I saw Hendrix in concert at LA Forum1969-Newport1969Friday-Newport1969Sunday-LA Forum1970-SwingAud.1970.
I was born in the Sonoran desert near Sentinel Peak, a Leo in the Year of the Dragon.
I am indigenous with Mexica (maternal) and Maya (paternal) ancestry.
Music was always an integral part of my upbringing and culture. My parents were into mariachi and swing/big-band, my first music exposure & loves, and go back to my earliest memories. Flashbacks from being 3 or 4 - my parents, who were total dancing fools, taking me along to ballroom blowouts whenever they could not get a sitter. I was usually found next to the drummer the few times I managed to move out of their sight. Another early childhood memory is the few rare visits we made to friends and relatives in Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico and the always happening fiesta-concerts in the central village plaza. Man, these were some heavy-duty hard-core partying peoples. The orchestral-like mariachis and vocalists, the odor of various meats skewered and rotating over a fire pit, these sounds and smoke wafting through the night air I will never forget.
We moved to California's San Gabriel Valley at age 10. The San Gabriel Mission was ground-zero for the founding of greater Los Angeles and was never more than a few miles away. We moved around alot the first year and lived in East L.A. (for a few weeks), then on to Bassett, El Monte, Irwindale and finally settled down in Covina. Also at this age, I got seriously into music thanks to the beautiful Velasco sisters of Tucson (rock and roll) and the Martinez family of Bassett (r&b, jazz).
I started playing drums at age 12 (thanks mainly to Ringo Starr). Shortly after was my first concert-like experience attending one of those renown dance happenings at the legendary El Monte Legion Stadium (which would soon be immortalized in song penned by a young Frank Zappa) where the headliners were Thee Midniters, a local Chicano one-hit-wonder ('Whittier Blvd') outfit with instrumentation that preceded by some years Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears.
In the '60's formed first band at age 14 with two school friends and played neighborhood schools and church dances. I have been playing in different local bands ever since. Also played while in military at service clubs and rec centers. Music style : all eras of rock with a few r&b and soul tunes scattered thru-out. Major influences : Carmine Appice(numero uno!)/Dino Danelli - Gene Krupa/Louie Bellson/Buddy Rich - Mitch Mitchell/Ginger Baker and Ringo!
Around half-way into my 'teenage' era I became 'experienced'. My bandmates and I were hangin' out with members of another, more older and experienced band. We were just starting out and they had been around the block a few times. We were watching ('learning' actually) them rehearse one day and during a break someone put on 'Are You Experienced?'. Naturally, the first track was 'Purple Haze'. My mind, as I had known it up to that point in time, was history and by the end of the album a new creature emerged and began to roam Earth's surface. After the initial beachhead assault from 'Purple Haze', my mind gets thoroughly scrambled by the terror-ridden soundscape of 'Manic Depression'. I am captured. As a prisoner now, the music deceptively lulls me into a strange euphoria as 'Hey Joe' emerges from the speakers. My brain proceeds through the antiseptic process with the remaining tracks and finally, as the last death-knell/military rhythmic notes of 'AYE?' are threaded from one ear thru the other, I slump to the floor, a lifeless mass.
My 1st Hendrix concert - L.A. Forum 1969 : My parents gave in to my constant begging and drove me to the arena. They took in a local drive-in movie to wait out the show. Cat Mother And the All Night Newsboys came on first. The next act was The Chicago Transit Authority and I had decided to get as close to the stage as possible, eventually getting to the very front row. Finally, it was time for Jimi. Oh, man! I was too close! The only thing I could hear was the guitar for the entire performance. I remember being so excited that now I was finally seeing 'The Man' in person. Everything/everyone was focused on Jimi. I cannot even recall Noel, and the only thing I remember about Mitch was the double-bass kit and that his hair was tied in a pony-tail. For me (and most everyone else around me), being in the presence of Jimi was like being at 'The Burning Bush'. Other than the audience mayhem it was impossible to focus on anything other than Jimi for even a second. It was like, if you did not focus on him and keep your eyes on him you would 'miss' out on something. I vividly remember that Jimi did not do much of the theatrics that I was expecting and I was more focused on his guitar performance. Eventually the entire arena had wanted to get as close as possible and I and everyone around me were being pushed forward in a human wave. Finally we could go forward no more as we were now being crushed against the stage. Noel & Jimi attempted and failed at crowd-control. At this time it seemed event-security became concerned for the safety of the band and lined up along the front of the stage effectively blocking the audience's view of the trio. The audience was not 'happy' now. There was a P.A. announcement that the show would be terminated unless the audience settled down/returned to their seats. After awhile peace & calm was restored and the show resumed. Years later I bought a cd of this concert (it was part of a box set) and the pandemonium I have described is captured on it. When the show was over it was hard to accept that it was over. I just stood there numb and with ringing in my ears and heart-beat a little faster than normal thinking, 'is it really over?'. I remember when I left the arena and went outside there were thousands of people lined up against the outside arena walls. I asked someone 'what are all these people doing here?'. She said 'we did not have tickets so everyone was listening to the concert thru the walls.' I said 'far-out!' and proceeded to look for my parents at the designated meeting area.
After high school I did 3 years-7 months of a 4-year hitch in the U.S. Air Force (thanks to the winding down of the Viet Nam war and President Nixon's early-out program the remaining 5 months were 'inactive reserves'). Post-boot camp and tech. school I received an overseas assignment, so quickly married sweetheart and took new bride with me for a 2 year tour-of-duty/honeymoon in Europe. My Lady and I traveled/holidayed extensively thru-out the continent and attended a great many most awesome concerts. Upon return to USA daughter-son-daughter followed shortly after. These have provided us with 3 grandsons and 3 granddaughters.
Trivia-V1.0 : Back in the very early 70's a bandmate worked as a guitar tech for a local company that made a guitar called Charvelle or something (maybe that was the name of the company, what did I know - I'm a drummer) asked me to design a circuit board that mounted onto one of the guitar's control knobs and was asked to title the project blueprints 'Power Pot' (pot=potentiometer). It was a tiny circuit with less than a handfull of components. He provided me the schematic and told me it was a custom job for the guitarist of a local band I had seen on occasion named Mammoth. Small world!
Professional post-military/college occupational history for the following 35 years in electronics engineering with California Institute of Technology at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena), Hughes Aircraft Co./Raytheon (Space & Communications Division-El Segundo), Hewlett-Packard (Santa Rosa/Cupertino/Santa Clara) and Northrop-Grumman (San Diego). Started as design draftsman, by late 70's my tools-of-the-trade (drafting machine & table, shape templates, mechanical pens & pencils, etc.) were obsolete, transitioned to high-end workstations/computers and driving CAD-CAE software for design of analog & digital circuits onboard planetary spacecraft (Magellan, Mars Observer & Pathfinder, Galileo, Cassini @ JPL), government earth-orbit recon satellite (@ Hughes) & military (F-22, F-35 @ N-G) avionics systems and scientific test & measurement equipment (@ HP).
Father's birthdate -September 18
Father military - 101st Airborne, U.S. Army WWII (an original 'Bastards of Bastogne')
Mother-In-Law passed into next world - September 18
- Somewhere in California
- Music-art-weight training-playing baseball,chess-attend Winternationals & airshows@Miramar & Edwards
- Retired - Everyday is Saturday, woo hoooo !!!!!
*** WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EARS !***
“We don’t want to be classed in any category.” -Jimi Hendrix
"If you can play, you can play anything. I don't like classifications." - Buddy Rich
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