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-   -   Jimi Hendrix and his posthumous legacy (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654037)

FrankHudson 10-16-2022 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turtlejimmy (Post 7107750)
Yeah, it's hard to read that review. The man is an idiot, obviously, but what a bunch of ugly crap to write. I'm glad I missed all that.

I may have seen Jimi Hendrix in concert, at the Monterey Pop Festival, but I was 11 and don't really remember any of the performances. An older kid down the street had asked my parents if they would take him to this upcoming concert that he heard about, his parents wouldn't. Mine were up for anything, often dragging me off to stuff like this, and pulled camping gear together and, with the kid in the station wagon with us, off we went.

It wasn't until a few years later that I bought a little transistor FM radio with the first money I made on a paper route, and really tuned into all the music going on at that time. I do remember my family walking through the grounds during the day at the Monterey Pop and coming across a building with a very large room that was filled with people who were not saying anything. They were all just in there hanging out in a huge group, absolutely silent. It was so weird I had to ask my Mom what was going on in there. She told me to ask her again about it in five years. :D

I loved Jimi's last album and some years after getting that LP, got a CD that contained a bunch of unfinished stuff to go with it, just mixed in. It was a little odd but it made me realize what a perfectionist he was, in the studio, and how long he took to fully develop songs. He was a unique cat.

Turtle

Those liminal memories of Monterey Pop attendance are fascinating.

People forget what a good songwriter Hendrix could be.

Arapaho G 10-16-2022 10:24 PM

For me it's Electric Ladyland and I especially enjoy his collaboration with Al Kooper. Don't care much for the Band of Gypsies stuff so it's Mitchell and Redding here.

Hendrix was quite possibly the most influential guitarist in all of rock and roll. No one like him before and inspired so many after.

Cry of Love is I feel the only posthumous release that is quality that I've heard. I have not listened to all the bootleg releases and those that I have heard were of such poor quality they were difficult to listen to.

stephenT 10-18-2022 10:53 AM

Redding was a guitar player who got the gig for his good hair and snappy clothes, not his bass playing chops. Billy Cox was an actual bass player, provided a bottom end for Hendrix.

It's kinda laughable that someone asserts that Hendrix wasn't popular in his day. Saw him twice both sold out shows and he was of course the headliner.

Anyway, enough for me. Logging back out, which (I've found) is much better for my sensibilities.

FrankHudson 10-18-2022 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stephenT (Post 7109323)
Redding was a guitar player who got the gig for his good hair and snappy clothes, not his bass playing chops. Billy Cox was an actual bass player, provided a bottom end for Hendrix.

It's kinda laughable that someone asserts that Hendrix wasn't popular in his day. Saw him twice both sold out shows and he was of course the headliner.

Anyway, enough for me. Logging back out, which (I've found) is much better for my sensibilities.

Popularity is relative, and with pop music you often have to state at what time you're measuring popularity. He certainly wasn't popular previous to his to-England journey. In England he got to the be the big exotic fish in a small pond--but as yet in America, unknown. Then back to the US. Initially, attention yes, but not overwhelming record sales. One has to remember that "underground" rock acts in the US were just that, a subculture. Legendary acts in their prime played ballrooms and converted movie houses often on triple bills, and some were toured to death with one-nighters. Then post-Woodstock and the festival phenomenon two things changed: sports stadium concerts became plausible for "underground" acts and around the same time the recording business became more systematic in serving the underground rock audience, seeing commercial potential. But those things came in around the last year of Hendrix's life.

The question of what would have happened to Hendrix's career post 1970 is fascinating to me largely because it would have been an entirely different world in so many ways.

So, asking if Jimi Hendrix was popular during his life depends on one's scale. Transferred to today Would you say that Jason Isbell is popular? Is Bill Frisell popular? Is Wilco popular? Yes, they are well established. Attention is paid to what they do. Biggest things in popular music? Well, no.

godfreydaniel 10-18-2022 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7109357)
Popularity is relative, and with pop music you often have to state at what time you're measuring popularity. He certainly wasn't popular previous to his to-England journey. In England he got to the be the big exotic fish in a small pond--but as yet in America, unknown. Then back to the US. Initially, attention yes, but not overwhelming record sales. One has to remember that "underground" rock acts in the US were just that, a subculture. Legendary acts in their prime played ballrooms and converted movie houses often on triple bills, and some were toured to death with one-nighters. Then post-Woodstock and the festival phenomenon two things changed: sports stadium concerts became plausible for "underground" acts and around the same time the recording business became more systematic in serving the underground rock audience, seeing commercial potential. But those things came in around the last year of Hendrix's life.

The question of what would have happened to Hendrix's career post 1970 is fascinating to me largely because it would have been an entirely different world in so many ways.

So, asking if Jimi Hendrix was popular during his life depends on one's scale. Transferred to today Would you say that Jason Isbell is popular? Is Bill Frisell popular? Is Wilco popular? Yes, they are well established. Attention is paid to what they do. Biggest things in popular music? Well, no.

I don’t agree with your assessment either.

As with pretty much any performer, his early career was his time paying his dues, developing as an artist, and working his way up. Everything before the Jimi Hendrix Experience falls into that category.

As for him being an underground artist, here’s how the first three albums (which were the only albums released before he died in 1970) did:

“Are You Experienced” hit #2 in the UK and #5 in the US. It sold over a million copies within seven months of its release.

“Axis: Bold as Love” hit #5 in the UK and #3 in the US. It went platinum in both the UK and the US.

“Electric Ladyland” - hit #6 in the UK and #1 in the US.

Woodstock - Hendrix was the highest paid performer and was chosen to close the festival. (He was originally scheduled to go on at Midnight, but due to all the craziness didn’t go on until 9:00 am the next morning.)

