BOSTON GLOBE - by Paul F. Kneeland:
“One of the delights of watching Jimi Hendrix is that he is always at ease before his audience, enjoys and can communicate with his audience; also he really leads his combine, a highly talented trio of musicians....
Jimi is hip. And if some latter-day Ben Jonson gets around to compile a pop music dictionary, the primary definition of ‘cool’ should be Jimi Hendrix. However, at the concert the other night at The Carousel in Framingham, Jimi spent a lot of time between numbers apologizing for the fact that the amp system just wasn’t amping right.
‘Once we get this thing going,’ said Jimi, all loose, relaxed, and soft-spoken, ‘we’re going to play as loud as possible, if not as well as possible.’ Leaning against a mound of speakers, Jimi waited patiently. And so did drums and bass. (What Jimi needs is a reconstructed Tom-Swift- And-His Foolproof System-To-Amplify-Guitar- Music With).
Opening with Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode,’ which set the back row screamers aroar, he followed with ‘Hey Joe’ that resulted in, chorus after chorus, dozens of flash bulbs going off almost simultaneously.
‘The Cream is breaking up, you know, and it’s still one of the grooviest groups that ever came about,’ Jimi almost intoned. ‘We’re going to do something now that they do, but not as good or better.’ This offhand way of modestly introducing a number had the audience eating out of Jimi’s hand, of course, and it was just the way that Jimi planned it; actually, an old brand of showmanship that we thought would just never be revived. ‘Fire’ and ‘Purple Haze’ both from his current best selling album, were next to closing with ‘Wild Thing’ the show stopper and finale..
‘I know you liked the last number because it had a nice 1948 sound,’ said Jimi, tongue-in-cheek. ‘So I hope you’ll like the next one - it’s got a brand new, 1953 beginning. But you must all stand up - that’s part of the ticket,’ he explained. Dutifully, everyone did. Whereupon Jimi played the guitar turned around, upside down, behind his back, and then interpolated part of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ plucking the strings with his teeth. Stopping briefly to wipe the sweat from his brow with a great towel (a Confederate flag) he then played ‘Taps’ and ‘Reveille,’ if you can imagine such a combination in hard rock. The windup: switching guitars and using instrument number 2 as a battering ram to knock over a set of speakers. (Variety -circa 1921- would have described this as a socko finish).
Yes, ‘Wild Thing’ was The Big One, and the groupies are still staggering, as one of the latter called to tell us 12 hours after the concert was over.”
NEW ENGLAND SCENE:
“The Experience is all you’ve heard and more. The more involves their relationship to the audience. Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell are deeply involved with their music but not only in an introspective way. They are really con cerned with getting it across to you. The result: You can’t just sit back and be a part of a concert audience.
Throughout the set Jimi worked to obliterate the concert atmosphere. He smoked and rapped.with the listeners. He invited them to take a brake with the group and relax for a few minutes when they were still vibrating from the previous piece. The sets were long and covered a fantastic amount of musical territory. Even if some people had come to hear the group’s ‘hits.’ The Experience quickly expanded their attitudes and not only the well known numbers were greeted with overwhelming acclaim.
They play a unique kind of music that can’t and shouldn’t be classified or even analyzed... It is said of many groups that they must be heard ‘live’ to be really appreciated and it’s often on excuse of a poorly done LP; but the Jimi Hendrix Experience is great on LP and unforgettable live.
It is not only the visual excitement of seeing Jimi move into his music (he also occasionally wiped his brow on... a Confederate flag) but also they communicated excitement of their enjoyment and involvement that envelopes you in a sounds which is so full and heavy that it reaches some kind of pinnacle of saturation.”
N E S: “Who were the main influences on your work?”
Jimi: “Everybody from Muddy Waters to Eddie Cochrane, but I was digging them for themselves, not for what I could get from them, or wishing I could be like that. I couldn’t see myself in a mohair suit with patent leather shoes and patent leather hair... I’m not copying what I heard before. Like when you’re a baby, you’re used to one little thing... sucking on it until you grow up and then you don’t think about it anymore. I have my own scene... My damn guitar is my notes, our notes, regardless of where it came from. Most music now is based upon the blues, but who the hell wants to play that for the rest of your life. They get silly and uptight when you try to expand. I don’t consider myself playing the blues until I sing a song which says blues.”
N E S: “Some of the older American Press, particularly the Hearst Publications, are really down on you. They think you’re bad for their daughters. Why are they afraid of you?”
Jimi: “Everybody is afraid of anything they don’t know anything about. I’m nothing but a human being just like everybody else. I’m scared of some of those people because they have such a tight grip on those obsolete laws, rules, and regulations that make America today... The way the country’s being run. You can see badness, you can see evil right in front of your face, as soon as you turn on the TV... There are so many things I want to say. I’d have to have a voice; I’d try to use my music as a machine to move those people, to get changes done. Because, if the people go too long when they get older, they’ll realize or they’ll get mediocre and fall right into that dead scene; rat race America. Right now, the only thing we’re trying to say to them, is with the music itself. Right now, the lyrics are a little more personal, because we’re trying to get ourselves heard first. We’re trying to get our start together; to get people to listen to us. Then we can say to them, ‘Come follow us; let’s knock on the White House door.”