View Full Version : 1968-11-28 'An Electronic Thanksgiving' - Philharmonic Hall, New York, New York USA

Dolly Dagger
03-04-11, 03:48 PM
Thursday, November 28th, 1968

1. Fire
2. I Don't Live Today
3. Hear My Train A Comin'
4. Spanish Castle Magic
5. Foxy Lady
6. Red House
7. Sunshine Of Your Love
8. Purple Haze

03-27-11, 02:39 PM
There were 2 shows on this night. Setlist is from the early show. Mitch Mitchell is also said to have sat in with The New York Brass Quintet at this show.

07-31-11, 04:05 AM
1st/2nd/3rd source - http://crosstowntorrents.org/showthread.php?p=514
merge 1-2-3 - http://crosstowntorrents.org/showthread.php?p=3956

05-18-12, 10:47 AM

10-02-15, 04:37 PM
Thursday 28 November 1968
New York City, Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center, NY, USA. JHE
A very prestigious gig. JHE were the first ‘rock’ band as such to play there. A replacement for the (equally prestigious) Carnegie Hall gig that was cancelled by the sniffy proprieter Mrs. Ionescu.
The news of JHE being turned down for the Carnegie was possibly the most widely syndicated news story about Jimi, the drug bust maybe topped it, until his death notices.
Lou Adler (on Monterey Pop): “John called me and said, “Come on over these two guys are talkin’ about us doin’ a show”. So we started talking and we went into the other room and John said, ‘You know, this sounds like a great idea.’ Oh, and to backtrack a little bit. A few weeks before this we were at Cass Elliot’s house, and Paul McCartney was there, and the discussion was how rock and roll was not considered an art form, in the same way that jazz was considered an art form. We were all always thought of as, ‘This is gonna be over by the end of summer, you know.’ And John and I recalled, after we got into the discussion about possiby doing more than just this concert appearance, that when we were growing up our initial, when we first heard jazz, it was ‘Jazz at the Carnegie Hall, not being there we but discovered those albums, ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’, ‘Jazz at the Carnegie.’ All things that validated jazz as being much more than what was happening in the clubs. All of a sudden you had, you know, ‘Jazz at the Phil’, this must be somerhing’.”
Mitch: "We moved back to New York after the Benedict Canyon phase [ie nearly two months based in 'Los Angeles' doing some recording and playing the occasional gig. Ed.] and played a few East Coast gigs [ie a, relatively, short 'East Coast' tour spread over November. Ed.]"
Five nights (25, 26, 27, 28, 29) in New York, only interrupted by this and a nearish gig (Providence, 150 miles - afternoon flight, returning after the gig in time for the Birthday party or whatever). No gig the next night.
AFM strike that hit CBS, NBC and ABC networks (which prevented JHE from appearing on Ed. Sullivan) ends.
Two shows – ‘An Electric Thanksgiving’ - at 20:00 and 23:00
Support: Fernando Valenti and The New York Brass Quintet featuring Mitch Mitchell.
Audience: 2,836 at each show, both sold out.
MC: Steve Paul (of The Scene club)
Promoter: Ron Delsener (promoter of the Rheingold festival)
Recorded (audience recording; 74:57): Larry Yelen.

Songs 1st show:

Fire (40)
I Don’t Live Today (22)
Getting My Heart Back Together Again (12)
Spanish Castle Magic (18)
Foxy Lady (47)
Red House (33)
Sunshine Of Your Love (12) (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown & Eric Clapton)
Purple Haze (56)

Songs 2nd show:

Are You Experienced
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Voodoo Child (slight return)
and others unknown.

Go (01 October) ‘Carnegie Won’t Experience’ - article by New York (AP): Carnegie Hall has refused to accept a booking for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Mrs. lona Satescu, booking manager for Camegie Hall, said, “We have information that in his (Hendrix’s) other appearances in other places, the audience got very much out of hand. They destroyed furniture and draperies. We cannot afford to take that chance.”
The concert promoter offered to post a surety bond and was told that Hendrix could not play Carnegie Hall even with a surety bond.
Hendrix is booked into Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center, for Nov. 28.”

