Re: The 'Official' "I saw Jimi Hendrix in concert" Thread
GOOD MORNING ALL. I'm going out of town with my kid for 3 days (camping on a rainy beach with Cub Scouts-joy) But as I began to get ready this morning to go and hoping BIG TIME our site would go back up (I have a KILLER CD for ya).
I realized that this morning, just about this time, THIRTY EIGHT YEARS AGO-TODAY I was standing, 2nd in line at the main doors at Temple Stadium to see my mentor, Mr. Jimi Hendrix. I am running out so I don't know how much I will be able to get down here. As u all know I'm a "story teller" and dearly hope not to bore or offend. But I've never "spoken" this B4 & my old buds are long gone. I'm going to have to make this 2 parts. I was 15 years old and was punished by my dad in 1968 when Jimi played the Factory (13 yrs old) and in 1969 when he played the Spectrum (1st time Mitch used a double set). By 1970 I realized my dad was just a man who liked to say "No" & I should never have listened to him (regarding the shows). On May 16th 1970, I did not listen . . .
I had smoked dope twice and had never taken hallucinogens . . . . . . until 38 yrs ago today - Geeez. An interesting story. Suffice it to say, the 2 camera film rolls I bought ended up on 3 kids heads-as headbands *sob*
When we finally stormed in, we made ourselves comfortable, outside on the grass, and there was this guy who will remain anonymous [Joe] who kept crossing our paths every 15 mins or so . . . . HUGE grin, long hair, imported straight from Woodstock. Tripping his brains out. I was with my beast friends, the 2 Jeff's and we were all part of the "movement" from our quaint little houses in Cherry Hill NJ . . . . We were very young indeed.
I personally had my bags packed for the west coast twice, but never made it out the door, and the culture was all I ever felt, socially, in school, in my MUSIC. And Jimi, following the Beatles was my spiritual guide . . . .
So anyway, 1st band-some 3 piece jug band came on & did their thing, like intermission music (no offense). During this act, "Joe" stopped and said Hey man! to us made small talk & asked if we wanted to buy some Mescaline. He had me at "Hey man . . ."
We asked "How much?" (I'll skip the " 's from here on out). Well, it's 2 way man. $2.00 a hit. I must have looked confused cause he said, You know what 2 way is, don't you? Of COURSE I do . . (I had NO idea, but didn't want to appear stupid) I really just wanted to be removed from my parents world just then - even if only for 1 day (but it changed my entire life-that 1 day). He knew I was lying. Dude, you break it in half & split it between 2 people. There were 3 of us. 4 bucks. We all nodded. I said Give me 2. Joe's smile was maniacal by that point. I had never smiled like that B4 . . . What kind of inner feeling could bring on such a beautiful expression? I nervously reached into my pocket for a fiver and he stopped me. Woah dood ! ! Don't pay me now! What do you mean? I asked. He said, Listen, try it. If you like it, pay me then. So, of course I ask, How will you know? A HUGE grin rips across his face HA HA HA HA HA ! ! ! Don't worry man - I'LL KNOW HA HA HA HA ! ! ! ! We thank him & he went off to make the rounds. I believe the 2 Jeff's would never had done this had it not been for my feelings regarding this. We're standing there & I break a tab in 2 & hand it over. I broke the other & slipped the xtra half in my pocket. We held the halves up to each other and made a toast to our futures. I said, have an illuminating life my friends. May you both get what u want from life. Don't waste it. Death is forever. We took the tabs & had a 3 way group hug. They were setting up for "Jam Factory" (their one solo LP on Epic) That band was FANTASTIC. Like a funky Chicago (Horns). I bought the LP the next week . . . We were having tons of fun, but it was still me . . . As JF was in the middle of their set (25 mins had passed) My hair was on end-waiting I was such an idiot. I felt like a million years had passed and NOTHING! Except maybe a giggle-or 2 . . I'm saying to myself "This is it? This is what everybody's freaking out about?" So I look up at the sky, reach into my pocket and silently dropped the other half. (Moron) As I chewed it to a pulp & swallowed, I got off from the 1st half. . . JF closed down & CACTUS came on. Remember them? Carmine Appice/Jim McCarty? Well, after a brief "reality adjustment" everything became sublime and we decided to go for a walk & mingle. That's when I wandered to the sound board & chatted with the sound guy who promised, when I asked him to save some power for Jimi, there was plenty of power left. I never really "let it go" that entire day & was always in touch with myself and it was a very beautiful day indeed. I told the sound guy I was tripping, wish I wasn't for that moment & he had a bit of compassion, knowing I wanted to talk about the sound, the equipment and Jimi Hendrix and so we sat for about 30-45 mins & rapped. He showed & taught me everything he knew while tweaking that sorry system. He even changed levels for me to see if I heard the difference coming off the stage. Way Cool. There WAS a cassette machine there & it never ever dawned on me to ask . . . Which is a horrible shame, because when it came right down to it, regardless of what Steve Miller said (who went on just B4 JH & claimed JH smelled bad, was in a horrible frame of mind & looked out of it) Temple was one of the best shows I actually recall in that last year. Hendrix's Machine Gun, Red House & a rare JBG were absolutely inspired. And the surviving tape is pretty bad. I still listen to it once a week :-)
I'm going to have to cut this short in a minute & get ready to split.
