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Thread: Hendrix Interview - "He's Through With Experience" 1969

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    Hendrix Interview - "He's Through With Experience" 1969

    THE COURIER NEWS - BRIDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY September 9, 1969

    HENDRIX ADMITS HE'S THROUGH WITH EXPERIENCE

    By RITCHIE YORKE
    Courier News Service

    Since the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix has been the subject of widespread speculation. There was talk of him quitting pop for a year, stories of him becoming a hermit, even suggesting that he was going solo. Through it all, Hendrix maintained a stony silence.

    Last week, however, he agreed to an interview, the first this year. He seemed in good humor and pleased to talk about anything we cared to mention. Asked what he had been doing recently, he said:

    “Oh, just thinking, day dreaming, making love, being loved, making music and digging every single sunset.”

    It is true that Hendrix soon will become un-experienced. His next three albums will not feature either bass guitarist Noel Redding or drummer Mitch Mitchell,
    the two members of his group, the Experience.

    “I plan to use different people at my sessions from now on; but-their names are not important. You wouldn’t know, them anyway. It really bugs me, man, that there are so many people starving, musicians who are twice as good as the big names. I want to try to do something about that.

    “I feel very guilty when people say I’m the greatest guitarist around. What’s good or bad doesn't matter to me; what does ’matter is feeling and not feeling. If only people would take more of a true view and think in terms of feeling.

    “Your name doesn’t mean a damn, it’s your talent and feeling that matters. You’ve got to know much more than the mere technicalities of notes, you’ve got to know sounds and what goes between the notes.”

    Hendrix admitted that he had been through many changes since he first burst on the scene to the tune of "Hey Joe" .

    “Really, I’m just an actor,” he said slowly. “The only difference between me and those cats in Hollywood is that I write my own script. My initial success was a step in the right direction, but it was only a step, just a change. It was only a part of the whole thing, now I plan to get into many other things.”

    Like Jim Morrison of the Doors, Hendrix recently has been involved in a strange confrontation --------- while he wants to wander out into other guitar pastures and explore the mysteries of amplification, his fans want him to stay funky and sexy, endlessly playing the Foxy Ladys, the Purple Hazes, the Wild Things.

    Thus we have the amazing change between Hendrix’ first album, Are You Experienced, and his latest, Electric Ladyland.

    “When it all comes down to it, albums are nothing but personal diaries. When you hear somebody making music, they are bearing a naked part of their soul to you. Are You Experiened was one of the most direct albums we’ve done. What it was saying was "Let us through the wall, man, we want you to dig us." “But later, when we got into other things, people couldn’t understand the changes. The trouble is I’m a schizophrenic in at least 12 different ways and people can’t get to it."

    “Sure each album comes out different. You can’t go on doing the same thing indefinately. Every day you find out this and that and it adds to your total. Are You Experienced was where my head was at a couple years ago. Now I’m into different things. I'm not putting it down. I’m just trying to say it represents Jimi Hendrix in 1967.

    The Jimi Hendrix of '69 is into some unusual things, one of them being the relationship between the earth, and the sun and people.

    "There's a great need for harmony between the earth, the sun and people. I think we're really screwing up that harmony by dumping garbage in the sea, and air pollution and all that stuff. "And the sun is very important. It's what keeps everything alive. My next album will be called Shine On, Earth, Shine On, or Gypsy Sun. The Christmas album will be called First Rays of the New Rising Sun. "There might also be a couple of other albums in between. A live album which we cut in London and a greatest hits thing which has just been released. But I have no control over them."

    “We have about 40 songs in the works, about half of them completed. A lot of it comprises jams, all spiritual stuff, very earthy.”

    Although Hendrix denies that he is taking an extended rest (“I spend a lot of time trying to get away, but I can’t stop, thinking about music”), he does intend to make a trip to Memphis, Egypt. “I had a vision and it told me to go there,” he said.

    “I’m always having visions, man, and I know that it’s building up to something really major. I’m working on my own religion and it’s simply life.”

    Hendrix indicated that in his opinion, pop could do with less imitating and a lot more originating.

