1. Let’s get one thing straight right off the top here: 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 Seattle, Washington, I kid you not. And his old man was a gardener, fer gosh sake!
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-slash-airborne-survivalist Dick Dale. Yes, he who, a decade before “Pulp Fiction,” literally blue – with one E-chord tied behind his back! – Stevie R. Vaughan off the stage in that cinematic treasure “Back To The Beach.”
In fact, 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, Prince, Boy George, Madonna, Britney, Snoopy Dog Dog and, of course, Michael Jackson)
(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 Wikipedia now knows Hendrix’s first major North American jaunt was as opening act for, honestly, 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 family jewels failed to measure anywhere near up to those 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 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),” extracts from which can still be heard squeaking beneath scratchy archival footage of love-ins and de-lousings circa “Journey To The Center Of The Mind.”
Yet hidden away on the Experience’s European vinyl 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!
6 (a). Dried (as opposed to Sour) Grapes Dept.:
Jimi’s former drummists haven’t exactly led stellar careers – or lives, for that matter – since their former employer exited on 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 forever departing himself. The bigger the drum kit, the harder they fall.
6 (b). Meanwhile, Noel Redding, the four-strung genius behind those anti-stars of last week’s Pigshit, Fat Mattress, once could be easily found touring New Jersey’s most picturesque dives fronting a combo called – I bet this name took a while – The Noel Redding Experience.
However, Noel spent the majority of his off-time 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.
7. Within a few blocks of Jimi’s still-extant Electric Lady Studios in NYC’s once-happening Greenwich Village, where several of the world’s best rare, used, and/or pirate record boutiques once stood, still stands the one and only Waverly Restaurant: THE finest eatery east of the Mississip! (Tuesday Night’s Special? Roast duck with salad, bread, choice of potato AND vegetable, beverage and dessert – a regular steal at $8.95) (that’s at 385 Avenue of the Americas …and don’t forget to tell’em the Rock and Roll Report sentcha!)
8. Hey, and remember that time Jimi got busted at Toronto International Airport we were talking about last week? I hear YOKO set him up…