Poetry – Jimi

Jimi

With the elbow, teeth and the back of the hand

As feedback wailed by design

Over the sound of the band;

With shades of Sci-fi

And the limits of the mind

Soaring free on the wind

As it cried Mary

And my thoughts drift back

To what might be.

Along watchtowers

Chewing gum to the cracking of a machine gun,

Outrageous in costume and style,

Psycedelically free

To test the limits

Of all that could be

And might be in that castle of magic

That left us all aghast

And has never been surpassed.

Opher – 1.8.2016

Jimi

After all these years all you need to write is Jimi. Everyone knows who you mean. There is only one Jimi. He was not only the epitome of a guitarist, a showman and performer but an icon of an age, a symbol of all that a generation stood for and the idealism that changed the world.

When one thinks of Jimi standing there in his outrageous costumes you knew he was not dressing up for the show, he was expressing himself as an individual. He was blowing away the cobwebs from a dull and dreary post-war existence; he was drawing a line in the sand between the establishment (and the generation who chose routine, boredom, profit and war over fun, harmony, and meaning) and a new idea, a new approach, a new attitude – that we could live in peace, equality and freedom with purpose.

When I think of Jimi I think of helicopters in Vietnam, Agent Orange and machine guns, peace riots on the streets and phalanxes of State Troopers shooting at kids. I think of that young girl running down the street and enveloped by napalm. And I think of the friendship in the parks and gigs where everyone shared what they had and laughed, black with white, male with female and all together.

I only managed to see Jimi play three times for some ridiculous reason. I think we thought that it would go on forever and he would always be there. He wasn’t and nothing ever is – not even the bad stuff. But Jimi playing was a highlight of my life and will always be right up there with the best – and not just musically. He represented something greater than music.

We tried to change the world and I think we did. But the establishment fought back and wrested it back, tightening their control. We need another bout of sixties optimism, passion and rebellion. We need another Jimi, Bob and Roy.

So many years on and he is still Jimi.

Today’s Music to keep me SsssSAAaannNNnEEE in Isolation – Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced

I remember first hearing Hey Joe on the radio and being completely blown away. It was a new sound. Then Purple Haze came out and blew my socks off.

I bought the album and used to play it real loud on my little dansette. It was amazing. Jimi was one of the most exciting acts I ever saw perform – a superb musician, great songwriter, great singer and brilliant showman!! Also a great human being.

Such a great loss

Are you experienced – Jimi Hendrix full album on Vimeo

Today’s music to keep me SssaaaNnnneEeE in Isolation – Jimi Hendrix.

I have just received this CD of Jimi at Woburn Abbey. It’s not the best album of Jimi live but it is special to me. I was there and it was incredibly exciting. One of my best.

So today I have been playing it non-stop and thinking back to those days and my good friend Danny who I went with who is no longer with us.

I’m not sure it’s keeping me sane!

As I couldn’t find the Woburn Concert on line I am putting this live stuff up:

Jimi Hendrix Live Full Concert 1969 – YouTube

The Corona Diaries – Day 310

Today was a lot warmer. I had quite a pleasant walk up on to my hill. I came back to discover a Hermes courier had delivered my Hendrix at Woburn Abbey album.

It is certainly not the best Hendrix live album – a bit of a messy one really – a lot of amp problems and distortion – but then any Hendrix is great Hendrix despite the problems.

It has particular significance for me because I was there in 68 and it was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve been too. So it was nice, for the first time, to listen to those sounds of yesteryear. Very nostalgic!

Jimi Hendrix- ‘Woburn Music Festival’ – Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, England 7/6/68 – YouTube

At the same time I was continuing my editing! It’s going well!!

Out there in Coronaland there is starting to be some analysis of our lamentable performance. 100,162 deaths. One of the worst performances in the whole world! Lamentable is probably the right word but doesn’t really come close. That is 1,400 deaths per million people. Appalling!!

The concensus was that countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia were prepared and took decisive action – They were fast to lockdown. They shut borders and insisted on isolation, imposed social distancing and mask wearing, had effective track and tracing – in other they had a plan!

Countries such as the UK, USA, Brazil and Italy walked into it with complacency, denial and were slow and useless.

To make matters worse it appears that our stats may be underestimating the number of deaths. The ecess deaths for this period are 110,100!

The government has repeated said that this pandemic has caught everyone unawares and there is no playbook. That’s a lie!

