nothing startling, nobody saw the film until early 1969, his 1st Lp entered the US charts in 1967 with almost no airplay and little press initially, Axis was in the charts in early 68 and he had 2 massive, all corners US tours starting in early 68] both in the states and around the World [he was already a well known chart act in most of non-communist bloc Europe before he went to the US] At that time his act consisted of, uh, wild, you know, just dancing about the stage playing his guitar behind his neck and all the things that you’ve heard about Jimi Hendrix in his early days. At the end of the performance he set his axe on fire and then he set his hair on fire [ha-ha, what a load of over hyped bull] and it was really something [it would be if he set his hair on fire!] the people were just really into Jimi Hendrix. The night of the Deutschland Halle he was much more subdued, much quieter [worn out after the previous nights fiery peformance and with substances unknown] and as we’ve said much more into the melody [No, not really] His drummer Mitch Mitchell had slowed down quite a bit too [tired? substances?] but Bill Cox provided a much funkier bass line than Noel Redding was ever capable of [debateable] as Jimi says later on in the interview, “Noel was more into playing melodies than he was into being a funky bass player. So let’s go on with this unedited interview, again conducted the night of September 4th at the ‘Superconcert’ in Berlin.

Backstage interview by Chris Romberg

CR: [Tape cut]…yeah, an’ I was wondering about-eh, the ‘Experience’ that’s appearing
here in Berlin tonight, this is really, there’s only one man difference…
JH : Uhuh
CR: …from the original ‘Jimi Hendrix Experience’
JH : Yeah
CR: …and that being your new bass player Bill Cox
JH : Mmm
CR: An’ I was wondering how-uh…
? : [In the background] Fuck off
JH : For we have a new road manager too, don’t forget
CR: Oh
JH : Gene McFadden
Roadies: [Laughter]
CR: Okay
JH : Besides Gerry Stickells and Eric Barrett
CR: Well, we can’t hurry the plug group
Roadies: [Laughter]
JH : Well, you can’t forget it, because, like, those are the ones that keep it together, right CR: Yeah
JH : Everybody forgets that side of it, really
CR: That’s true, that’s something I’d like to find out uhm. Behind the scenes people
normally do a lot more than you or ah…
JH : It’s like a beautiful aeroplane and everybody always forgets about the pilots,
sometimes, you know
CR: Yeah
JH : An’ you know, “We’re in Africa, I’ll wake one of the captains.”
CR: I was wondering about the, the group itself however
JH : Mhmm
CR: And-uh, the reason that the original Experience broke up was Noel Redding and Mitch
Mitchell and, and now that you’re back together with your old drummer Mitch, how Bill Cox came to you?
JH: Yeah, well, like, you know, him and I we used to play together before, and-uh, like,
we’re doing a lot of bass unison, bass and guitar unison things, you know. Which makes the who’-it’s nothing but, like a lot of rhythms, or what do you call it? it’s like patterns, like, you know, and like-ah. I don’t know, see Noel, he, he has his own thing, you know, he is, he gets his own, you know, group. He has his own group, an’ he’s into his own thing, you know, he’s more of an individual himself I guess, group like that. And, like, I wanted the the bound to be just a little solid, you know, more-uh, Noel’s more of a melodic player, you know, and Billy plays more of a solider space, know
CR: Do you think that the Monterey festival back in sixty seven was-uh, the original
starting point for what we could say is now the fame of Jimi Hendrix?
JH : Well, for our group, yeah. Yeah, right
CR: And as far as that Monterey festival goes I was there and. I thought there were a lot of
fantastic performances there, er, y’-will there ever be anyhthing in pop music like, like Monterey again?
JH : Oh, I’m not sure, I really don’t know… about pop music, you know, no telling, you
know, be’-it would be nice if it was, specially next wave around though, you know, you know
CR: Yeah
JH : Next time around, you’ll see. Oh well, that’s too much ha-ha-ha-ha-huh!