    “You know, man, sometimes I can’t stand to hear myself because it sounds like everybody else. I don’t want to be in that rat race.”

    I suggested to Hendrix that he seemed happier now than he had been a few months ago.

    “Yeah, man, and I’m getting more happy all the time. I see myself getting through all the drastic changes, getting into better things.

    “I like to consider myself timeless. After all, it’s not how long you’ve been around or how old you are that matters; it’s how many miles you’ve traveled. A couple of years ago, all I wanted out of life was to be heard. Now, man, I’m trying to figure out the wisest way to be heard.

    “The only thing that bugs me is critics, the business of classifying people. It’s like shooting at a flying saucer as it tries to land, without giving the occupants a chance to identify themselves. You don't need labels, man, just dig what’s happening.”

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    Re: Hendrix Interview - "He's Through With Experience" 1969

    Original [19 June 69, Toronto Gobe] interview text differences in blue, additional Courier stuff in red:


    Tuesday 9 September 1969

    USA (Bridgewater, NJ)
    COURIER NEWS (page ?) “Hendrix Admits He's Through With Experience” By Ritchie Yorke
    (Courier News Service): “Since the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix has been the subject of widespread speculation. There was talk of him quitting pop for a year, stories of him becoming a hermit, even suggesting that he was going solo. Through it all, Hendrix maintained a stony silence.
    Last week, however, he agreed to an interview, the first this year. He seemed in good humor and pleased to talk about anything we cared to mention. Asked what he had been doing recently, he said:
    “Oh, just thinking, day dreaming, making love, being loved, making music and digging every single sunset.”
    It is true that Hendrix soon will become un-experienced. His next three albums will not feature either bass guitarist Noel Redding or drummer Mitch Mitchell,
    the two members of his group, the Experience.
    “I plan to use different people at my sessions from now on; but their names are not important. You wouldn’t know, them anyway. It really bugs me, man, that there are so many people starving, musicians who are twice as good as the big names. I want to try to do something about that.
    “I feel very guilty when people say I’m the greatest guitarist around[on the scene]. What’s good or bad doesn't matter to me; what does matter is feeling and not feeling. If only people would take more of a true view and think in terms of feeling.
    “Your name doesn’t mean a damn, it’s your talent and feeling that matters. You’ve got to know much more than [just] the mere technicalities of notes, you’ve got to know sounds and what goes between the notes.”
    [When you first make it, the demands on you are very great. For some people, they are just too heavy. You can just sit back, fat and satisfied, or you can run away from it, which is what I did. I don't try to live up to anything anymore.]
    Hendrix admitted that he had been through many changes since he first burst on the scene to the tune of "Hey Joe" .
    “Really, I’m just an actor,” he said slowly. “The only difference between me and those cats in Hollywood is that I write my own script. I consider myself first and foremost a musician.
    My initial success was a step in the right direction, but it was only a step, just a change. It was only a part of the whole thing, now I plan to get into many other things.”
    Like Jim Morrison of the Doors, Hendrix recently has been involved in a strange confrontation --------- while he wants to wander out into other guitar pastures and explore the mysteries of amplification, his fans want him to stay funky and sexy, endlessly playing the Foxy Ladys, the Purple Hazes, the Wild Things.
    Thus we have the amazing change between Hendrix’ first album, Are You Experienced, and his latest, Electric Ladyland.
    When[What] it all comes down to it [is that], albums are nothing but personal diaries. When you hear somebody making music, they are bearing a naked part of their soul to you. Are You Experienced was one of the most direct albums we’ve done. What it was saying was "Let us through the wall, man, we want you to dig us[it]." “But later, when we got into other things, people couldn’t understand the changes. The trouble is I’m a schizophrenic in at least 12 different ways and people can’t get used to it."
    “Sure [albums]each album comes out different. You can’t go on doing the same thing indefinately. Every day you find out this and that and it adds to your total. Are You Experienced was where my head was at a couple years ago. Now I’m into different things. I'm not putting it down. I’m just trying to say it represents Jimi Hendrix in 1967.
    The Jimi Hendrix of '69 is into some unusual things, one of them being the relationship between the earth, and the sun and people.