When we got back to our seats, Cactus was over & they were setting up for The Grateful Dead. Every half hour or so, "Joe" remember Joe? would ramble by. If I was on 1 hit, this guy was on 4. One last time B4 I forgot about him, business-wise, I asked him if he wanted his $4.00. He almost remembered me and jumped. Did u like it???? I nodded and said, Yes, very much. He said Well, I know it's your 1st time. It's a gift my friend. We hugged each other around our heads & he moved on.
I was never really a Dead-Head, as all my other friends were, and I was always on overload with them, always hearing enough of them when my friends played them. Still St. Stephen, Box of Rain & lots from Working Man's Dead are among my favorite pieces. I just didn't get it. I was dissecting 3rd Stone From the Sun & the Dead were just from that "other place". I'm trying not to offend here, so let me move on. They played for about 1 1/2 hrs & lo & behold it began to pour. LITTLE WOODSTOCK. I was tripping so heavily by this point, nothing in my life mattered except one thing WHERE WAS JIMI HENDRIX? The stagehands set up tarps on stage for what seemed like about an hour while we waited for the rain to stop. That's when one of the Jeff's dissected my camera and wrapped the film I was saving around his head. I put my head in my hands & had my 1st bad experience of the day. When the rain stopped, I expected "whoever" was coming on next to hurry & let Hendrix play.
Ladies & gentlemen: The Grateful Dead were back. They played for about 2 hours more, I believe, while I twirled my fingers in the mud. I just felt like they were never ever going to stop. Like I had died and this was never going to leave. I'm grinning widely as I type this, remembering this day so many years ago. How stupid and "green" I was. Had Temple just been a regular concert (opening act & headliner) this day would have never unfolded as it did. But this was BIG. And most of it was very cool. I just never had a taste for the Dead ever again after this day. Though I admit, a friend made me listen to the 15 min Terrapin Sta. last year & I'm very fond of it. So, it's getting dark, the skies are now clear & the stars are coming out. A beautiful night, and they introduce Steve Miller. The "Sailor" Steve Miller. The original band. I was starting to come down a bit and they were WONDERFUL! I remember this story he did about this Humming Bee, A girl HB & a boy HB :-) and they did Livin in the USA & ALL the toons that band was known for & I felt wonderful. But where was Hendrix? . . . .
I feel stupid leaving now but I must. And besides I'm probably at my limit.
If this has just been a bore, let me know. But the very best is yet to come.
I've never spoken of this day to anybody so this is an extraordinary experience for me. If it's boring you guys, please let me know. I'll try to finish up in a couple hours B4 I go. I'm going to post this "episode"
and then sit for a moment of silence in reverence for this man who changed EVERYTHING. It's staggering how everything changed not only when the 1st notes of Purple Haze oozed out of my table radio that day in late 1966 but the connection is sooo strong I'm at a loss how to describe in words what happened. But it's ALL GOOD! And I'm so sad he is no longer with us & as lucky as we are to have what he left us. A gift. An absolute. I always felt there was no such thing.
I'll get on in a bit if I can to finish. I am so rambling. And I'm sorry.
Peace my friends - Steve
Yeah-I was out there. Maybe some of you were also?
I'm going to try a pic here & see if it works
Last edited by Steev; 10-10-08 at 09:31 PM.
Just below the surface of our everyday world lie riches . . .