Mitch: “The whole thing was filmed.” [sic, it wasn’t]

Ron Delsener (promoter): “Carnegie Hall denied Jimi Hendrix but I had already promised Jimi he could play Carnegie Hall (as a matter of fact, the Hendrix contract said Carnegie Hall). Now I had to convince Louise Homer, who was the Director of Philharmonic Hall,
that I had to ‘marry’ Rock and Roll to classical music (eclectic music). I then moved the event to Philharmonic Hall... I had to do everything to convince them. I had to hire The New York Brass Quintet and a harpsichord virtuoso (therefore, an eclectic evening). Both would play during the first half of the program. They would be joined by one or two of Jimi’s musicians on several selections.
I informed Michael Jeffery, as well as the attorney, Stevens Weiss, that Noel and/or Mitch must play during the first half of the program for several numbers with a classical group. Naturally, the show went on sale, sold out, and no one wanted to play the first half of the program with the classical musicians.
I begged Mitch Mitchell to please sit in and ‘fake it’ as best as he could, which he did much to the delight of the audience. To Mitch, it was a ‘goof,’ to me it was a lifesaver. To the ushers at Philharmonic Hall, it was a frightening experience because everyone stood in front of their seats for the entire show and clogged all the aisles leading to the stage.”

Mitch: “Lovely hall, very prestigious, no rock band had ever played there. Only one problem, a member of the band had to play in a symphonic context. Jimi and Noel flatly refused, so I thought OK, what the hell, I’ll do it.
Would I mind having tea with Leonard Bernstein? Which I did; charming chap. He suggested that I might like to play percussion with The New York Brass Ensemble. It was fine, I went on with them, with a collar and tie on and did some Bach and a little Mozart after which the Experience played. It was a great gig...”

[According to the programme, The New York Brass Quintet would perform “Sonata from Die Bankelsangerlieder” (anonymous), “Muy Linda, Pavan & Gatliard” (Anthony Holborne) and “Contrapunctas IV & IX’ (Johann Sebastian Bach)].

Noel: “The plush velvet comfort of the Philharmonic Hall was a dream come true... The acoustics were impeccable. The subtlest nuance carried distortion-free to the furthest corners... It was sobering to follow the New York Brass Quintet and harpsichordist Fernando Valenti, and difficult to adjust to the thought that every vibration of every note would be heard!”

The New York Times (30 November) review by Robert Shelton: “Two baroque and roll concerts at Philharmonic Hall got off to a rocky start. . but ended triumphantly, if not for the mating of classics and pop, at least for the star, Jimi Hendrix.
The trend toward mixing classics and rock has been gathering force in recent months. It is primarily a recording industry concept for selling more records to the youth market. But is also an idea that has captured the imagination of composers, concert producers and fans who see no need for categories in musical experience.
It all begins to make sense if we view the superstar, Mr. Hendrix, as a great classical virtuoso, He breaks strings, as did Paganini. He postures, as did Liszt. He deals in thundering climaxes, as did Beethoven. He explores the range of colors and effects of his guitar-turned-orchestra, as did Stravinsky with other instruments.
The parallel has its obvious limits. Mr. Hendrix is, beyond being an impeccable musician-singer, a one- man revolutionary, lover and showman. He makes the tradition of the blues as modern as tomorrow, astounding the teeny-boppers with his arrogance while soothing them with warmth and eroticism. The show was originally planned for Carnegie Hall, but found no welcome there.
The young audience was a bit surly and rough, but didn’t really cause much trouble. And Mr. Hendrix, in the first show at least, happily found he could cause excitement enough without smashing his loudspeakers, as he often does....
The evening began poorly. The great baroque harpsichordist, Mr. Valenti, was forced to endure an audience as mannerless as young savages. They buzzed and whistled through his Scarlatti and cheered his brilliant playing in mock appreciation. The host and scene- maker, Steve Paul, admonished them against acting ‘with the sensitivity of the Chicago police.’
This seemed to turn the trick, for the kids then listened appreciatively to the Brass Quintet. But the audience responded best when the drummer, Mr. Mitchell, joined them for some informal jamming. It is going to be some time before rock audiences, or, to be specific, before some rock audiences, can begin to appreciate all the musical feasts spread before them.
But, that day is not far off Mr. Valenti’s gracious patience will earn its reward.”

