It’s been forty-five ( !! ) years already since Jimi excused himself to kiss the sky …for real. But as the great big box sets, bios, “authorized” documentaries and concert films just keep on comin’ I thought it important to settle down for a sec and remember:

1. Jimi Hendrix was not the illegitimate mutant offspring of wild Indians, raised by wolverines deep within the celestial ice caverns of Venus’ third moon. No, Jimi – make that Jimmy – grew up in relative normality in and around Seattle, Washington, I kid you knot, and his old man was a gardener fer gosh sake!

Hendrix, pere et fils : Al Hendrix et son fils Jimi Hendrix enfant (3 ans), 1945 --- Al Hendrix and his son Jimi Hendrix (3 years old), 1945

Hendrix, pere et fils : Al Hendrix et son fils Jimi Hendrix enfant (3 ans), 1945 — Al Hendrix and his son Jimi Hendrix (3 years old), 1945

Confusion similarly surrounds the other end of his life as well: For even though Jimi did not take his last meal in the same London flat Mama Cass (and later Keith Moon) did, it was, if you care to subscribe to such loony legends, Cass who was felled by a tuna-fish sandwich. Jimi choked to death on something else… still food-related, however.


2. And contrary to similarly popular rocklore, Jimi Hendrix was not the first guitarist to break the sound barrier atop an upside-down Stratocaster. Credit ‘n’ cudos for that particular innovation must go to none other than crazed pick-buster-cum-airborne-survivalist Dick “I Always Refer To Myself In The Third Person” Dale. Yes, he who, a decade before “Pulp Friction,” literally blue – with one E-chord tied behind his back! – Stevie R. Vaughan off the stage in that cinematic treasure “Back To The Beach.” Yesirree, the self-anointed King of the Surf Guitar was busy fusing speaker cones, to say nothing of unsuspecting adolescent eardrums, ‘way back when Hendrix was nothing but a medically-discharged-without-honors paratrooper, soon to be a black-up guitarist on the quasi-legendary chitlin circuit. Which reminds me:


3. Little Richard really did teach Jimi Hendrix everything he knew! (along with, need I remind anyone, James Brown, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Prince, Boy George, Madonna, Kanye and even Miley) (and I know Richard will be letting us all know if I’ve left anyone out).


 4. TOO MUCH MONKEE BIZNESS: Each and every rockin’ popologist worth their Wiki now know Hendrix’s first major North American jaunt was as opening act for Davy, Micky, Peter and Nesmith  …but did you know that when said tour hit Chicago, and the notorious Plaster Casters appeared backstage to, umm, immortalize each band(’s) member(s) in dental clay, several myths were forever shattered when it turned out Jimi’s package failed to measure anywhere near up to that belonging to none other than “Dumb Monkee” Peter Tork! Jeez, and we always thought Mike was the biggest prick in the…  oh, never mind.


5. Like all good transplanted-English psychedevians basking in the Summer of Free Love, Jimi Hendrix saw to it he padded out his concerts – to say nothing of his albums – with mega-minute dollops of chemically-derived stereophonic noodling, the most exemplary of which remains “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)” (…not to mention the rest of Electric Ladyland vinyl side three), extracts from which can still be heard squeaking beneath scratchy archival footage of bongo-fests and de-lousings circa “Journey To The Center Of The Mind.” Yet hidden away on the Experience’s European B-sides are some of this dubious genre’s “best,” though least heard, doses of aural indulgence.
For example: Guess what “Stars That Play with Laughing Sam’s Dice” (flipside of “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp”) stands for? (and you thought Lucy in the Sky with Dinah was hep!)  And even more, well, fascinating was Jimi’s original “teenage opera to God,” entitled “Brave Ulysses’ Long Lost Stash Hast Imbrued Tonto.” This typically incoherent twenty-seven minute excursion into the realms of, as it was explained at the time, “electric tribal sky church rainbow music” found itself, in a brief lapse of (in)sanity, chopped off the Axis: Bold As Love LP (but is threatening to be exhumed soon as part of MCA/Exxon’s Essentially Rare Reprogrammed Hendrix In The Studio As You’ve Never Heard Before, Sorta 12-CD Boxing Set …unless, of course, Jimi’s stepsister finds out).