    "There's a great need for harmony between [man and Earth]the earth, the sun and people. I think we're really screwing up that harmony by dumping garbage in the sea, and air pollution and all that stuff. "And the sun is very important. It's what keeps everything alive. My next album [, coming out in late summer,] will be called Shine On, Earth, Shine On, or Gypsy Sun. The Christmas album will be called First Rays of the New Rising Sun. "There might also be a couple of other albums in between. A live album which we cut [at the Royal Albert Hall] in London and a greatest hits thing which has just been released. But I have no control over [those]them." [All I know is that I'm working on my next album for summer release.]
    “We have about 40 songs in the works, about half of them completed. A lot of it comprises jams, all spiritual stuff, [all] very earthy.”
    [I couldn't possibly take a year off. Even though I am very tired. In reality, I might get a month off somewhere but there’s no way for a year.] Although Hendrix denies that he is taking an extended rest (“I spend a lot of time trying to get away but I can't stop thinking about music.”)[It's in my mind every second of the day. I can't fight it so I groove with it.
    To each his own. In another life the people who were trying to do it may have been Beethoven or one of those cats. But this is a rock 'n' roll era, so the people get into rock. Every era has its own music.]
    he does intend to make a trip to Memphis, Egypt. “I had a vision and it told me to go there,” he said.
    “I’m always having visions, man, and I know that it’s building up to something really major. I’m working on my own religion and it’s simply life.”
    Hendrix indicated that in his opinion, pop could do with less imitating and a lot more originating.
    “You know, man, sometimes I can’t stand to hear myself because it sounds like everybody else. I don’t want to be in that rat race.”
    I suggested to Hendrix that he seemed happier now than he had been a few months ago.
    “Yeah, man, and I’m getting more happy all the time. I see myself getting through all the drastic changes, getting into better things.
    “I like to consider myself timeless. After all, it’s not how long you’ve been around or how old you are that matters; it’s how many miles you’ve traveled.
    A couple of years ago, all I wanted out of life was to be heard. ["Let me in" was the thing.] Now, man, I’m trying to figure out the wisest way to be heard.
    [What I don't like is]“The only thing that bugs me is critics, [this] the business of [trying to] classifying people. [Leave us alone. Critics really give me a pain in the neck] “It’s like shooting at a flying saucer as it tries to land, without giving the occupants a chance to identify themselves. You don't need labels, man, just dig what’s happening.”
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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    Re: Hendrix Interview - "He's Through With Experience" 1969

    Original [19 June 69, Toronto Gobe] interview text differences in blue, Courier stuff in green; additional Hit Parader stuff in red:

