Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an influential and legendary American rock guitarist, often considered the most talented guitarist of all time. His best-known songs include "Hey Joe", "All Along the Watchtower", "Purple Haze", "Manic Depression" and "The Wind Cries Mary".
Zappa and Hendrix
Sat in with the Mothers Of Invention while they were in New York. It was FZ that first introduced Hendrix to the "Wah Wah" effect pedal.
FZ recalls seeing Hendrix at the Cafe Au Go Go:
"I thought Hendrix was great. But the very first time I saw him perform, I had the incredible misfortune of sitting close to him at the Au Go Go in New York City and he had a whole stack of Marshalls. I was right in front of it. I was physically ill. I couldn't get out; it was so packed, I couldn't escape. And although it was great, I didn't see how anybody could inflict that kind of volume on himself, let alone other people. That particular show he ended by taking the guitar and impaling it in the low ceiling of the club. Just walked away and left it squealing."
At the 1968 Miami festival Hendrix presented Zappa with the remains of his guitar. Zappa would subsequently rebuild the guitar and perform with it throughout the 1970's. In 2002 Dweezil put the guitar up for auction, hoping it would make one million dollars, but it failed to sell.
Zappa devoted a section to Hendrix' role in the history of rock 'n roll: The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out.
When Zappa and Eric Clapton met The Plaster Casters Of Chicago, who made plaster replicas of the penises of famous rock artists, they heard that Hendrix was one of the musicians "immortalized" in this fashion.
When Zappa was guest DJ on radio station WSTM, Chicago on 21 November 1974 he played Hendrix' song "Manic Depression".
During the Royal Albert Hall concert in London, 1967, Jimmy Carl Black was "dressed up as a popstar to hustle some young ladies" by giving him a Jimi Hendrix wig. This scene can be heard on the track The Jimmy Carl Black Philosophy Lesson on the CD Ahead Of Their Time (1993) and in the film Uncle Meat (The Film).
During Mozart Ballet (Piano Sonata in B Flat) played at the Royal Albert Hall concert in London, 6th June 1969 and evidenced in the page 5 notes by FZ, of the track in the booklet with You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 5 Hendrix bassist Noel Redding performed a vaudevillian ballet with Kanzus J. Kanzus - whilst Dick Barber also strangled a chicken and provided snorks.
Quotes about Hendrix
"Hendrix is one of the most revolutionary figures in today's pop culture, musically and sociologically. Hendrix's music is very interesting. The sound... is extremely symbolic: orgasmic grunts, tortured squeals, lascivous moans, electric disasters and innumerable other audial curiosities are delivered to the sense mechanisms of the audience at an extremely high decibel level. In a live performance environment, it is impossible to merely listen to what the Hendrix group does... it eats you alive."
"Some of the really good things that Hendrix did was the earliest stuff, when he was just ripping and brutal. "Manic Depression" was my favorite Jimi Hendrix song. The more experimental it got, the less interesting and the thinner it got."–"Zappa in Frank Zappa. Interview in Playboy
"I knew Jimi and I think that the best thing you could say about Jimi was: there was a person who shouldn't use drugs."–"Zappa in The Frank Zappa Interview Picture Disk, pt.2
Jerry Hopkins': Are there any groups in the business you feel have any legitimacy?