Thanks to my DJ buddy Frank O"Toole for forwarding me the "Jimi Hendrix goes for a job interview" comic clip on the left, which got me thinking about the late guitarist and how influential his music continues to be to this day. It also got me thinking about how both Hendrix's music and his image seem to consistantly remain at the forefront of popular culture, even all these years later-- close to four full decades since his tragic death at age 27.
The 1967 album Are You Experienced was the debut by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the power trio rounded out by bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. Offering up a frenzied feast of feedback and distorted guitar, the album delivered rock music unheard of up until that point -- music that managed to be both experimental and accessible at the same time.
The album would be instrumental in propeling the Seattle born Hendrix, who had relocated to the UK, to international stardom. Besides the title track, among the other great eleven tracks on the debut LP (which can be found readily in CD and vinyl format at Amoeba Music) were "Foxy Lady," "Red House," "Fire," and "3rd Stone from the Sun." The album, which was released with different cover art on each side of the Atlantic, was hugely successful all over, including in the UK, where it premiered. There the album reached #2 on the best selling charts, right behind The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Below is a pretty cool short film made by Wayne Isham and produced by Jerry Kramer and Alan Douglas to accompany the studio version of the Hendrix song "Are You Experienced?" Also below is a rare but rough looking/sounding film recording of Hendrix performing the song at the Singer Bowl in New York on August 23rd, 1968.
"Are You Experienced?" lyrics
If you can just get your mind together
Uh-then come on across to me
We'll hold hands and then we'll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea
But first, are you experienced?
Uh-have you ever been experienced-uh?
Well, I have
(well) I know, I know, you'll probably scream and cry
That your little world won't let you go
But who in your measly little world, (-uh)
Are you tryin to prove to that you're
Made out of gold and-uh, can't be sold
So-uh, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced? (-uh)
Well, I have
Uh, let me prove it to you, yeah
Trumpets and violins I can-uh, hear in the distance
I think they're callin our name
Maybe now you can't hear them,
But you will, ha-ha, if you just
Take hold of my hand
Ohhh, but are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Not necessarily stoned, but, beautiful