Backstage interview by [unknown Englishman [UE]]

UE: How do you feel when you’re on tour? How do you feel at the moment?
JH : Right now?
UE: Yeah
JH : I’m just worried a little bit now, ‘cause I guess I’m… a tiny bit like a frog a-huh-ha-ha,
[he is sounding quite hoarse] you know, because of last night we was playing so loud
UE: Mhmm
JH : I was shouting on my tiptoes, it. It felt like my kneecaps were up in my chest, yuppies
UE: [Laughs]
JH : And-um, right now I just feel kind of nervous, but I think it’ll be all right though. ‘Cause
now we’re gonna d’-go on and do our little gig, like, Mitch’ll be playin’ drums and Bill’s playing bass, and [in a silly voice:] ‘I’ll be playing guitar…
Mitch?: [Laughter]
JH: Chill out… instead of up there screaming, you know
UE: Do you get w’-very worn out?
JH : Yeah, but certain things recharge me in an instant [I wonder what?] might get worn
out in a instant too [when it wears off?], all depends

Backstage interview by Chris Romberg

CR: Like interviews maybe?
JH : Well, sometimes they’re fun, you know
CR: Yeah, okay
JH : Huh-heh-heh…
CR: Sometimes they’re fun to do too
JH : …Uh-hah. Yeah, I wish we’d o’ caught that at a, you know, at a more un-nervous time
because, like…
CR: Yeah
JH : …right now we have to go on soon, like it or not
CR: Ready or not, oh we understand that… Goodnight
? : [English interviewer] Thank you very much
JH : Okay, thank you

Romberg’s commentary on the interview

At this point-ah, I think some personal business should come up perhaps in this interview. Ah, I’ve never been on film and I’ve never been on television before, I’ve done strictly radio an’ had a very short carreer at that, and as we’ve said before this interview was being filmed. Hendrix was nervous about being on film, I was rather nervous, in fact everybody that was in front of the camera was, and after we had wrapped up-uh, what we thought was the end of the interview there was some rather nervous goodnights exchanged. Now at this point we thought that the interview was concluded and the film crew started to shut down their camera, but just at that point the man from American Forces Television [AFN] here in Berlin, Sgt Keith Robin, decided he decided he was going to ask-ah, Hendrix [a question]. I already had my tape machine shut of, but I turned it on on time to catch the rest of these comments and this reaction from Hendrix and the crew that was in the room.

Sgt Keith Robin of AFN asks a question after the interview:

KR: [What do you think about Mungo Jerry and their song ‘In The Summertime’?]
JH : Yeah-ha-ha
All : [Loud laughter]
KR: Why does that name always spark laughter. When everyon’…
? : I don’t know
KR: …everybody hears Mungo Jerry…
JH : I don’t know
KR: …people bust up laughing?
JH : I think that’s a happy song
KR: It is, it’s a great song
Mitch?: I-I like it
JH : It goin’ like this –“Well I think the summertime
Gerry: [Sings:] ‘Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo…’
KR: I would like to know, like…
Gerry: …ha-ha-ha.
KR: …what…
JH : [Sings:] “He said You got women, you got women on your mind” ha-ha-ha
KR: …what’s your opinion… you’re opinion of the song, and the, and the group of what
you know of them?
JH : Oh, I think it’s a beautiful summertime ha-ha type of song…
Gerry: [Giggling]
JH : …and you know
KR: Do you think they’re gonna be a future in that group, with that group?
JH : Well, I don’t know about the group, what they’re…
KR: That type of music?
JH : …but this… I don’t know about the group, but the-uh, you know, the song just killed,
you know, it’s nice and happy, an’ it’s nice and light and-ah, you know, it get’s away the down. I didn’t know it was a group, I thought they just got together to make that one record? But, you know, best o’ luck to anybody who, you know, want’s to get up an’ do it. [in a silly voice:] ‘Mungo Jerry’ ha-ha-ha
Gerry: Ha-ha-ha
? : That was so funny

It was the night of September 4th before going on at the ‘Superconcert’ here in Berlin
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Interview avec Chris Romberg : Berlin le 4 Septembre 1970
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