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Jimi Hendrix

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I deliver perfection...|and don't brag about it! :D
Kit Lambert, our manager...
...had just signed Jimi Hendrix|to our label...
...and put him on...
...backin' us up.
And I couldn't really believe it.
I thought, "Jesus Christ,|what's gonna happen?"
So he went on and he did his thing.|He knocked my amplifiers over.
He set his guitar alight.|He practically smashed it up.
He got feedback together and|he also played in his own inimitable way.
And I went on afterwards,|and I just stood and strummed.
Our manager, the Cream's manager,|felt that if we went over... San Francisco too early,|we'd lose our market value.
So he held off. He said, "No, you must go|later on and then be...
...a big bang at the Fillmore."|It worked out all right in the end...
...but I was upset about it...
...'cause we'd been asked to go|and I wanted to go.
I felt that they must've thought|we were bein' big-headed...
...but I'd loved to have seen him play there.
He did that sacrifice thing|for the audience with his guitar.
I've seen it so many times on film.
Everybody on...
...the whole audience on Owsley, right?|Owsley acid, fantastic.
{y:i}Come on, man, sing it with us.
{y:i}Before the show at Monterey...
{y:i}... we were starting to talk|{y:i}about the running of it.
{y:i}But more for Brian Jones,|{y:i}who was introducing us, I think.
And Eric Burden, who was introducing him,|or vice versa. I can't really remember.
They wanted to know what was gonna|come first and we couldn't really decide.
So I said to Jimi, "Fuck it,|we're not gonna follow you on."
So he said, "I'm not gonna follow you on."
So I said, "Listen, we are not gonna|follow you on and that is it."
"As far as I'm concerned...
...we're out ready to go on now, our gig's|gonna be there, that's the end of it."
There was a certain look in his eye.|He got on a chair...
...and played some amazing guitar just|standing on a chair in the dressing room.
Janis Joplin was there, Brian Jones...
...Eric and me, and a few other people|standing around.
Then he got down off the chair...
...and just said, turned around to me|and said:
"If I'm gonna follow you...
...I'm gonna pull all the stops."
{y:i}In the end of "Wild Thing"...
{y:i}... he would go across to the amplifier...
{y:i}... grab it...
...and go through the motions of fucking it.
It would vibrate and shake|to such a degree...
...that I'd have to stand behind the columns|holding it up...
...whilst he fucked it 'round the front.
{y:i}I guess from boredom|{y:i}of doing the same things.
{y:i}There's a lot of routine in those soul bands,|{y:i}the steps and everything.
The guitarist is a sly prank|who'd play behind their backs...
...and play with their teeth.
This is a way of breaking the pattern,|breaking the law.
The outrageous! I've heard things|from Don Covay...
...telling stories about Wilson Pickett...
...pulling a gun on a drummer, you know,|just gimmicks like that.
Gimmicks! Here we go again! I'm tired|of people sayin' we rely on gimmicks.
The world is nothin' but a gimmick.
Wars, napalm bombs and all.|People gettin' burned up on TV...
...and it's nothin' but a big gimmick.|Yes, we do.
{y:i}That isn't all he does.|{y:i}But he is here tonight, as I say...
{y:i}... without his Experience. So, here is|{y:i}a naive and innocent Jimi Hendrix.
{y:i}Nice to meet you. That's not, of course,|{y:i}the only thing you do onstage...
{y:i}... for those who've never seen you before,|{y:i}and there have to be a few.
{y:i}But what would you say is the meaning|{y:i}of destruction onstage...
{y:i}... when you do that?
{y:i}Just a release, I guess.
{y:i}- Bet you didn't wear this in the paratroops.|{y:i}- Not necessarily.
{y:i}You were a...|{y:i}What is it a paratrooper or a parachutist?
{y:i}- Chutist?|{y:i}- No difference.
{y:i}101st Airborne, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Well, let me see. Go back...
See, I think I was going to my company...
...and I had to pass Service Club No. 1|on the way.
I heard this guitar playin' inside.|I said, "Wow".
I said, "The cat's all right."|So I stopped in and...
...I introduced myself to him.|I told him I played bass.
And I went and checked out a bass.|We started jamming right off.
I started a little group|as saxophone player.
Two of the people that I had with me|turned out to be Jimi Hendrix and Bill Cox.
We started and played|at various service clubs on the post.
But most of the time,|we got fired from the gigs...
...'cause we played real loud, you know?
As you know, Jimi was a left hand player.
He would have to string his guitar|with the strings backward, upside down...
...the heavy strings in reverse|of what they normally should be.
This was okay within itself,|with the one exception:
Jimi somehow would always manage... pawn this guitar before a gig...
...before a dance, and, of course,|the band would have to go pawn it... it, repossess it.
Nothing else could be used.|He had to have this specific guitar.
And I think he played this particular angle|against the band.
It really appeared that Jimi, in many cases,|was never really with us.
He did a lot of concentrating on his music.
A lot of the small talk that|the typical group of guys would make...
...sometimes he would not enter into it.
Of course, we'd look over at him|occasionally, and there he is staring.
We wouldn't ask him for his thoughts|per se, but this is what I really meant... cloud nine.