The Village Voice (05 December 1968) Annie Fisher: “Calling it a feast hardly does justice to all the music going down around town last week: give thanks for Thanksgiving and all the students it brings to town to support the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane, Slim Harpo, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Incredible String Band, etc., etc. in one week... I spent the early afternoon in a pastry factory ‘The later afternoon I spent on the hosy stage of a deserted Philharmonic Hall, littered with never-again speakers that Jimi Hendrix had rammed through some where else the night before. I don’t know if ABC-TV used the interview they taped with road manager Jerry [sic] Stickells and an ebullient equipment man named Eric
Returning a couple of hours later by the front entrance... I found the house packed and the stage deserted. I was late, but Hendrix was later. If any fault was to be found in the show it was that it seemed disappointingly truncated. I don’t think Hendrix could possibly not play well, but this fourth time I’ve seen him in concert reminded me again that if you can possibly catch him jamming (not difficult if you stay up late and can make the Scene when he’s in town), you’re going to hear Hendrix at his very best.
He is a born entertainer as well as musician, very much at home on stage, but as the innovator he is, he is at his best exploring, experimenting, or even just noodling around in the freedom and challenge a jam session provides.”

[B][unknown publication?]: ‘Jimi Hendrix Experience’ – review by unknown: Philharmonic Hall, N.Y. - I don’t think the builders and planners of Philharmonic Hall in their wildest flights of imagination ever thought that someday that conservative stage would be filled with giant speakers powered by amplifiers turned up full volume, pouring out ecstasy to a capacity crowd. But it came to pass, not once but twice, on Thanksgiving, as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, denied the use of Carnegie Hall, let loose with their usual mind assault.
Perhaps to atone for the desecration of this shrine, the first half of the show was given to Fernando Valenti, a highly regarded classical pianist, and the New York Brass Quintet, a straight chamber ensemble. Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell joined the quintet for their last number, and if the match did not quite create a new art form, it was an interesting, cute segment.
With an apologetic “we haven’t practised for a while, so we’re just going to jam a little and see what happens,” Hendrix led his crew, which includes Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, through their paces. The Experience somehow always manage to stay on the tasteful side of excessive loudness, and if the lack of practise showed up occasionally, it was compensated for by many moments of sheer beauty. Tunes were mostly staples from the Hendrix repertoire, ‘Fire,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today,’ ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ (groups current single), ‘Foxey Lady,’ and ‘Purple Haze,’ but their instrumental interpretation of ‘Sunshine Of Your Love,’ done as a tribute to Cream, was one of those pleasant surprises that [just made?] going worth while.”

RAT Subterranean News (13 December 1968 - 2 January 1969) review by Vince Aletti: “Jimi Hendrix was late for the first show..., and it was taken as a bad omen. During the ever-lengthening intermission, another bad sign began to take shape: the audience....
The teenybopper contingent was out in force, holding down the front rows or, later, taking frantic headlong runs from the back to crouch religiously in the front aisles. In the lobby, someone offered a joint to a boy who looked like he might soon be fifteen. ‘I don’t need it,’ he said, already somewhere else: ‘I’m tripping.’ Another one of those audiences. A sort of dread began to set in.
But as usual, omens proved a waste of time and when Hendrix finally came out on stage.. .he easily dispelled them... He broke exuberantly into ‘Fire,’ sending warm waves of excitement through the audience. This was not entirely reassuring since what had bothered me about previous Hendrix concerts was his decision to stick with the crowd-pleasing over first album material. And as soon as the first song ended, people began to scream requests for ‘Foxy Lady’ and ‘Purple Haze.’ But Hendrix told them to relax, that he was gonna jam and would get to everything in time.. It was the first time I had seen Hendrix take command of the audience rather than let them command him, and after that everything got better.
At one point, a girl called Hendrix to the edge of the stage, handing him a string of beads. He took it and put it on top of one of the amplifiers, still torn in a gaping hole from the last guitar attack (a scene mercifully left out of this act). When the girl persisted in calling Hendrix over again he laughed, telling her. . .back at his mike, ‘Watch out, baby, I’m a booger man. Watch out.’ Dig it. I think maybe I’ve been underestimating Hendrix all this time.”

Record World (7 December)
Concert Review
‘Electric Thanksgiving with Hendrix At Philharmonic Hall’ By Andy Goberman:
NEW YORK - Philharmonic Hall was the scene for a varied presentation of music last week (28) when Ron Delsener pre*sented an electric Thanksgiving.
The program began with Fer*nando Valente, a harpsichordist, who was remarkably well received by the crowd (which con*sisted mainly of the under-18 set). He was followed by the New York Brass Quintet, with Mitch Mitchell, who sat in on drums for an impromptu jam on the last number.
Recieved Hendrix Experience as Heroes
Of course, the kids were there to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience (Reprise) and re*ceived them as their heros. Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding entertained with a set that was perhaps not as tight as it could have been, but Hendrix explained at the outset that they were just going to jam and see what happened.
Jam or no jam, most of the songs were recognizable, includ*ing "I Don't Live Today" (dedicated to the Black Pan*thers), "Purple Haze" and "Foxey Lady," the only differ*ence between the usual show and a "jam" being the long (and with all due respect to Hendrix, a fine guitarist) some*what same-sounding solos that took up most of the show.
Nevertheless, the crowd got what they came for, and in this reviewer's opinion, even if the group didn't sound as good as they might have, it's all right. Even if Hendrix doesn't sound so great, he's always good to watch.”