6 (a).  DRIED (as opposed to SOUR) GRAPES DEPT.:  Jimi’s former drummists never lead stellar careers – or lives for that matter – after September 18, 1970. Buddy Miles, who beat behind the Hendrix Band of Gypsys was, after having been sprung from several hoosegows, the brains, to be incredibly gracious, behind …the California Raisins. And Mitch Mitchell, who you should all recall was at least one-third of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ended up hawking his road stories and then some to the highest bidder (Harmony Books), before disappearing deep into the Delete Zone. The bigger the kick drum, the harder they fall.


6 (b).  Meanwhile, Noel Redding, the four-strung genius wholly responsible for “She’s So Fine” and “Little Miss Strange,” not to mention Fat Mattress (…but that’s another Little-Known Facts list!) once toured New Jersey’s most picturesque dives fronting a combo called (I bet this took a while) The Noel Redding Experience. However, he spent the majority of his off-time, of which I reckon he had an abundance, lazing in line alongside dozens upon dozens of other ex-rhythm sections, managers, publishers, producers, promoters, valets, conga tuners, and seamstresses who, armed with the finest lawyers credit can buy, patiently await their very own turn to gnaw away at the lawsuit-ridden corpse of their former bandmate. Hopefully though, Noel and Jimi have long since buried their hatchet …somewhere upon that great big People’s Court in the clouds.


7. Within a few blocks of Jimi’s still-extant Electric Lady Studios in NYC’s once-happening Greenwich Village, where once proudly stood several of the world’s best rare, used, and/or pirate record boutiques, still sits the one and only Waverly Restaurant: The finest eatery on the southern side of the Pine Curtain (Tuesday Night’s Special? Roast duck with salad, bread, choice of potato and vegetable, beverage and dessert – a regular steal at $12.95) (that’s at 385 Avenue of the Americas …and don’t forget to tell’em Gary the Pig sentcha!)


8. Hey, and remember that time Jimi got busted right there at the Toronto airport for drugs? I hear Yoko set him up…



Gary appears here whenever he wants

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DBAWIS_ButtonGary Pig Gold may have grown up in Port Credit, run away to Hamilton to join his first rock ‘n’ roll group, hung out with Joe Strummer on his first-ever night in the UK, returned to T.O. to publish Canada’s first-ever rock ‘n’ roll (fan)zine, run away again gary pig gpld facong leftto Surf City to (almost) tour Australia with Jan & Dean, come home again to tour O Canada with that country’s first-ever (authorized!) Beach Boys tribute band …but STILL, he had to travel all the way back to the USSR to secure his first-ever recording contract


  1. Anyone who blue Stevie Ray V away is someone I have to look up. Great as expected Mr. P and loved the photos too.

  2. […] Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, “Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands” (all thirteen hours of it), Jimi Hendrix, and The Who to the previously all-American airwaves. Yet despite teaching untold millions to […]

  3. […] get my mind together, the first “real” concert I ever attended as a wee young Canucklehead was The Jimi Hendrix Experience at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, May 3, […]

  4. […] Yes, musicians – and not just guitarists either – are still trying to finger out how in the holy heck this one man created what he did, armed with not ever much more than what that above-mentioned bespectacled Strato-man from Texas wielded. I mean, I’ve positively scoured every possible concert recording and film of Jimi I could find, and damned if I remain as totally baffled as ever as to how he got THOSE notes out of just THAT equipment. But then again, I suppose some things are better left unknown by us mere mortals, all of whom should just be humbly thankful we were allowed to share, if however briefly, some time upon the same coil as James Marshall. So then, if you haven’t already, I wholeheartedly implore you to turn on, tune up, turn it up and… GET Experienced! […]

  5. […] through at a cracking gallop. When I was starting it was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Then Jimi Hendrix came along, but he was too good for this world. And I don’t think it’s been possible to say […]

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