ROCK - ‘Hendrix At Salvation’ :
“The appearance of Jimi Hendrix at Salvation last Wednesday night (10 September) was the best kept secret in New York City. Only a small handful of press showed up despite invitations sent out by the club, and though, thanks to the Scenes column in the Village Voice, a good many kids waited for hours queued up against Salvation’s one-way mirrored door, only a select few were admitted. Though unfair, the management’s discrimination made for a more relaxed audience and a more receptive one.
At ten o’clock when the press party was to begin, several members of Jimi’s new entourage were climbing the stage, busily setting up equipment and fiddling with the sound system. By eleven Jimi had shown, said a few words to Savoy Brown, and ducked into a corner, surrounded, presumably, by managers, P.R. types and groupies of assorted sizes and colors. To while away the time, records began to play. ‘Penny Lane,’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ and a good deal of the Band came on for the next hour as the club began to fill up. At 00:15, just as many press people began to leave, Jimi Hendrix, wearing a yellow Indian embroidered shirt and a well- trimmed Afro, came onstage. He was followed by an ebullient elf-like Mitch Mitchell looking as though he could hardly wait to get to those drums, a tall African drummer, a new bassist and a second lead guitarist. Although one might have wished the old Experience back, when it was Jimi in velvet and lace, and Noel and Mitch amid a purple psychedelic haze, the men who played with him that night were excellent musicians informally jamming, unfortunately before a crowd expecting a trip into electric Hendrix-land. Jimi began the set with an untitled instrumental that quickly turned into a jam. He did not resort to his usual gymnastics (which made him one of the great live performers in rock): instead he stood calmly, almost statuesque; the combination of leanness and posture contributing more to his role as the Superspade heavy weight of rock than his copulation rites ever did. Mitch Mitchell sat, mouth wide open, flailing away at his drums, taking a solo, receiving well-deserved applause, the African drummer kept a frantic beat, and the bass player, sadly, could barely be heard above the din. Alternating with Jimi, the second lead guitarist took half the leads and he was wonderful, providing a good foil for Jimi who did his spectacular thing, often with the help of his trusty wah-wah pedal. When Jimi was allowed to take over, the room simply rocked with sound. The set continued with Jam-songs and the audience, waiting for ‘Foxy Lady’ and ‘Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire,’ grew impatient and disappointed. It was sad to see Hendrix, creating a series of superb informal compositions, being condemned by a hoard of $10-paying customers who, finally, chose to walk out. What had prevented vocals in the beginning, namely a broken sound system, was finally cleared up, a mike brought forth, and Jimi went into Izabella.’ The next song was his last and as he drew to a close he thanked what was left of his audience, took his guitar from around his neck, set it on top of an amplifier and walked offstage.
A gig he may not have been too eager to do in the first place had turned into a disaster and it wasn’t his fault. Hendrix fans who dug his experience before had better prepare themselves for this one, because though robbed of pomp and splendor, Hendrix is socking it to you and it’s not coming from the crotch. There is no guitarist like him anywhere (which is, for the moment, to disregard the giants of the blues); he generates an excitement as well as an excellence, and that, as the sages say, is what rock is all about.”
DISTANT DRUMMER :
“Sooner or later legends begin to lose their luster. Hendrix will always be respected as a guitar player - but it was his charismatic stage act that made him a superstar. Last month, Wednesday September 10th at 12:15 a.m. Jimi Hendrix found that reality is more than a scintillating guitar. […] After keeping the audience waiting for two hours, Hendrix hit the stage. Wearing a yellow Indian embroidered shirt and a well trimmed haircut, he was followed by an eager looking Mitch Mitchell, a tall African drummer, a new bass player and a second lead guitarist. They were all excellent musicians informally Jamming.
Unfortunately the crowd was expecting a trip into Electric Ladyland. The set began with an untitled instrumental jam. There were no gymnastics, he stood calmly, making himself part of an excellent entity rather than an entire show. Mitch Mitchell sat flailing away on his drums, the other drummer kept a driving beat and the bass player put a good bottom on the entire set. The second lead guitarist took half the leads, providing a good foil for the Hendrix wah-wah pedal. As the set continued with improvised jams the audience grew restive for ‘Foxy Lady.’ In the midst of a superb improvisation, a good portion of the audience walked out. So a job he wasn’t eager to do in the first place turned into a disaster exceeded only by Joplin in Memphis last Christmas.
Hendrix fans who paid more attention to his pelvis than his music are going to be lost - the cycle of Jimi Hendrix Superstar is nearing its end.”