Billboard (14 December) first show review ‘Hendrix Knocks the Stuffings Out of Hall’ by unknown: “Philharmonic Hall underwent a Jimi Hendrix Experience and a unique ‘Electronic Thanksgiving’ Thursday (28), surviving the two-show assault with its classical aplomb ruffled like the feathers of the holiday turkey. Appropriately plumed for the occasion, Jimi Hendrix.. punished two guitars till they cried out in great gulps of psychedelic agony and flashed his classical-type virtuosity for a savage bunch of teeny-hoppers....
Hendrix ‘jammed’ with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, coloring his athletic guitar man with sexy twists, hip quips and struttings and the lack of inhibition of a one-man revolution erupting on stage. Taking in his gait and dress, it becomes apparent that the instrument Hendrix plays best of all is Hendrix himself, a circus with all three rings in rhythm.
Hendrix’s impossible licks and riffs, coaxed out of his guitar without mercy, screamed through Philharmonic in waves and bursts. His... [ .were frantic translations of blues, lyrically retarded but soaring in their mind-bending psychedelic effect. His high-frequency guitar work, fed to the audience through giant amplifiers torn open from previous Hendrix destructive fits, flitted through a range of decibel and vocal imitations as Hendrix threw himself bodily into the beat.
Arrogant as a barroom bully and erotic to the point of outright invitation, Hendrix wailed from his knees while changing strings and by raking the strings across the microphone and his mouth. Following a rude reception to virtuoso harpsichordist Fernando Valenti and
the New York Brass Quintet, Hendrix stomped on stage to the war whoops of excited fans. And though the Hendrix Experience is the most ecstatic musical experience in rock today, Philharmonic should have been spared the scene of the rock trip and left in darkness to enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving.”

Bruce Pates (fan, UniVibes subscriber): “I have been able to dig up a few more details about the second show. The Brass Quintet opened the show... Then Mitch Mitchell came out, his hair neatly combed, wearing a blue suit and tie, and said something to the effect, ‘I don’t know if any of you can get into this kind of music, but I like it, and I’m going to play a few numbers with the group....’
Mitch then played a few numbers with them, but as this guy remembered, the drumming sounded like it had been rehearsed, as it was not improvised sounding.
Then Fernando Valenti did a set of baroque-style music, and then Jimi came on. Jimi mentioned, ‘I’m so tired, man!’ and that they’d been working a lot, so the show would be kind of a jam session (this kind of goes along with the comments from the first show).
The opening number was ‘Are You Experienced?’ and they ended with ‘Voodoo Child (slight return)”

The Village Voice (24 September 1970) article by Don Heckman: “At Philharmonic Hall every body was happy except the ushers. The odd thing was that how much Hendrix seemed to belong in that plush setting.”

Dagmar Krajnc (photographer): “After the concerts there was a celebration backstage. I remember Jimi’s eyes and his mouth more than his hands, although they were the ones creating the magic... Somebody had baked Jimi a special birthday cake - it was supposedly ‘spiked’... Jimi smiled as he bent down to blow out the candles that softly illuminated his face, which, for a moment, seemed to hover above the cake like a thundercloud, smoke coming from the first extinguished candles rising to meet it, transforming a nice and innocent custom into a secret ritual. I wonder what he wished for?”

29 no gig NYC

10-03-15, 10:42 AM
Crosstown traffic?

10-05-15, 02:32 AM
Maybe the reviewer confused Spanish Castle Magic for Crosstown Traffic?

11-28-16, 11:36 PM

Ezy Rider
12-16-17, 09:02 AM

[maybe this person saw the second show?]

Seven months later, “An Electric Thanksgiving” was the way the November 28th bill at The Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center was advertised. Sold out in days, I was lucky to get a decent seat, mostly because I was going by myself.