You didn't really get... know him that closely|as far as the exact line of thinking.
{y:i}Do you ever run into any of the guys|{y:i}from the old 101st?
{y:i}Yeah, I see some of my friends.
{y:i}Do they think your life is strange|{y:i}compared to what they're in?
{y:i}That wouldn't matter really because...
{y:i}... there's so many different things|{y:i}goin' on now.
{y:i}You can't take time to say,|{y:i}"I wonder what they think of me there."
{y:i}I can't go through all that.|{y:i}I've gone through it for three years.
I remember when he got his first guitar.
We used to have a little jam session|between the two of us.
I bought a saxophone at that time... ol' beat-up C-melody saxophone.
We lived in this scrum-dum apartment.|It was in a rough neighborhood.
Noise didn't mean nothin'|to the upstairs neighbor...
...or neighbor next door.
So, while Jimi was wailing away|on his guitar, well, I'd be blowing the sax.
I went and got behind on the payments|on the sax.
I let it go, 'cause I knew he'd do more|with the guitar than I would with the sax.
I remember gettin' out of the Army|and tryin' to get something together.
Then I was playin' in different groups|all around the States and Canada.
Playing behind people most of the time.
A lot of mornings we were right down here|on Jefferson Street.
We lived over top|of Joyce's House of Glamour.
A lot of times I'd get him up mornings|to go for breakfast.
Knock on his door, door'd be open.|He's lying there in the same clothes...
...he wore the night before|with his guitar on his stomach.
{y:i}I started travelin'. I went to New York|{y:i}and won first place...
{y:i}... in the Apollo Amateur Contest.
{y:i}You know, $25. I played some shows|{y:i}with Ike and Tina Turner.
{y:i}I played with King Curtis and Joey Dee.
{y:i}This group came up and brought me|{y:i}back to Atlanta, Georgia...
{y:i}... where I met Little Richard|{y:i}and began playing with him.
He was a star. When I got him,|he was a star!
Sly told you that everybody is a star!
Problem is, some people|haven't been put in the dipper...
...and poured back on the world.|That's what the answer is.
That's the answer.|You got to be placed into the dipper...
...and poured back down on the world|and then men will see your good works...
...and glorify God Jehovah.
The stories and things he used to tell me,|I started goin' for him.
Really diggin' him and likin' him|more than...
...I was liking the fact|that he was a cutie-pie with a guitar.
The in-thing at the time.
They were just getting to be the thing... with the processes fallin' in your face|when you're playin', you know.
Well, he wasn't|the average process wearer.
We got our own little crib, you know.|It was sardines and crackers on and off.
And our moms would throw in,|well, my mom would throw in...
...a good meal here and there, you know.
She couldn't stand him|because she thought he was a bum.
She said, "You ain't gonna have|that long-haired nigger in here."
Then she'd get in front of his face|and she says:
"Well, Jimi, you just don't understand...
...Fay's just goin' through a thing."
"It'll just be a minute.|You shouldn't get involved."
'Cause he talked to her about little things,|you know.
{y:i}We used to go to Palm's Cafe|{y:i}and places like Small's, the Spotlight...
...places around 125th Street,|in the Harlem scene, you know.
He'd tell him he wanted to sit in, right?
And these old fuddy-duddy,|rough-dried ain't-never-beens... know, they ain't gonna give him|a break.
So they just act like|they don't even know that he's there.
He'd sit there with this kind of look|on his face...
...for a few minutes and he says,|"I'm gonna speak to 'em again."
I'd say, "Hey, don't say nothin'|to those cats...
...'cause it's obvious|they don't want you to play."
I used to have him clean up the bedroom|all the time while I was gone.
When I'd come home, I'd find a lot of|broom straws near the foot of the bed.
I used to ask him,|"Didn't you sweep the floor?"
And he said, yeah, he did.|I found out later, he used to be sittin'... the foot of the bed there...
...strummin' the broom|like he was playin' a guitar.
Finally, they would let him come in,|you know, and play.
And then they'd get up and really|just mess up so bad behind him.
It was incredible.
He'd be lookin' all disgusted on the stage,|and he'd keep lookin' back at 'em.
Then the other guys come and say he's got|to turn it down...
...and take him through many changes.
Well, when I was with the Isley Brothers,|they used to make me do my thing then...
...because it made them more bucks,|or something.
But I used to like to do it then.
But most groups I was with|didn't let me do my own thing... feedback in "Midnight Hour".
He'd sign a contract with anyone|that had a dollar, you know, and a pencil.
You know, he'd sign with them|which got him into a lot of trouble...
...that he got into later|with the companies and stuff.
No, reading a contract|meant nothing to Jimi.
He just came in and signed it...
...and I didn't hear from him for months.
We'd get our door plugged with the hotel,|we'd get thrown out, we'd pawn the guitar.
We'd come back. We'd borrow guitars|from people to play, do a gig.
We'd eat good for a minute, you know.
It was just that, you know,|on and off all the time.
But Jimi had this perseverance to go on.|He didn't mind lookin' freaky... I don't mind it,|'cause I was doin' it before he was.
I know when he saw me,|it gave him confidence...
...and great recompense of reward.|My Lord!
But the twins, by now, were on the set.|I don't know if the twins...
