THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL - ‘Gimmicks Go, Talent Glows As Hendrix Taps Acid Rock’ by Beth J. Tamke:
“A year is a short time. But it can have its effect on a ‘hot’ acid star who decides to go ‘straight.’ Jimi Hendrix has played in Memphis twice in the past 13 months. The two performances have been different and the crowds have varied. On 18 April 1969, he brought the Jimi Hendrix Experience which was taking the chart watchers by storm. During two performances at The Auditorium, 9,176 turned out. Last night at the Mid-South Coliseum, 3,752 showed up.
A lot has happened to Jimi’s musical presentation in the year. Shortly before his show here last year, he stomped his guitar, squirted lighter fluid on it and set it on fire. The crowds went wild. He caressed his guitar, played it with his teeth, rubbed it over various parts of his body - without missing a note. He loved it, the fans dug it and the gate took it all in. The crowd was ready for action last year. They had come to see his gimmicks on a Memphis stage. He was 40 minutes late in starting because his plane was late and when he played it was with a ‘what-the-hell’ attitude. Since then, his Experience broke up. He tried with a gypsy group which flopped. Now he has Mitch Mitchell back on drums and he is working Billy Cox from Nashville in on bass. Hendrix says he can make it on his talent without the gimmicks. He is a genius on the strings but he hasn’t had a hit album in a year.
Last night he walked tin stage calmly, and tuned up Then it began. The acid rock that had accompanied his gimmicks last year took over. Pure acid and funky blues filled the Coliseum and the hearts of the audience. The audience stood up, moved with the sound and during the last 30 minutes went into orbit. One young man, unidentified, collapsed. He was treated at MethodistHospital and was released. Officials said the young man was ‘upset’. The gimmicks are gone but the talent is there. Hendrix is an artist and he will reign again.”