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Thread: 1966-10-04 Birdland, London

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    1966-10-04 Birdland, London

    Tuesday 4 October 1966
    [Birdland probably, or possibly, Aberbach Ltd], London

    Amplification was probably Vox AC 30 ‘Top-Boost’s and a Vox ‘Foundation’ 18 inch bass cabinet with an AC 50 amp.

    Noel: “A Burns six-string was suggested [ie ‘tried out’. Ed.]. But the strings were too close together for my fingers." [Note: the Burns, ‘Split Sound Six String Bass’ (1962-64) was the only six-string bass they made, apparently less than 200 were produced. Interestingly Noel played for a time with his mate Neil Landon in a group that was re-named ‘the Burnettes’ - after visiting the Burns guitar factory where they did some deal where they got some prototype Burns Bison guitars at a big discount. A band photo shows Noel (guitar) and the bassist (4-string) posing with them. Also, Burns apparently gave Chas the bands first set of stage amplification gear, which they promptly attempted to wreck. Ed.]

    Harvey Hinsley (guitar, The Crescents): “Mitch Mitchell helped out and was experimenting with us and lost time a lot!! He told me once to change my Strat for a Burns Black Bison ?? I told him to stick to his drums!"

    Noel: “I went back the next day [sic] and Jimi was surprised I had remembered the chord sequence [to ‘Hey Joe’]. I don’t read music, but I’ve got a good memory. We tried a few drummers, me and this coon from America. Yes that’s what I used to call him. Jimi loved that – he really dug it. He loved me y’know - and I loved him.”
    [ie ‘Jimi loved me so much I could call him racist names’ - bizarre. I can only assume that this interview (1971/72?) was taken when Noel had his Mandrax habit. Ed.]

    “We jammed drummerless for a few days [so Dunbar was back to his job in Mayall’s band after helping Chas out with Noel’s audition. Ed.] while we checked out different drummers [!? Jammed together when not playing with auditioning drummers on the same day, or what? The only day they could have tried out different drummers. If they did hold an audition, it seems it was just ‘some guy from up north’. Ed.]. This was good because we got to know each other a bit and learned to understand each others guitar style without immediately having to incorporate a third musician. I was enjoying experimenting on bass. Never having played one before was very liberating in its way.”

    Chas: “Then I heard that Mitch Mitchell had been kicked out of the Blue Flames (Georgie Fame’s band) [sic, He wasn’t, ‘kicked out’, the whole band was fired. No more ‘Blue Flames’. It was just ‘Georgie Fame’ (solo) after that. Ed.]. I liked his drumming and asked Mitch down.” [Chas was tight with Fame and his manager Rick Gunnel. Ed]

    Mitch: “Then on the Tuesday John Gunnel [Brother of Georgie Fame’s manager & partner with him (‘The Gunnels’) in running his several top London’s ‘R&B clubs’, most were basically discotheques that featured live bands as well. Ed.] mentioned to me that Chas Chandler and Jimi Hendrix, a friend of his, were over here, and would I care to go and have a play.”

    “…and the next day I got a call from Chas Chandler. He told me he had this artist he’d just brought over from America. Was I interested in having a play? I said, ‘What does it entail?’ He said, ‘All we’ve got is two weeks [just one actually. Ed.] work in France, with Johnny Hallyday!’ So I said, ‘What’s the deal?’ ‘Best you come along and have a play!’ I made a few phone calls around and it turned out they’d auditioned every bloody drummer in England, near enough [apparently Mitch exaggerating wildly again, Noel only ‘remembers’ they auditioned one other drummer, “a bloke from up north”, and on the same hand , even that seems unlikey, given the time scale and Noel’s other comments about jamming drummer-less, if so they must have all been auditioned the day before his]. Ed.], including a lot of people I knew. The one thing that was really surprising to me was that in such a small place as London with the grapevine as it was at that time, you’d generally hear of what’s going on [apparently there was very little going on. Ed.]. I hadn’t heard a word about this guy and he’d been in the country a couple of weeks up to that point. He’d played with Cream [one song in a student union. Ed.] and Zoot Money [in his house briefly. Ed] and people that I knew and it really fazed me. The drummers they’d auditioned, who were mates of mine, hadn’t mentioned anything to me. Mind you not being blase about it, if I had heard something in the weeks before, would I have done anything about it? I was still with Georgie Fame, not on a wage but getting paid by the gig, doing quite a lot for an eighteen to nineteen year old kid. It would have been difficult to pass up, say £120 a week average, and go – as it turned out – to basically nothing [ie £20 a week. Ed.].”

    Jimi - guitar.
    Noel Redding – bass
    Producer: Chas Candler

    Songs: [unknown]
    Last edited by stplsd; 05-25-18 at 03:25 PM.

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