...mentioned anything about, you know...
...when Jimi and them first met...
...but we were all livin' together.
He thought we was just hustlin'...
...and he was really the only musician|in the house.
In the beginning, it was almost|like a separation-type thing.
- Him on one side of the house...|- He didn't know we had anything. on the other.
Everybody walkin' by durin' the day,|and lookin' at...
Seein' each other,|don't really know each other, but peepin'...
...and sayin',|"Well, damn, what is he doin' here?"
"Do you know him, Arthur?"|I used to ask Arthur: "Do you know him?"
And he used to squinch on by real quick|with his guitar. Watchin' up real quick...
...'cause he was kind of timid himself.
And after he squinches by, we'd look|at him like, "Damn!" checkin' him out.
Then Fay would walk out of the room.|Fay was his girlfriend then.
You all call her "Fayne", I think,|but we call her "Fay".
And she'd walk on out and switch|because she was bad herself.
I mean, in her own way.
I think he was justified in his decisions,|you know, like to cut on out.
If he had never done that...
I don't think it could've happened,|but it's possible.
He could've been pokin' around|for years and years, you know...
...bein' a sideman and a flunky.
He wasn't any of these things. He was|a star when he was there and they knew it.
That's why they didn't want him to come|and plunk the guitar with his teeth...
...shake his long process,|come near the edge of the stage...
...and lick his tongue at the girls|'cause they'd scream.
They treated him like he was the star|and they were the fuckin' sidemen.
You know what I mean?|So, as often as they could...
...they would kind of keep this quiet, right?|And after he left...
...they figured, "Well, it's just another|guitar player gone."
They had no idea he was gonna do|what he did.
Jimi Hendrix could play that rock'n'roll.|I used to be singin' rock'n'roll.
Be gone! He'd have that thing just|rompin' and tompin' all up under my toes!
At times he used to make my big toe|shoot up in my boot.
He did it so good! He give it all to you!
And that's what you want,|you want it all or none.
I don't know why we went there.|It was a place I didn't usually go to...
...but we went this night, and it was|a huge, enormous place like a ballroom.
Very few people there, and a sort of|regular band playing not very well.
At least, I didn't take any interest|in the band at all.
And then suddenly I saw|the guitar player...
...who was playing really quite discreetly|in the back row.
And from that moment|I just became completely involved.
He was very naive|and very shy and nervous.
He didn't look at you when he spoke|to you.
And he came back to the apartment...
...and played a lot of Dylan...
...who Jimi idolized.
He thought Dylan was the greatest.
I said, "Man, you'd better tell me|who you spent our last $5 on."
He wouldn't tell me nothin'.|He just kept flashin' the thing.
And then he finally took it out of the bag.
He still wouldn't let me read it...
...but he was readin' some of the things|it said to me, up in the air like this.
I didn't recognize anything he said anyway,|so I pretended I didn't give a shit.
I went to the bedroom,|and he came in and told me... was Bob Dylan, you know.|I said, "Bob who?"
"Bob Dylan. You never heard|of Bob Dylan?"
I said, "No, I never heard of Bob Dylan."
I'm sayin', "What's with this weird cat?"
Because, I mean,|Bob Dylan was really a genius...
...but I just couldn't get ready for it.
I figured Jimi was so heavy|into what I was into...
...he would never like anything like that.
But he just loved it to death.
I wanted to get up and go to the bathroom,|he would grab me by my arm, you know... I'm going to miss this part.
"Listen", you know.
Okay, like I couldn't miss it, you know.
You could hear it to 42nd Street,|you know.
We almost got put out of the building|behind Dylan.
He'd never realized that most...
...of the recording stars... Dylan, don't have... incredible singing voice.
And he would never, ever,|let anybody watch him putting vocals on.
He was very shy about his voice.
He thought he had the worst voice|in the world.
We used to put a line of screens up|and we'd stick him behind there.
He'd poke his head out, say, "All right."
He was very self-conscious.
Very self-conscious about the things|that he wore...
...because he was kind of different,|you know, kind of freaky.
Especially in comparison to a lot|of the brothers uptown at that time.
So, he was very sensitive to the places|that he liked to be.
He figured that most people would tolerate|him a little more over here, down here.
He'd just blend in with the crowd...
...which he still didn't|'cause he always stood out.
I told this record producer|there was this fantastic...
...guitar player, singer, man...
...playing in the Village,|and would he come listen...
...because he's really going to like this.
This is a very materialistic man.
And he thought, "Right, good",|and he came down.
He thought I was mad.
He did not see what I was talking about.
When he saw Jimi, he thought,|"This is nothing."
Then, eventually,|I bumped into Chas Chandler...
...who I didn't know,|but I knew was one of the Animals.
And I think Jimi was getting|quite desperate to record...
...or to at least make another step.
And so, Chas came down to see him|and was like...
It was instantaneous.
I mean, there was no question in his mind.
I'd been on the scene a few times|with people who'd say:
"Hendrix is playing at the so and so,|down in the Village."
They said, "Oh, yeah. That's nice."
You know, blah-blah, just shine it on|like it ain't no big thing.
But they had no idea that he was going|to run into Chas Chandler or whoever...