    [Day?] December 1969 (Jan.’70)
    USA
    HIT PARADER (front page) [full page colour photo of JHE on top of a huge tree stump in Hawaii 1969]. ‘Jimi Hendrix The Gypsy Sun’
    (Page 13) [Photo of JHE standing in Hawaiian period] ‘The Gypsy Sun, Jimi Hendrix’ [June? 1969 interview, 1st printed (partly) in 19-6-69, Canada, Toronto Globe & Mail, reprinted in
    9-7-69 LA Times] by Ritchie Yorke.
    Jimi Hendrix is about to shed some of his Experience. His next three albums will not feature either bass guitarist Noel redding or drummer Mitch Mitchell. He will, however, continue to appear with the Experience on all live concert gigs.
    In a recent interview – the first which Hendrix has agreed to in 1969 – the 26-year-old Seattle born guitar master said: “The group isn’t breaking up because we’ll continue to work together on gigs.”
    Hendrix was in good humor and seemed to be pleased to talk about anything we cared to mention during the interview. He said that he’d been spending his time thinking, daydreaming, making love, being loved, making music, and digging every single sunset.
    “I plan to use different people at my sessions from now on, their names aren’t important. You wouldn’t know them anyway. It really bugs me, man, that there are so many people starving, musicians that are twice as good as the big names. I want to try and do something about that.
    (Page 14) [Kew gardens photo of JHE with Dave Mason]
    “I feel guilty when people say I’m the greatest guitarist on the scene.
    What’s good or bad doesn’t matter to me; what does matter is feeing and not feeling. If only people would take more of a true view, and think in terms of feeling. Your name doesn’t mean a damn, it’s your talent and feeling that matters. You’ve got to know much more than just the technicalities of notes, you’ve got to know sounds and what goes between the notes.”
    Hendrix made it abundantly clear that he is fed up with people constantly expecting things of him. “I don’t try to live up to anything anymore,” he said, laughing at his new-found freedom. When you first make it, the demands on you are very great. For some people, they are just too heavy. You can just sit back, fat and satisfied [or you can run away from it, which is what I did.] I was always trying to run away from it.
    “Everyone has that tendency and you’ve got to go through a lot of changes to come out of it.
    “Really, I’m just an actor – the only difference between me and those cats in Hollywood is that I get to write my own script. I consider myself first and fore*most a musician. My initial success was a step in the right direction, but it was only a step, just a change. It was only a part of the whole thing, now I plan to get into many other things."
    The current clash between body and beat was bound to come in Hendrix' colorful and erotic career. The Hen*drix, we all first saw - all dashing and devastating and sizzlingly defiant - was an image maker's dream. The way he performed it looked as though every twitch of the busy eyebrows, every thrust of the velvet-panted knee, every shake of the tousled hair, had been meticulously formulated by a bunch of assorted PR and promotion types. His act. with the biting of the guitar strings and the complete overshadowing of all that had gone down before in rock, was as precise as a missile countdown. He whipped the audience into a frenzy and left them as limp as a rose on a boiling summers' day.
    Initially it wasn't so much that he was a skilled guitarist. No one really seemed to notice, they were too busy digging his freaky almost unlawful aura and his wild uninhibited stage act.
    On his most recent North American tour, Hendrix tried vainly to take his audiences through the same sort of changes that he'd been through. He did some of the anthems- the Hey Joe's the Purple Hazes, the Foxy Lady's - but he also tried to work in a lot of the more complex and intri*cate things from Electric Ladyland. But in many cases the audiences were apath*etic towards the guitar gymnastics.
    "Yeah," said Hendrix. when I men*tioned the matter, "But instead of getting mad, we have to talk a little more, sometimes a little more than we really want to,
    "What it all comes down to is that al*bums are nothing but personal diaries. When you hear somebody making music, they are baring a naked part of their soul to you. Are You Experienced?, was one of the most direct albums we've done. What it was saying was 'let us get through wall, man. we want you to dig it.' But later, when we got into other things, people couldn't un*derstand the changes. The trouble is, I'm a schizophrenic in at least 12 dif*ferent ways, and people can't get to it.
    "Sure albums come out different. You can't go on doing the same thing.
    Everyday you find out this and that, and it adds to the total you have. Are You Experienced? was where my head was at a couple of years ago. Now I'm into different things."
    One of the things which Jimi is into very deeply these days is the relation*ship between the earth and sun and people. "There's a great need for har*mony between man and earth. I think we're really screwing up that harmony, by dumping garbage in the sea, and air pollution and all that stuff.
    "And the sun is very important; it's what keeps everything alive. My next album, coming out in late summer [end of the year more like. Ed.], will be called Shine on Earth, Shine On, or Gypsy Sun [‘(Gypsy Sun & Rainbows) A Band of Gypsys’ was how he introduced his new band at Woodstock that summer, but they failed to record anything usable. Ed]. The Christmas album will be called First Rays of the New Ris*ing Sun [instead he recorded the Band of Gypsys, his giveaway album for Chalpin. He didn’t start recording FROTNRS in earnest until the BOGs LP was finished and he still hadn’t finished it when he died in September, the year after. He was contemplating a change of title too. Ed.].
    "There might also be a couple of other albums in between. A live al*bum which we cut at the Royal Albert Hall in London [still not officially released in 2017! Ed.], and a Greatest Hits thing [(US) Smash Hits, already released 30 July 1969. Ed.]. But I have no control over [those] that sort of thing. All I know is that I'm working on my next album for late summer release.
    "We have about 40 songs in the works [he only had a couple “in the works” Ed.], about half of them completed [he had nothing releasable. Ed.]. A lot of it comprises jams [that was really all he had, some studio jams. Ed.] - all spiritual stuff, all very earthy.”
    Not long ago, a report that Hendrix planned to quit pop for a year went the rounds. The report suggested that Hen*drix was fed up with it all and wanted to get away for a rest and to get him*self together.
    "I couldn't possibly take a year off," he said. "Even though I am very tired [he only played 3 official gigs between 1 June 1969 & 25 April 1970 (ie over 10 months), 2 festivals with JHE, last was Denver 29 June and the other was Woodstock. Besides that he played two nights with GS&R, one of which was charity and the other an ‘introduction’ to the press of sorts/‘favour’. He also played two nights that were basically a rehearsal and a ‘live’ recording session for the BOG LP, and a, two songs only, charity do]. In reality. I might get a month off some*where but there's no way for a year. I spend a lot of time trying to get away but I can't stop thinking about music. It's in my mind every second of the day. I can't fight it so I groove with it.”
    Although he may not be taking off for any significant length of time, Hen*drix does have one big trip in mind.
    "I'm gonna go
    to Memphis, Egypt," he said, in a curious tone. "I had a vision and it told me to go there. I'm always hav*ing visions of things and I know that it's building up to something really major."
    "I think religion is just a bunch of "crap." It's only man-made stuff, man trying to be what he can't. And there's so many broken-down variations. All tryingto say the same thing but they're so cheeky, all the time adding in their own bits and pieces. Right now, I'm working on my own religion, which is life.
    "People say I'm this and I'm that, but I'm not. I'm just trying to push the the natural arts—rhythm, dancing, music. Getting all together is my thing."
    It was inevitable that we should get around to discussing other musicians and other groups, and Hendrix appeared more than ready to pass expert judg*ment.
    Blood, Sweat & Tears - "I think It's a bit pretentious. But with hard work, they'll get out of that. Right now. It's very plastic, a very shiny sound. All the music is written out, and you can
    see so much of the endless circle in it. They're trying to prove to themselves that they're very heavy. But I do think their intentions are good. One day they'll find themselves."
    Crosby, Stills and Nash - "I really dig them. They've gotten right into their own thing. They have a great awareness of themselves, I think they're really great."
    Iron Butterfly — "They're really try*ing man, I like them for the fact that they are trying."
    Stevie Winwood - "I think he's great."
    Blind Faith - "Their name tells me what they're gonna do."
    Creedence Clearwater Revival - "I think they're very good, and I hope to stick to what they're into. I can hear a spiritual aura in what they're doing. I hope they don't lose it.
    "I like Dylan and all the other people, but you can't play them all the time. You have to learn to understand things like that. I like records of Bach and Handel and Sly and the Family Stone, they're really getting to be themselves.''

