STATE PRESS - ‘Experience excites crowd’ - backstage interview (5 February) by Dave Gurzneski:
“It was Monday night in the Sun Devil Gym and the Soft Machine was in front of a sold-out audience setting the stage for what was to come. The crowd gratefully applauded the sights and sounds being produced, but an occasional ‘Put on Jimi Hendrix’ left no doubt who had attracted this migration of onlookers to the gym the first night of spring classes. The growing anticipation was evident backstage at 8:15 p.m. as people scrambled in and out gathering the loose ends and checking arrangements. But among the flurry sat one man, his bellbottom covered legs stretched out from the bench as his back rested against a row of lockers. He was disconnected from the havoc and acted almost unconcerned with what was going on around him. This was Jimi Hendrix. He smiled warmly when introduced and spoke so softly that it was difficult to pick his words out of the surrounding noise.
Jimi: ‘Oh, I’m a little worried,’
- Hendrix confessed when asked about his easy manner.
Jimi: ‘They’re having trouble with the amplifiers, and those out there aren’t the ones we normally use,’
- he said -
Jimi: ‘[Another] hang-up [that would cause my performance to be below expectations is this cold which I’ve had since the beginning of the tour.]’
- Hendrix feared -
Jimi: ‘And then, of course, those kids out there expect to hear the records we have cut and think we will sound exactly the same tonight. Sometimes a three minute record might stretch into ten. So much depends on the audience,’
- he explained.
[…] It was now 8:30 and someone called out that all was ready. He panicked for a minute when he thought his hat was missing - some one had stolen the original in Copenhagen -but then finding it, he regained his quiet composure and moved through the swinging doors and up to the stage. Hendrix slipped on his guitar as though it was another piece of clothing. He touched it, made it speak and sing. He played it in a dozen different positions, including between his legs and with his teeth. There was no limit set for this man and his instrument. His two English partners in the Experience - drummer Mitch Mitchell and bass guitarist Noel Redding - waited, watched and marvelled with the crowd until Hendrix and guitar were ready for them. The climax came with a tremendous explosion of electronic wavelengths. The once quiet Hendrix was now on top in his own world, and the crowd understood and shared in part of it too. It was a good Experience.’