...Linda Keith, or somebody, you know,|who was gonna really...
...put the icin' on the fuckin' cake.
It was just a matter of time.
All he had to do was get out|of fuckin' Harlem and go somewhere...
...where somebody with some bread,|who had an eye for talent, you know...
...wanted to see somebody|sure enough do it, that had it.
The stage was set for Jimi really.
It could have been anyone,|but it had to be him.
Because London was just comin'|into a kind of really heavy soul thing.
The blues boom was dying|and it needed someone... bring it all back to life|and sort of cement it together.
I didn't know nothin'. I thought|he'd just come out of nowhere.
We just adopted him, we felt, in England,|'cause he was great.
He wasn't big in America|and he'd come here.
He'd come to England, and we were there.
He had his first record in England.|He was ours, you know.
First time I ever saw Jimi|was in Blaze's Club.
I just went down for a meal one day.
And as I was goin' in,|Jeff Beck was comin' out.
He came up to me and said,|"Have you heard about this guy...
...that's playin' here tonight, Jimi Hendrix?"
"It's a complete disgrace.|He's rippin' off all your things."
So, I thought, I had met him before... the studio, just said hello.
I'd never seen him play.
And I went in and saw him playin'...
...and was completely floored.
Really, just completely...
Although, I could see|what Jeff was talkin' about.
I could see that, you know,|he was doin' a lot of guitar...
...up against the amp and that sort of stuff,|which I had felt were precious trademarks.
He was takin' them|and doin' something else.
He'd just got into England|and was with his manager, Chas...
...Chas Chandler,|and he brought him to this gig.
A guy comes up to Clapton|and asks if he can sit in.
I doubt whether Clapton got many people|asking if they could sit in, because...
...being the world's greatest guitar player,|all the other guitar players...
...would be super-deferential about him.
Anyway, this guy came up|and Clapton said, "Yeah."
The guy plugs his guitar in...
...starts to play.
Starts to play amazingly.|No one had ever seen anything like it.
He's playin' just the fastest,|wailingest blues runs anyone's ever heard.
I think he did a "Howlin' Wolf" number|or somethin'. But he did his whole routine.
He did the thing with his teeth,|playing the guitar with his teeth...
...and layin' it on the floor,|and playin' it behind his head...
...doin' the splits. It was incredible.
The first time I ever really got|any sort of relationship...
...together with Eric Clapton|was when I was sitting at home...
...and he rung me up and said,|"Hello, this is Eric."
So I said, "Eric who?"|He said, "Eric Clapton."
Never spoke to me before in my life. Ever.
He said, "Do you want to come|to the pictures?"
I said, "Oh, sure."
And we went and saw some strange|Italian film, a really good film.
He was really into movies at the time.
During the movie, we started to talk|about Jimi Hendrix.
And we decided that we both|really liked him.
Suddenly, out of the blue|we had a very strong...
...sort of bond of friendship,|which I think came about...
...because it ended as soon|as Jimi split England.
I think it came about because|Jimi threatened us both in a way.
But at the same time|he also entertained us both.
Chas Chandler, having found Jimi,|seen his potential as a guitar player...
...said to himself, "What do I need to do... make a practical musical unit|around him?"
And then we had a jam session|at one club in England, you know...
...and that's how Mitch,|Noel, and I got together.
Noel comes down expecting to play guitar,|you know. He was tryin' for the Animals.
I dug his hairstyle,|so we asked him to play bass.
The opening night of some|terrible discotheque, you know.
It was when discotheques|were all the rage.
And there were a few people.
I went down with Marianne.
He was just amazing.|I mean, he was just amazing.
Blew my head completely off.
I was surprised to get this call|from London, England.
I didn't know who that'd be comin' from.|And here, Jimi said:
"Well, Dad, I think I'm on my way|to the big time."
He said, "I'm over here in England now...
...and they are building up a group|around me."
And he said, "I'm namin' it|the Jimi Hendrix Experience."
So I said, "Good for you."
"Just keep your nose clean|and keep in there wailin'."
{y:i}Hey, fantastic sounds!
{y:i}Real psychedelic sounds|{y:i}from the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
{y:i}The boys have got a new one out|{y:i}on March 17...
{y:i}... and this one will take the market|{y:i}by storm.
{y:i}So, let's hear once again,|{y:i}the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
{y:i}Thank you, man. Thank you very much.
Where was he, England?
Some place in Europe.
He stayed there for a couple of years,|and then he got pretty famous, you know.
I still hadn't heard about him.|And then he came back.
Then he came back lookin'|very prosperous.
I said, "Damn, Jimi,|where did you go, man?"
He used to talk a lot about the things.
Like, "All of sudden, here I am,|a star now."
It was new and exciting and fun.|We were really enjoying ourselves.
We were hangin' out and gettin' stoned.
We were dancing seven|out of seven nights a week.
We went to lots of gigs.
{y:i}It was the beginning of the rock affluence|{y:i}that was shared.
{y:i}The money began to move|{y:i}into other areas.
{y:i}It wasn't just the stars|{y:i}who were spending the money.
{y:i}We were all spending the money.
{y:i}He spent his money. He spent his money...