    On pop in general, Hendrix said he would like to see Dylan get back into it. I think too many people are get*ting on bandwagons. Now is the time to do your own thing [Hendrix indicated that in his opinion, pop could do with less imitating and a lot more originating]. You know, man, sometimes I can't stand to hear myself because it sounds like everyone else. I don't want to be in that rat race."
    Hendrix is not really knocked out by current moves to link up rock and clas*sics. “To each his own," he said, "In another life, the people who are trying to do it may have been Beetho*ven or one of those cats. But this is a rock 'n' roll era, so the people get into rock. Every era has its own music.
    "What I don't like is this business of trying to classify people. Leave us alone. Critics really give me a pain in the neck. It's like shooting a flying saucer as it tries to land without giving the occupants a chance to identify themselves. You don't need labels, man, just dig what's happening."
    I suggested to Jimi that he seemed to be a lot happier than he used to be. "Yeah man, and I'm getting more happy all the time. I see myself getting through all the drastic changes [‘drastic changes’ Jimi obliquely referring to his up coming trial and possible jail sentence for possession of heroin & hash?], get*ting into better things. I like to con*sider myself timeless. After all, it's not how long you've been around or how old you are that matters; it's how many miles you've travelled.
    "A couple of years ago all I wanted was to be heard. 'Let me in' was the thing. Now man, I'm trying to figure out the wisest way to be heard."
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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