THE SEATTLE TIMES - by John Hinterberger:
“How good he is as a vocalist, last night’s concert didn’t reveal. The amplification level the group selected for their instruments so heavily outweighed the volume potential of the voice mikes that only occasional vocal phrases emerged. So loud, in fact, were the instruments amplified, that the equipment kept blowing out like candles in a windstorm and the program was interrupted several times to throw in new power units.”
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER - by Patrick MacDonald:
“A Seattle boy who left this city some seven years ago and with the aid of Animal Chas Chandler and Beatle Paul McCartney became one of England’s most praised and influential rock stars returned last night to a truly triumphant home coming. Jimi Hendrix, lauded by the British press including the prestigious New Musical Express and Rave magazine, as the greatest rock guitarist extant, proved it in his Arena concert last night. Not since the Rolling Stones’ last concert here have I heard rock music so well done. Working with a new ‘wa-wa’ guitar [sic] which he helped develop [sic] and special [sic] amplifying equipment, Hendrix produced an unique rock sound that is at once lyrical, strong and amazingly expressive...
Hendrix blends lyrics and music for a total effect that is devastating. His ‘Hey Joe’ was total rock of a kind rarely heard... The near-capacity Arena.. .gave Hendrix a rousing ovation but remained perfectly quiet while the music was playing, respect seldom given rock performers. The show opened with an English group known as The Soft Machine. Their silly theatrics - the drummer performed in bathing trunks - were degrading... At best a mediocre bunch. But then they couldn’t overshadow The Jimi Hendrix Experience, a rock experience hardly believable.”
HELIX - 'The Fug Thing' by Tom Robbins;
“Hardly had the Fug juice dried on Seattle’s windshields than Jimi Hendrix screeched into town looking like a black dwarf cowboy Oscar Wilde in Egyptian drag. ‘Sexiest male in the world,’ said Mick Jagger of Seattle’s own Jimi and every King County teeny-bopper old enough to wash out her own Lollipop panties knows in her heart that Mick is right. As for our men, having had our prostates massaged all weekend by Saunders and Co. we’re set for some post - Fug psychedelic banshee blues and panther rock. But the atmosphere is different now because Hendrix will not be heard in the easy looseness of the Eagles; no, he’s been sucked into the Pat O’Day syndrome with all of the phoney baloney implicit in that milieu.
A week before (before O’Day and pals talked Hendrix out of a Boyd Grafmyre Eagles date and signed him for the Arena), Jimi’s new LP was listed as ‘Up and Coming’ at the bottom of the KJR Top 40 album charts. Now, with ominous suddenness, the album shoots into the No. 2 spot in the ratings and KJR begins playing Hendrix records for the first time. ‘He’s big!’ rhapsodizes O’Day. Yes, Hendrix is so big that Tom Hulet who handled this particular promotion for O’Day, had never heard of him. When Hulet an ex-football player who looks like a cop, found out that Hendrix is a Negro he freaked. ‘God,’ he groaned, ‘I hope we don’t attract a lot of coloured people.’ And O’Day, himself, kept referring to Hendrix as ‘boy,’ a term that is not exactly melodious to Central District ears. It’s all a highly non-professional operation. The critic from the P-I [Post Intelligencer] had to knock at the backdoor to get in to review the show, and the Helix, the only publication in the area that consistently reviews rock performances, received no passes at all.
I used to think that O’Day and associates were a musical Mafia, but I’ve come to the conclusion that they aren’t really dishonest - they’re just dumb. When O’Day collapses into multiple orgasms over the City Zu (one of the lamest groups in the west), he probably really thinks the Zu is good. The man, like most DJ’s, simply has no sense of aesthetics, no feeling for quality; he responds to music not in terms of profound sonar sensations that can tickle the innards and push back the walls of consciousness but only in terms of big-deal promo and dollars and cents.
Listening to rock in the Arena is like making love in a file cabinet. It’s a study in frustration. For much of the audience, the band is entirely outside the field of vision - you have to turn your neck 180 degrees to see. And there is no way to turn your head far enough to hear. Some used car salesman mentality is repeatedly on the PA system warning that there’s ‘a city ordinance that prohibits no smoking’ (sic) and ‘that goes for them incense sticks, too. I like to smell ‘em as well as anyone else but it’s against the law.’ At the mention of ‘law,’ the abundant fuzz in the place does a little inward goose-step hard-shoe and the young freedom lovers squirm in their beaver-trap seats.
Hendrix comes on, 30 minutes late but splendid in robin’s-egg blue vinyl slacks and a Commanche scout hat. He plays it straight - no copulating with his guitar (does Stokley know that Jimi’s much-screwed guitar is white?), no shoving the mike up the drummer’s arse. After all it’s along way from Monterey and his [step] mother is in the audience. Jimi’s voice is like raspberry preserves - thick and sweet and the seeds stick in your ears. He has a very limited range and not much gradation in tone. It’s a standard blues voice, but too artificially mannered to handle gut-bucket phrasing. There is warmth in his timbre, however, and some surrealistic poetry in the lines. On the guitar, Hendrix does not hold up under analysis, either. For all of his explosive dynamics, his chording is bulky and coarse. For all of his electric weirdness his changes are amateurish and contrived.
Yet, despite the shallowness of much of his sound, Hendrix is a hotly exciting performer. What he lacks in content, he makes up in style. He is, in fact, a master stylist; an outrageous exponent of high black showmanship. He is Adam Clayton Powell on DMT and freaking fine, thank you. He possesses an uncanny sense of manipulation - by skilfully manoeuvring the atonal effects of electronic distortion into parallel relationships with traditional blues melody, he moulds the mood of his listeners and tantalizes them into making his trip.
Hendrix, like the Fugs, is a valid art tremor in the New Music space-quake. To ignore his savage discourse is to leave ourselves at the mercy of some new meaning that may lurk in ambush at the centre of a primitive blaze. The fire THIS time, Uncle Miltie. Within us and without.”