{y:i}... as carelessly as anybody's|{y:i}supposed to spend it.
{y:i}Murray the K had a radio show then,|{y:i}and he said, "I'm gonna play...
{y:i}...the new Jimi Hendrix album."
{y:i}And he played it.|{y:i}We heard this guitar player...
{y:i}... who was doing everything|{y:i}that was possible.
{y:i}I mean, it was just amazing.
{y:i}I always figured he would make it.|{y:i}I always figured that, well...
{y:i}... maybe he'd be playin' cabarets|{y:i}here and there.
But I didn't know he gonna make it|so world-wide like he did.
This child ain't did nothin' that great,|you know what I mean?
He said, "No, they really dig me.|And I got this really nice album."
"I got two cats that play with me|and everything."
And he said,|"And I brought you something, too."
I said, "Bring it when you bring the album."
I'm thinkin' he's brought me|some fabulous present back from London.
"Jimi, please tell me what it is."|And he said:
"Acid... some acid." You know?|And I said, "Acid?"
I had no idea what he meant.
I thought maybe he had a cauldron of acid|or somethin' and he was gonna drop me in.
He looked over to Arthur|and Arthur said, "LSD".
You know, and I said, "Oh, LSD".
I was tryin' not to sound too disappointed,|you know.
So he popped a couple of 'em right away.
So I said, "Well, damn! Little as Jimi is,|if he can take it, I know I can take it."
So, I popped a half and Fay popped a half.|He said, "Here, try a half first."
I waited for somethin' to come on.
I didn't feel it so I said,|"Give me another half."
He popped two, you know.|So we wind up gettin' stoned...
...'bout after 30 minutes,|half an hour of me complainin' about...
..."Where's the high? Where's the high?"
About half an hour later we wind up|gettin' tore up, man!
I knew Jimi could take more|of anything than we could...
...because he was already abnormal.|So whatever he took...
...brought him back to normal. Then|he gotta start from there, understand?
So, we knew if he could take a gallon...
...we'd better take a pint, right?
He was always into gettin' high.|He was a little bit scared of drugs.
He distrusted dealers.
He distrusted taking it from anybody|he didn't know.
I'd always check it out for him... front of him, so he would be confident|that he wasn't...
...gonna get a bum trip and things.
He just loved to get high.|It was all part of the whole scene.
Like he played 24 hours a day.|I mean, he was always playin'.
You always knew when Hendrix was|in town.
He was jamming here,|he was jamming there...
But he was always playin'.
{y:i}Do you consider yourself a disciplined guy?|{y:i}Do you get up everyday and work?
{y:i}Oh, I try to get up everyday.
It was impossible to get any work done|because of the hangers-on.
He could never refuse anybody.
He had people hangin'|in the control rooms...
He had plenty of women.
As he got up into stardom, you know,|he really moved up... his money, and in his women,|of course.
Because one follows the other.
Sorry 'bout that girls, but...
If I get up at 7:00 in the morning...
...and I'm really sleepy, but then I open|the door and see somebody...
...that appeals to me, you know...
First I say, "What in the world|is she doin' here?"
Or, "What does she want?"
I stand there, she says,|"Oh, maybe, could I come in?"
And I'm standin' there|and really diggin' her.
She's really nice lookin'.|It's the honest-to-God truth.
And she's about 19, 20,|or beyond the age of so and so.
So I say, "Oh".
I'll probably stand there|and then there I go.
I'll be bitin' into an apple maybe.
I remember the times in clubs|where chicks would come...
...and obviously they've been preparing|for half an hour for this big number.
They've got the lipstick on,|their courage up, and out they come...
...and over to the table.|Boom, boom, boom.
The moment anybody would get up,|all places at the table were continually full.
You couldn't get up for a second without|eight people charging for your chair.
They'd sit down.|By the time they got there...
...they were so fucking uptight about|going through this massive preparation.
What would they say,|how would they say it... would they make|the best impression possible.
They came on like a bunch of snots.
Jimi would turn and say:|"Hi, my name is Jimi. Who are you?"
And they go...|I never saw anything like it.
She's spent five years plotting|to meet him...
...and he says, "Hi, my name is Jimi."|And you got an attitude?
He's always wanted to be this big star,|but I never got a chance... see him after he made it.|They would never let me come back.
I used to say, "Why? What did I do?"|I had something to tell him.
And I never did, so now I have to talk|about it and let him know.
It was good. I just wanted|to let him know I knew he'd make it.
{y:i}Yeah. Yeah, what I say now...
{y:i}Yes, as I said before, it's really groovy.
{y:i}I'd like to bore you for about six|{y:i}or seven minutes and do a little thing.
{y:i}Excuse me for a minute.|{y:i}Just let me play my guitar, all right?
{y:i}Now I'm gonna do a little thing|{y:i}by Bob Dylan.
{y:i}That's his grandma over there.
{y:i}It's a little thing called,|Like A Rolling Stone.
He fluctuated so fast from great joy|into intense unhappiness.
I mean, suicidal, not interested in life,|completely disinterested in his body.
He wanted to tear off his body, you know.|And he did.
But he glorified bodies and flesh|and human beings...
...and women and children and all that.
{y:i}Can you tell some nights|{y:i}you're just not making it at all?