A harpsichordist named Fernando Valenti (sounds like a caricature lounge singer, no?) opened the show. He pounded the crap out of what seemed to be, and certainly sounded like, a fragile instrument. His super-fast arpeggio-ed virtuosity was such that he almost wasn’t booed off stage. But, the battle was lost when he started his fifth piece of Bach or Mozart or Bob Seger or whatever the hell he was playing. You know, the thing about the harpsichord is that it has the emotional range of _______ _________ (fill in your favorite worst actor).

And besides, the next artist on the bill that night was... The Jimi Hendrix Experience!

Sad to admit, this was the only time I saw him live... but, it was while he was still healthy and playing with the magnificent Noel and Mitch (RIP the lot of ‘em!).

In the semi-dark, once the harpsichord had been hustled off, I saw two sets of three Marshall stacks being wheels into place on either side of a surprisingly sparse Ringo style pink champagne sparkle kit. And then, we all waited.

I don’t remember whether they was introduced or if the band just walked out, but, I do recall Jimi sauntered out in full regalia. He was decked the fuck out. That Trippy Gypsy look he had... swirling rainbow-multicolored top that looked like a mini-wizard’s robe, knee-high white boots, tons of silver hippie jewelry, afro in full bloom.

He plugged his black Fender Strat into the Marshalls, turned to Mitch, gave a nod... and Oh My God... they’re opening with “Fire”! Jimi gave Mitch like a 60 second drum intro and then Noel and Jimi slammed in and... Fuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhck! It’s the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

I was about 20 rows back and the charisma coming off of Jimi was almost poisonous!

Every damn myth about him is NOT a myth. He gave off an aura of genuine other-worldliness. His music clearly shows that he was tuned into a frequency no one else had ever heard, let alone created. But, on stage as well, it was clear that he was beyond special. There was something happening on the most elemental levels with Jimi.

There is a bootleg of this show available. The sequence on that boot differs from my memory. I remember them immediately into “Spanish Castle Magic” after “Fire”. Jimi started some of his tricks ... the one hand hammer-on guitaring... the tongue... the hold it sideways...

The sound was perfect. Jimi’s soloing was superb. Noel was totally locked with Jimi. Mitch was... well, one of the Four Horsemen of Lead Drums... Moon, Bonham, Baker, Mitchell.

Then, again without a moment’s pause, into “Foxy Lady”... and now, we got the full monty... Jimi rolling around, playing with his teeth, behind his back, behind his head, rubbing the mic stand, rubbing the amps, just making amazing NOISE, putting on an utter show! The third song ended, we finally got a chance to applaud.

They then went into “I Don’t Live Today”, a total tour de force with more showmanship.

Every song had been under 5 minutes long so far, short and punchy.

Jimi took off his black Strat and switched to a white Gibson SG Custom that I’d heard he’d bought at Manny’s a few days before from Henry, the head salesman there.

Then, Jimi very shyly and sorta dreamily spoke for the first time (not quite verbatim)...

“You know, I love giving you what you want. man, I love that shit too. Hahaha!
Right, Noel? We all love that groovy fun stuff...” and he does a quick one hand trick on the guitar... “But, I was hoping you’d allow me to play some music tonight, too...”

Oh, by all means, said We the Audience, please, Jimi, play us some “music”... we’re not here to see you play with your teeth... VERY earnest applause. God, we were all so cool and hip and on the same plane with Jimi... Yeah, right.

So... he drifts back to his amps and stands about a foot in front of them and starts “Voodoo Child” (or was it “Hear My Train A-Comin’”?)... And the whole fuckin’ room went... to... Venus... or Neptune... or... somewhere very far away...

I was 15 and I was sitting there actually saying to myself “Remember what this sounds like... some day you might understand it.” And, I’m giving myself chills as I type this... because I do remember what it sounded like. Blues from Jupiter!

Jimi, this human being (right?), had tapped into some celestial frequency and it was coming through his fingers and Gibson Humbucker pickups and out of 24 12” speakers and three 100 watt Marshall heads.

Jimi soloed for about 6 minutes before he even sang the first verse. You could even see awe and befuddlement on Noel and Mitch’s faces at one point. Clearly, sometimes their job was that of a tether.

Anyway, it was extraordinary, truly one of the greatest shows I ever saw... and possibly some of the last moments of That Flame in full heat... Less than 9 months later, by the Summer of ‘69, you can see that, at Woodstock, Jimi’s exhausted on every physical, mental, emotional, spiritual level.

12-17-17, 04:31 AM
[maybe this person saw the second show?]

"Binky Philips story teller"

I think that says all we need to know;)