Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Black Gold

I haven't written much today because I've been reading a fascinating book about Jimi Hendrix called Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix by Steven Roby.

This book isn't a biography as much as it is a meticulous listing of everywhere Jimi Hendrix played. Concerts, rehearsals, jamming, and everything else--it's all listed here. And it's incredible how many people Hendrix played with, both formally and informally, in his lifetime. Everyone, it seemed, jammed with him at least once. It helped me remember how incredibly interconnected everyone was in the 60's--everyone played with everyone else, they all learned from each other, and they all seemingly helped each other.

The people who attended Hendrix's gigs were amazing as well: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Brian Epstein, Alan Clark and Robby Elliott of the Hollies, Eric Clapton, the Small Faces, the Animals, Donovan, Georgie Fame, Denny Laine (the Moody Blues, Wings), and Lulu ("To Sir With Love").

That was one gig, by the way, a London club named Bag o' Nails on January 11, 1967. One gig!

I was also very surprised to find out that there are, literally, over a thousand hours of Hendrix recordings that haven't been released. Much of it is raw material from studio work, but there are also a bewildering number of bootlegs out there of concerts and jam sessions with other musicians. Hendrix was incredibly prolific in terms of how much he played.

Among the recordings that allegedly exist but have not yet been found: a session with Jimi and Miles Davis.

Here's an Amazon link if you're interested: Black Gold.

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