{y:i}- Ever want to walk off?|{y:i}- That's why I hate compliments.
{y:i}Compliments are so embarrassing|{y:i}sometimes, 'cause you know the truth.
{y:i}Sometimes people don't really|{y:i}try to understand.
{y:i}It's like a circus that might come to town.|{y:i}"Wow, watch that."
{y:i}Soon as they fade away,|{y:i}they go on to feed upon the next thing.
{y:i}But it's all right. It's part of life.|{y:i}I'm diggin' it myself.
{y:i}You're considered one of the best|{y:i}guitar players in the world.
But Jimi was very, very self-conscious.
He came in and said, "How's my hat?|How does my hat look?"
We said, "Your hat looks all right."
He said, "You think they'll mind."
Yeah, "You think 'they'll' mind..."
Always worryin' about what...
When I say "we", what the|other black people thought.
About his music.
Yeah, about his music, and himself,|and propaganda that they heard.
And a lot of it was true,|but he was experiencing things.
He was goin' through a lot of changes.
He was a black man|in a white man's world.
I mean, it's an extraordinary sort|of uptight, white, hetero set...
...the rock-and-roll set.|They're all so aggressively normal...
...with their wives, children, houses,|and Jimi doesn't belong to that.
I think Noel wanted to become|a lead guitarist for a start.
Noel was the first one to leave.
He was the first one|ever to leave the band.
And then, well, Mitch stayed.|Mitch was happy.
But then it went in a weird way.
It went like, Jimi started bringin' in|all these musicians... his old Army buddy, Billy Cox.
Then he brought up, I don't know...
...a conga player and another guitarist.
That was when we did Woodstock.|Up at that house...
...there was all these colored guys.
It was a really strange atmosphere.
If he had a group of people|that he didn't have to tell what to play...'d have been another kind of sound,|the kind he was lookin' for.
Somebody thinkin' for himself.
That's the difference between|the marketing of commercial music...
...and music of true expression.
He was tryin' to spread a little joy|and love together, to show the world...
...that the end is not yet.|That I got to take you higher.
Not over some cocaine or...
...a piece of grass or some heroin.
But Jimi was gonna take 'em|higher than that!
{y:i}All I did was play it.|{y:i}I'm American, so I played it.
{y:i}I used to have to sing it in school.
{y:i}It's a flashback, you know.
{y:i}This man was in the 101st Airborne|{y:i}so when you write your nasty letters...
{y:i}Wow, you're really tryin' hard.
{y:i}When you mention the National Anthem|{y:i}and playing it in any unorthodox way...
{y:i}... you immediately get a guaranteed|{y:i}percentage of hate mail...
{y:i}... saying, "How dare anyone"...|{y:i}- That's not unorthodox.
{y:i}It isn't?
{y:i}No, I thought it was beautiful.|{y:i}But then, there you go.
{y:i}Don't you find that there's a certain|{y:i}mad beauty in unorthodoxy?
Yeah, it was probably the same for him... it is for The Who because I know|Pete gets very frustrated...
...although he likes to do it.|He knows that the audience...
...half of the point they go to see them... to see him smash his guitar, you know.
I think that must be a terrible sort|of expectation to live up to all the time.
I don't know much about it,|because I never went that far out in an act.
What hangs performers up, I think,|is playin' the same numbers.
It's not doin' the same act|or the same type of act...
...but playin' that number and|at that point in the number doin' this.
If you don't do it or if you don't smash|your amp up at the end...
...people get disappointed.|I know how that feels.
I don't care, man.|I don't care what they say anymore.
It's up to them. If they want|to mess up the evening... lookin' at one thing. You know,|because all that is included, man.
When I feel like playin' with my teeth,|I do it because I feel like it, you know.
All that is complete. When I'm onstage,|I'm completely natural, more so than...
...talkin' to a group of people or something.
Black radio didn't want to play|Jimi Hendrix's music because they said...
...not only did his music not relate,|but the people that went... see Jimi Hendrix wasn't the crowd|that'd listen to a black station.
Then, on most of the white pop stations,|they said it was too hard...
...and that he wasn't relating|to that audience.
Then you'd go to a concert|and it was standing room only.
He wasn't much of a color talker,|because...
...the way he lived...|He grew up down in Seattle.
I remember one time we was walkin'|towards Eighth Street.
I was tellin' you this the other day.
And, Albert, we were rappin'|about a few things, you know...
...that were wrong with the studio.
So, there was this guy|sellin' Black Panther papers.
He said, "Black Panther, brother."|You understand?
So, I was walkin' by, because my head|was somewhere else at the time.
My head was probably involved|with my music.
But Jimi picked up on it,|picked up on our vibes.
So the first thing he did was|he bought the paper.
- First thing, right.|- So, Albert and I looked at each other.
So the guy said, so the Panther said,|"Oh, wow, brothers!"
"Jimi Hendrix buyin' a paper,|Black Panther paper, and y'all not?"
So, we say, "Yeah, well, Jimi Hendrix|bought a paper 'cause he wanted a paper."
"We don't." But then Jimi looked at us...
He looked at us as though the reason|he bought the paper was to impress us.