It did not catch everyone out and there was a playbook. It is the one all those countries with very low death rates have been following. They put it together following the SARS and MERS outbreaks. It works!

Out pathetic cross between a scarecrow and a clown said ‘I take full responsibility for everything the government has done.’

Is he taking responsibility for:

Not monitoring what was going on in China back in November 2000?

For running down the NHS for a decade?

For driving away nurses and doctors with their draconian hostile environment policy?

For not looking at the playbook from SARS and MERS?

For having no strategy?

For not having enough PPE stored for emergencies?

For not having enough store of chemicals for Test and Trace?

For ignoring what was going on in Europe during February and March?

For being utterly complacent?

For not shutting borders and testing people coming in?

For not having an adequate Test and Trace system?

For appointing useless people (proven to be useless) such as Dido Harding into organising Track and Trace and Apps just because they have Tory contacts?

For giving out huge sums of money to Tory cronies who had no experience of setting up apps or producing PPE but just happened to be Tory donors?

For locking down too late?

For not seeking help from countries who know?

For coming out with all manner of waffly cheerleading rubbish about world-beating, oven-ready, moonshots?

For stupid campaigns in the Summer – such as Eat Out To Help out and Back To The Office – which helped put up the rate of infection?

For vacillating on masks?

For sending kids back to school without adequate protection?

For sending students back to university to catch the disease and spread it?

For keeping superspreader events like horseracing and international football?

Seemingly he won’t take responsibility at all. He went on to say ‘We truly did everything we could.’

100,106 deaths is them doing everything they could!!

Well, despite their utter ineptitude the levels are coming down. We are getting through the winter. Vaccination is rolling out.

Stay safe! The end is nigh!

Today’s Music to keep me SsSSAAAaNNnnnNeeEe in Isolation – Jimi Hendrix – Axis Bold As Love.

This isolation business has been going on a bit much. I thought I needed something to spark a little energy today. You can’t beat a bit of Jimi. This was absolutely groundbreaking – Jimi at his psychedelic best. That’ll perk me up!

Jimi Hendrix at Woburn Abbey

Hendrix played the Woburn Abbey Festival. We had to be there.

We camped in a field which the farmer had, rather maliciously, sprayed with liquid manure. The smell infested our tent forever. It had to be thrown away.

Geno Washington was the act who had the unenviable slot before Hendrix came on, but the tension of anticipation was too great. Everyone wanted Hendrix, poor Geno had no chance. No matter how good he was he wasn’t Jimi. The crowd booed and threw everything they could get their hands on at the stage. They wanted him off. There was electricity in the air. Everyone was baying for Jimi. Eventually, Geno gave up and left. The roadies began setting the stage up.

Everything was ready. The stage was empty but it held such promise that all our attention was focussed on it. There was a pregnant pause that seemed to go on and on as we impatiently waited. Everybody was up on their feet, calling out, clapping, chanting, trying to contain the nuclear energy of expectation. This is what we had all been waiting for.

Then Jimi, Noel and Mitch came out on to the stage. The whole arena erupted and surged forward taking me off my feet.

The band plugged in and began to play. The speakers were crap. The sound was distorted. The speakers were just too small to deal with a big outdoor space; they couldn’t handle the volume. It didn’t matter. We could hear it and we could see them. The bass formed a wall of noise. Hendrix’s guitar soared and whined through it all. The drums pounded and the vocals punched over the top. The sound quality might not have been first-rate but it was good enough!

The crowd surged forward to get even nearer, I was in the crush near the front. We all wanted to watch Jimi as he performed his magic. He was so much larger than life in a big black broad-brimmed hat with a coloured sash around it, a floppy bright flowery psychedelic shirt, green loons with a scarf tied around the leg. He held that guitar like a weapon and unleashed it on us. The excitement was palpable – hysterical. The band were multicoloured giants storming around the stage. Noel stood still, studiously playing, while Mitch pounded away and Jimi stole the attention. You could not take your eyes off him. Hendrix was magnificent. The band blazed. Who cared about the sound quality? This was a wall of excitement the like of which an outside concert had never witnessed. We were bouncing up and down, caught up in the overwhelming group mania, living every note, every growl and wave of the hand.

He stroked, caressed and wrenched at his white Stratocaster, pulling out every trick. He played it between his legs, upside down and behind his head. The sound roared and the fanged beast he had produced and set free, devoured us.

