Hendrix: ‘I need to lay back and think about it all’
Jimi Hendrix was planning to put two bands together just before his death – but he wanted a little time to think things through before he embarked upon the next stage of his career.
He talked about his aims for the future in an interview recorded by press agent Keith Altham a week before he passed awar on September 18, 197 – and broadcast in full for the first time on TeamRock Radio’s Classic Rock Magazine Show this week.
Hendrix discussed the aftermath of bassist Billy Cox leaving his lineup, saying: “I think I’ll get a small one together. It’s really hard to decide. I’d like to have both, if I could. I’d get two guitarists – one being myself – an organist, a singer, drums and bass. That would be out of sight.”
He admitted he wanted to appear live less often because “it would count for more if we did less.”
But asked if the excitement had gone out of music for him, Hendrix said: “No. I was feeling like that before, because I was thinking too fast. It’s hard to know what people want sometimes – right now I can’t feel anything. I just need to lay back and think about it all.”
The guitar icon said he’d realised there was no point in paying attention to the hype surrounding his career, but that he didn’t want people separating his live performance from his writing. “I’d hate to be in one corner, put only as a guitar player, only as a songwriter, only as a tap-dancer or something like that,” he reflected. “I like to move around.”
Asked whether it was important to be recognised as a songwriter, Hendrix replied: “I guess it would be if I want to lay around and only write songs when I can’t go on stage any more.”
Altham tells The Classic Rock Magazine Show host Nicky Horne how he first met Hendrix via his manager, Chas Chandler, who’d played bass with the Animals. “Chas always said when he finished with the Animals he’d become a manager and take me along for the ride, which is a promise he fulfilled,” says the journalist.
“The night Hendrix arrived in London I went down and Jimi was playing with a few musicians – not singing, just jamming. Chas said, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘He’s brilliant, but he’ll go right over the heads of the kids; he’s a jazz guitarist, he’s not a teenage idol.’
“Chas said, ‘He will be if I’ve got anything to do with it.’ Gradually as he invented the Jimi we saw on stage I began to see what he was talking about. When Hey Joe got into the charts Chas helped it along by buying a few extra copies, getting it an early entry – then it took off on its own.”
Tags: Jimi Hendrix