Mitch and I had left.|We went back to England and Jimi got...
...that Band of Gypsies thing together,|Buddy Miles, Billy Cox.
And Mitch and I completely missed out|on all that.
And we sort of just hung out.
Next thing you knew we was really,|really close. I mean super close.
We was runnin' together, you know,|goin' down to the scene in New York...
...jammin' and, you know, seein' everybody|and just havin' a good time.
And then just all of a sudden just...
His music, to me, was entertaining,|as was his stage act, for that matter.
But the thing was,|he was such a bitchin' guitar player...
...that, you know, that was enough.
The other thing was distracting,|and I think he realized that and...
...wanted out of that, and for people|to listen to the music.
There's no way that you can explain|to people in Washington state...
...or the guys he was in the Army with...
...or the poor black cats tryin'|to get it together...
...that he was not having a good time.
It wasn't that every day was|a misery and a torture.
But in a situation...
...where it appears as if you've got|the best of all possible worlds... order to get on like you were,|the discovery that none of that was true... make a tenth of that true,|you had to fight all day long... something that you can't explain.|Most people assume:
"If only I had $10,000,|everything would be cool."
"If only I had this, this, and this,|I could get it on really well."
Another thing that Jimi discovered|is that it isn't true.
I mean, he was poor, he was starving,|he was fucked-up, he needed a break badly.
He had a really fuckin' hard time.
Much harder than I even know about|or most of us even have a clue.
As it got better and better...
First you go on that trip,|and begin to get what you want.
You're getting more money, guitars,|recognition, your songs recorded.
Then you arrive|at this particular position where...
...ideally, logically, and legally|you are entitled... have everything you need|in order to get your thing on.
And you begin to discover that|that's not true.
That you are expected to produce this|under any kind of circumstances.
That other people pick and choose for you.
There's no end to what he could have done.|But the situation that he got placed in...
...through either his record company,|the management...
...the promoters, the publicity men,|all those guys you've gotta deal with...
...who were saying,|"Hey, Jimi, we've gotta tour."
"And you're here, here, here."
"X number of people aren't coming.|You better do this...
...because your account is at X."
"You invested in Electric Ladyland and...
...maybe this isn't working|or that is working."
So, I think he had all these pressures|on him, you know.
You're not supposed to deal with that.|You're supposed to make music.
{y:i}Someone said it's hard to sing the blues|{y:i}when you're makin' that kind of money.
{y:i}This assumes you can't be unhappy|{y:i}and have a lot of money.
{y:i}Sometimes it gets to be really easy|{y:i}to sing the blues...
{y:i}... when you're supposed|{y:i}to be makin' all this money.
{y:i}'Cause money is gettin'|{y:i}to be outta hand now, you know.
{y:i}Musicians, especially young cats,|{y:i}they get a chance...
{y:i}... to make all this money and say,|{y:i}"This is fantastic!"
{y:i}Like I said, they lose themselves|{y:i}and forget about the music itself.
{y:i}They forget about their talents,|{y:i}and the other half of them.
{y:i}So, you can sing a whole lot of blues.
{y:i}The more money you make,|{y:i}the more blues you can sing.
A lot of things were goin' on around him|that he didn't like...
...and he always wondered,|"What is the method?"
"How do you straighten out these things...
...without hurtin' people?|You know, gettin' violent."
I said, "Damn, that ain't possible."|You know?
We ciphered it out,|if it has to be ciphered out.
- That "might is right".|- Sometimes right.
You know, "might is right",|and he was mighty.
He was the king, and his castle|was gettin' fucked up all around him.
But he was the king of the castle.
All he cared about was survival, you know,|and peace of mind.
And that was the hardest thing|in the world for him to get, man.
The hardest thing in the world.|Because people wouldn't leave him alone.
Those who didn't mean him good|wouldn't leave him alone.
The people that could do him some good,|they wouldn't do it... the manner that would do him|some good.
Far as I'm concerned,|the easiest thing to do... to leave somebody alone.|But they wouldn't, before and after.
Let's do it again.
Can we do it again?
Hey, don't waste all that film there.|Stop it for a second.
'Cause I was scared to death.|One more time?
- Can I just do it one more time?|- Go ahead.
Whenever I saw him,|there was always at least four people...
...sort of dragging him from one side|of the room to the other.
It just seemed as though|he couldn't keep up, you know.
I don't know what it was.
I can't see why he couldn't have got away|from them at some point...
...but he was so gullible.
It was so easy for people to take him in|and sort of con him, you know?
That was the best part of his nature, really.
It was a kind of innocence that he had, but|it was the thing that everybody preyed on.
He took on what he wanted to take on.|There's no mistake about that, you know?
I mean, no matter whatever went down.
"There's these people|and leeches around me."
And there was a load of lingers-on,|a load of leeches.
There always were.|He knew what he was taking on.
He knew what he was in for...
...otherwise he wouldn't have got involved,|because he wasn't a naive man.
It must be awful to live like that,|all by yourself.
You're totally isolated and it wasn't...
The poor old Beatles were isolated...
...because thousands|would've crushed them to death... their cocks out,|so they could take 'em home.
Steal their shoes.|That was something else.
Once that kind of crowd hysteria passes,|the actual physical danger begins to pass...