Afterwards, in the press, they said that this was one of the jaded performances. If that was below par then bloody hell. It was the most exciting gig I’ve ever been too. Any more excitement and it would have been heart attack time. He was stupendous.

I only managed to see Jimi perform three times in a small club – I think Klooks Kleek, where he was mind-blowingly brilliant, at Woburn, where he was fabulous, and at his farewell concert at the Albert Hall which was nowhere near as exciting.

I’m glad I was alive to see such jaded dreams. I so wish Jimi was alive to have given us more of that magic. I’ll never experience anything like it.

8.11.01

 

 

Jimi Hendrix at Woburn Abbey – an extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

Some watch sport, films and drama in order to avoid thinking.

11.10.01

 

Hendrix played the Woburn Abbey Festival. We had to be there.

We camped in a field which the farmer had, rather maliciously, sprayed with liquid manure. The smell infested our tent forever. It had to be thrown away.

Geno Washington was the act who had the unenviable slot before Hendrix came on, but the tension of anticipation was too great. Everyone wanted Hendrix, poor Geno had no chance. No matter how good he was he wasn’t Jimi. The crowd booed and threw chairs at the stage. They wanted him off. There was electricity in the air. Everyone was baying for Jimi. Eventually Geno gave up and left. The roadies began setting the stage up.

Everything was ready. The stage was empty but it held such promise that all our attention was focussed on it. There was a pregnant pause that seemed to go on and on as we impatiently waited. Everybody was up on their feet, calling out, clapping, chanting, trying to contain the nuclear energy of expectation. This is what we had all been waiting for.

Then Jimi, Noel and Mitch came out on to the stage. The whole arena erupted and surged forward taking me off my feet.

The band plugged in and began to play. The speakers were crap. The sound was distorted. The speakers were just too small to deal with a big outdoor space; they couldn’t handle the volume. It didn’t matter. We could hear it and we could see them. The bass formed a wall of noise. Hendrix’s guitar soared and whined through it all. The drums pounded and the vocals punched over the top. The sound quality might not have been first rate but it was good enough!

The crowd surged forward to get even nearer, I was in the crush near the front. We all wanted to watch Jimi as he performed his magic. He was so much larger than life in a big black broad brimmed hat with a coloured sash around it, a floppy bright flowery psychedelic shirt, green loons with a scarf tied around the leg. He held that guitar like a weapon and unleashed it on us. The excitement was palpable – hysterical. The band were multicoloured giants storming around the stage. Noel stood still, studiously playing, while Mitch pounded away and Jimi stole the attention. You could not take your eyes off him. Hendrix was magnificent. The band blazed. Who cared about the sound quality? This was a wall of excitement the like of which an outside concert had never witnessed. We were bouncing up and down, caught up in the overwhelming group mania, living every note, every growl and wave of the hand.

He stroked, caressed and wrenched at his white Stratocaster, pulling out every trick. He played it between his legs, upside down and behind his head. The sound roared and the fanged beast he had produced and set free, devoured us.

Afterwards, in the press, they said that this was one of the jaded performances. If that was below par then bloody hell. It was the most exciting gig I’ve ever been too. Any more excitement and it would have been heart attack time. He was stupendous.

I only managed to see Jimi perform three times in a small club – I think Klooks Kleek, where he was mind-blowingly brilliant, at Woburn, where he was fabulous, and at his farewell concert at the Albert Hall which was nowhere near as exciting.

I’m glad I was alive to see such jaded dreams. I so wish Jimi was alive to have given us more of that magic. I’ll never experience anything like it.

8.11.01

 

Human beings do a lot of weird stuff to fill up the seconds that make up their lives. But is any of it more valid than anything else?

11.10.01

Star – A Tale of a Rockstar in 3167 ACV.

It’s 3167 ACV and the galaxy is rockin’ and revoltin’.

Zargos Ecstasy is king of the underground.

It’s Dylan, Hendrix, John Lennon, Jim Morrison and revolution.

There’s civil rights, war and protest.

There’s Peoples’ Park, the Yippies, a cold war, a belligerent President, riots, Black Panthers and peace-power.

There’s also Big Business, Record labels and the underworld Mafia who want in on the action.

If you lived through the sixties you’ll recognise it all.

In the UK:

In the USA: