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Thread: 1967-02-03 Olympic Studios

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    1967-02-03 Olympic Studios

    Purple Haze


    Jimi Hendrix
    Noel Redding
    Mitch Mitchell


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    Re: 1967-02-03 Olympic Studios

    Friday 3 February 1967
    Olympic Sound Studios, London. JHE

    Noel was probably using Chas’ four-string Gibson EB2 bass.
    12:00 to 17:00 , overdubs 17:00 to 19:00
    Producer: Chas Chandler
    Engineer: Eddie Kramer
    First session with Eddie Kramer (& Roger Mayer too)

    Purple Haze (guitar & vocal overdubs) - (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 119, 120, 121, 126)
    Foxy Lady (overdubs and mixing) - (1, 2, 109, 115, 120)
    The Wind Cries Mary (several takes) - (3, 26) other takes unreleased. Not in JMcD.
    Possibly from another date? This is the closest known to Mitch’s comment.

    Chas: “There was always trouble with the bank when you recorded at De Lane Lea. There was a bank above the studio, and it was at the time when computers were just coming in. Every time we went in, we would play so loud that it would foul up the computers upstairs. As a result, we would always have trouble getting in there when we wanted.
    We had been scratching money together to pay for sessions at De Lane Lea. With ‘Hey Joe’ a hit on the charts, I found myself dealing more with Polydor rather than Track. One day, I finally went storming into Polydor and had a row with them. I said, ‘Look, we’ve got money piling up here, we are trying to put an album together, and I want to go to Olympic Studios. They won’t fucking accept me because I have no credit history. They wouldn’t even let me in without payment in advance!’ So Polydor rang them up, opened an account in my name, and guaranteed that the bills would be paid. For the first time, I wasn’t worrying about how I was going to pay for sessions. Even though we now had carte blanche, we still recorded the same way, but at least we didn’t have to worry about costs.”

    Eddie Kramer: “[At Olympic the setup comprised a Dick Swettenham-designed Helios desk and Ampex four-track tape machine housed within] a wonderful, spectacular-sounding room. The modular console, with its great EQ, great reverb and great compression, was absolutely marvellous — we were ahead in terms of console design in England. In fact, that desk was so advanced, the American engineers would come over and say 'Wow, what an incredible board,' to which we'd say 'Yeah, but you've got eight-track.' We were so jealous of what was going on in America when we were stuck with this bloody four-track format where we had to go four to four to four all the time, even though in essence this really trained us to make decisions then and there about the stereo bounce — we had to be very accurate with our mixes, and that was a different kind of training because it forced you to be creative as the sound was being printed. That held me in good stead later on."

    “When you recorded four-track you really had to have your act together and during the mix you knew you just couldn't screw it up, because this was the final one. In the transfer from the first four down to the two tracks of the next four-track machine, that first pass had to be absolutely spot-on. Of course, you could go back and remix it, but you wanted to avoid that if all possible. So, you just had to have it all there, and thank God we were taught correctly by great mentors: people like Bob Auger at Pye and Keith Grant at Olympic. They were really great teachers. You just rehearsed a song and got it right, got the EQ, got the compression, got all the bloody bits and pieces in there. And you knew in the final analysis that when you added the extra two tracks and bounced back to the first four tracks and then maybe went back one more time, all of those stages along the road had to be absolutely spot-on.”

    “The very first time I met him he was so shy and so self effacing and so he just, sort of, sat in the corner there with a, sort of, grubby rain coat, until the amps arrived, and once the amps arrived he plugged in and was, like, WEY! Sor’-of, how am I going to record all this lot? And-eh i’-it was-um, it was a trick Heh-Ha! Because, you know, trying to figure out his dynamic range, which was amazing. ‘Cause he could go from really quiet to a screamingly loud in-in a nano-second. Ahm, but once I’d figured that out and got in some good sounds he was very happy.”

    Noel: “Recording new single at Olympic...”

    “Later this year [sic], Jimi met Roger Meyer [sic] in England. Roger started by modifying the pedals Jimi already had, then there came what turned out to be the Octavia.”

    Roger Mayer: “Right after the club we went into the studio, Olympic Studios in Barnes, for a recording session. I took some of the electronics with me. Well, that night we recorded, or began recording, two tunes; one was ‘Purple Haze’ and the other was ‘Fire.’ So he was using the stuff two weeks after I met him.”

    Mitch: “In the early days, particularly, we recorded very quickly. ‘Purple Haze’, for example. Hendrix came in and kind of hummed us the riff and showed Noel the chords and the changes. I listened to it and went, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ We got it on the third take as I recall.”

    Chas: “With ‘Purple Haze,’ Hendrix and I were striving for a sound and just kept going back in, two hours at a time, trying to achieve it. It wasn’t like we were in there for days on end. We recorded it, and then Hendrix and I would be sitting at home saying, ‘Let’s try that.’ Then we would go in for an hour or two. That’s how it was in those days. However long it took to record that one specific idea, that’s how long we would book. We kept going in and out.”

    “A lot of the background sound on ‘Purple Haze’ is actually a recording being fed back into the studio through the headphones held around a microphone, moving them in and out to create a weird echo.”

    Eddie Kramer (on Purple Haze): “At the end of the song the high-speed guitar you hear was actually an Octavia guitar overdub we recorded first at a slower speed, then played back on a higher speed. The panning at the end was done to accentuate the effect you hear.”

    “There’s more Hendrix solos ended up on the floor of the Olympic in the cutting room than was ever put out. Jimi had a tendency to ramble when he got into solos, especially in the studios and you can’t have a three minute single with a three minute guitar solo. I used to change his lyrics and everything, but he was an intelligent guy and if you suggested changing something so that it would mean a bit more he’d say, ‘that’s a good idea, great’. He was okay to work with, terrific
    [International Musician And Recording World (September 1980)]

    Eddie Kramer: “And he would never, ever let anybody watch him putting vocals on. He was very shy about his voice. He thought he had the worst voice in The World. And we used to put a line of screens up and stick him behind there and he used to poke his head out and go, “All right now,” you know.” [a tad patronising, I’m sure the screens were his idea. Ed.]

    Neville Chesters (road manager): “Everybody who ever was around Jimi looked to him. There was undoubtedly something about his manner, that when he was working you didn’t question what he was doing. ‘Cause I remember a couple of times Chas, you know, was sort of questioning things. And Jimi would go along with it. Chas would say ‘I think you ought to do it like that’ and Jimi would say ‘yeah yeah’ and then he would do it how he wanted it anyway! But not directly ignore him. He’d, I wouldn’t say humour him, that’s not really quite the thing, but from where I saw it at the end of the day, Jimi did exactly [what he wanted] and he had that quality about him that you’d say, you know, ‘He’s got it, he’s the master, he’s doing it.”

    Noel: “I only sussed it out last week. Someone called me up… asking me a certain date of recording, so I was looking in my old diary, and it said that we played in the Ricky Tick Club in London that night, and Hendrix had put his guitar through the ceiling and bent the machine heads. We were recording that night, so I was reading in the diary to see which tunes we did. It says Jimi used my guitar, and I had to go over to another club called Blaises to get it back off a mate of mine who had bought it off me. It was my old Telecaster. We did Purple Haze and Fire that night, which Hendrix played my old guitar on. So Jimi used a Telecaster on the solos of Purple Haze and Fire. If you listen you can hear that it’s a Tele. I think he just turned it around to play left-handed. He didn’t adjust guitars at all, just turned the strings round. He didn’t bother with anything like that…”
    [Fender Frontline (Autumn 1993) Was Noel a bit short of cash before giving this story to Fender Ed.]

    “I had to borrow my old Telecaster from Trevor Williams [].”

    Mitch: “I’m sure we did ‘Wind Cries Mary’ twice. That was at Kingsway again. We did a demo version on a Friday night and it was ragged, to put it mildly. We went off over the weekend, did some gigs, went back the following Tuesday and got it right, but the initial feeling wasn’t there. So the original was released, warts and all. Thank goodness - it’s one of my favourites.”

    03. Hounslow (London), Ricky Tick, 1A High Street, Middlesex, England.
    JHE concert (60 minutes)
    04. London SW9, The Ram Jam Club, 390 Brixton Road, Brixton, England.
    JHE concert between 19:30 and 23:30 (60 minutes)
    04. London W1, The Flamingo Club, 33-37 Wardour Street, Soho, England.
    JHE concert between 24:00 and 06:00 (45 minutes)
    05. No gig, London
    06. Croydon (London), The Star Hotel [pub], 296 London Road, Surrey, England.
    JHE concert (60 minutes)
    Last edited by stplsd; 09-20-17 at 06:00 PM.

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