...and you realize what isolationism is.
It means that you have no one|to talk to particularly.
You have no one to exchange|any ideas with.
And particularly if you see the world... a particular way|that's relevant to you...
...which other people can identify with...
...the music and whatever.
It's a terrible situation to be in|because you can't grow.
In a general sort of way,|I think I put it down to the impotence...
...of the community he played for.
Because we had no way of making him|understand how much we loved him...
...or what he was doing meant to us at all.
He knew what the press said, what|the publicity said, what the hype was.
But he didn't know|how much we needed him...
...or what kind of energy|he was giving us at all.
There is a space between the artist|and the public...
...once the artist is an established artist.
The public expects the artist... do something that he saw him do|six months to a year ago.
But six months to a year ago is an image...
...which, if it's still alive in the eye|of the public...'s forgotten in the memory of the artist.
So there is a space there.|He didn't feel like dressing the same way.
He didn't play the same kind of music.
The effect he had on English musicians,|not just guitarists, but all musicians...
...was just phenomenal.
People, no, everybody liked him.
They liked him probably,|but they were jealous.
So, he was very controversial|for a long time.
But I think everyone came 'round|in the end.
It sort of changed the music scene|completely.
I think in many respects|he changed the sound of rock...
...far more than the Beatles, you know.
They brought songwriting to rock'n'roll,|but Jimi changed the sound of the guitar.
He turned it into an instrument, which...
...people like Buddy Guy and T-Bone Walker|and Chuck Berry had done previous to that.
But none had ever brought it out|and sold it to the public...
...and sold it to people like me,|who now believe in it as an instrument.
People like Eric Clapton were too ethnic.
They kept to themselves|and they had fixed groups.
But Jimi was unashamedly outward...
...and wanted to reach as many people|as possible.
You can say a million things, you know,|as people have done.
I don't want to say no more.
I mean, I just thought Jimi|was a great guitar player.
I thought he was the best,|or the most original.
I thought he had a really original act,|you know, and that's all now.
I don't know nothin' about his business,|whether he was a casualty...
...and I wish he was still here, and that's it.
He always felt he wouldn't live long,|like he was burning himself out.
But most black people do, anyway...
...feel as though they're bein' burnt out.
Like there's a fuse that's in everybody,|you know...
...and everybody knows the limits|of their fuse, or how much... fast it's going.
But when that fuse...|Most black people's fuses are fast anyway.
They got a fast fuse because of the things|around them.
Believe it or not, even you have a fast fuse.
We all have fast fuses, you know,|living in this generation.
And this shit, or those of us|who are living in it.
If you're not, I'm not talkin' to you,|but if you are, that's who I'm talkin' to.
He was gettin' ready to go|into another phase, you know.
I think a lot of people|who were close to him...
...saw that he was gettin' ready|to enter another phase...
...that would have been a strong change,|and a different Jimi.
And so, as far as that transition,|it happened, you know.
And like, in our discussions about death|in the past.
You can look at his work, his writings.
Just read 'em. Don't even try to sing 'em,|but read what he had to say.
I was shocked, but it was no surprise.
He loved everything: Life, music, himself...
...the people around him, you know.|Give a lot and take a lot.
He was no more destructive|than any other great talent, you know.
And he didn't destroy himself|more than the guy...
...who's in an airplane that explodes.
I mean, who knows how destructive|you are when you are part of an accident.
We don't know that.
So I stopped immediately|to call the ambulance.
While I was waiting for the ambulance,|I was checking Jimi's pulse...
...which I had learned because|I had a lot of operations...
...and his pulse was normal.
He was breathing normally, but he was,|just that he was sick...
...and I couldn't get him awake. I tried.
While the other type of sleep,|the light sleep is coming upon you...
...there's two sockets|where you can go into.
One socket is death and one socket|is the socket to live, you know.
This is how I always felt...|I think they call that a alpha jerk.
You can get an alpha jerk.|This is when you've felt as though...
..."Oh, wow, I'm goin' into|the wrong hole here."
And you really feel funny.
You feel like that possibly|is the hole to die.
And the other side is the side|to sleep and get...
...into your subconscious and sleep,|which is what we normally go into.
I believe that Jimi possibly could've|went into, got into his alpha-jerk feel...
...and it kind of felt groovy to him...
...because he was high,|slightly high, and he said:
"Damn, you know, I'm Jimi Hendrix.|I wonder if I can die?"
You know? And the alpha jerk|came on him and he said:
"Fuck it, let me try the alpha."|And slipped on out. You know?
And, another way he could have died...
...I always felt, was...
...dyin' out of pure frustration.|Just saying, you know, "Fuck it."
His music is infinite. It'll last, you know.
He's a virtuoso, he's a master,|he's a great spirit.
You've heard everybody say that.
And what I say, or what two or three|or ten people say doesn't really matter...
...because his music is there, alive forever.
Nobody can change that.
We'll get outdated. He won't.
{y:i}Thanks for bein' so patient.
{y:i}Maybe one of these days we'll join again.|{y:i}I really hope so.
{y:i}Thank you very much. Peace and|{y:i}happiness and all that other shit.
English subtitles conformed by|SOFTITLER
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