He died just over a year later.

Correction: “Band of Gypsys” was also released before his death. It hit #5 in the US and #6 in the UK.

Joe Beamish 10-18-2022 04:39 PM

^ Well delineated. [emoji106]

FrankHudson 10-18-2022 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by godfreydaniel (Post 7109499)
I don’t agree with your assessment either.

As with pretty much any performer, his early career was his time paying his dues, developing as an artist, and working his way up. Everything before the Jimi Hendrix Experience falls into that category.

As for him being an underground artist, here’s how the first three albums (which were the only albums released before he died in 1970) did:

“Are You Experienced” hit #2 in the UK and #5 in the US. It sold over a million copies within seven months of its release.

“Axis: Bold as Love” hit #5 in the UK and #3 in the US. It went platinum in both the UK and the US.

“Electric Ladyland” - hit #6 in the UK and #1 in the US.

Woodstock - Hendrix was the highest paid performer and was chosen to close the festival. (He was originally scheduled to go on at Midnight, but due to all the craziness didn’t go on until 9:00 am the next morning.)

He died just over a year later.

Correction: “Band of Gypsys” was also released before his death. It hit #5 in the US and #6 in the UK.

We're getting into deep weeds here, and my point isn't that Hendrix of the Experience years was unknown -- and although I've been around music and radio industry people peripherally, and read extensively, I'm not an insider. But I did live through those years in the U.S. (The UK situation, a much smaller though vibrant world, was different, and not directly in my ken). I'd say Hendrix was more often appreciated by hip folks with a taste for an ascendant musical form in the United States. The kind of folks who listened to the first FM rock stations (who were not dominant in their markets then) or bought LPs instead of singles. Who maybe listened to their records instead of danced to them, some with illegal chemical aids. Yes, that's not his entire audience, but my memory says it was most.

My understanding of the Billboard charts for singles and LPs (the ones usually used by Wikipedia and the like) is they could be and were manipulated, but they're out there so folks (including me) will use them. On the singles charts, Hendrix did poorer than other ballroom/underground rock acts like their contemporaries Jefferson Airplane or Cream in the US, plausibly due to Warners not having the "promo men" to get AM radio airplay that was still so important in the US. Then you mention Axis Bold as Love selling Platinum. There were no Platinum LPs in Hendrix's lifetime. The award was started in 1976. Axis Bold as Love sold over the years as a catalog item, long after Hendix's death, to achieve that award. Certified stats (the ones used for Gold etc records) are different and subject to their own issues, but in theory count total sales not chart positions in a week, but for someone whose "career" has had such an extensive posthumous run they are problematic.

Woodstock was booked by the hip, for the hip, and therefore was not expected to draw like it did. It's an example of how the whole rock business was dynamic during Hendrix's career as a bandleader. The music world he faced in 1965 was generations different from the one he faced during his last year 1970 and in a year or two would be different again.

Since we're arguing relative levels of fame all our sidebar here is splitting hairs. Measuring fame with stats is hard work and not as exact as one might hope. Earlier in his Experience years, there's a reason (totally fame-related) that he was booked to open for the Monkees, not the other way around. At the time he died I'd say he wasn't as famous or as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, or Elvis. People are still behind catching onto Hendrix as a songwriter (and Elvis was so compelling, folks refer to his songs as if he wrote them). and his level of fame was as an outstanding guitar player with a flash stage act, and he wanted to ditch the latter. And let's face it, even though I've gone on too much in writing all this, fame isn't why I listen to and admire Hendrix anyway.

Joe Beamish 10-18-2022 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7109770)
…At the time he died I'd say he wasn't as famous or as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, or Elvis.

First, how do you know? Is this really true?

Second, slowly reread that list of names. If an entertainer didn’t (you’d say) happen to be as famous as this group of veterans, does this necessarily mean he wasn’t a superstar himself?

What about the people you didn’t mention, like James Brown, Loretta Lynn, and Jim Morrison? Were they underground artists and not game changing stars, because they weren’t as famous as Elvis?

Also, you might remember: For 10 minutes, the Monkees were an absolute monster. That’s the moment when the Experience briefly opened for them.

In fact, the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles that year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bil...235008332/amp/

FrankHudson 10-19-2022 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Beamish (Post 7109788)
First, how do you know? Is this really true?

Second, slowly reread that list of names. If an entertainer didn’t (you’d say) happen to be as famous as this group of veterans, does this necessarily mean he wasn’t a superstar himself?

What about the people you didn’t mention, like James Brown, Loretta Lynn, and Jim Morrison? Were they underground artists and not game changing stars, because they weren’t as famous as Elvis?

Also, you might remember: For 10 minutes, the Monkees were an absolute monster. That’s the moment when the Experience briefly opened for them.

In fact, the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles that year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bil...235008332/amp/

You know, the whole post I wrote last night was silly and badly written, both too long and too condensed. I don't know if anyone could extract what point I was trying to make. I'll try to do better.

In the course of this thread, commenting on the limits or relative levels of Hendrix's fame during his lifetime was meant to remind folks that:

1. When living in The Sixties (as I did) the world then was not all hip folks with hip tastes. People who didn't live it sometimes think it was.

2. That it's been remarkable that Jimi Hendrix's overall cultural footprint has continued long past his death. My vague "He wasn't that level famous" thing is just to highlight that interesting outcome. I wouldn't have predicted it in 1971 or 1972. Question for those who were adults in 1972: would you have?

aK_bAsh7 10-19-2022 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J-Doug (Post 7089002)
Hi guys,

I'll preface this as coming from a place of true love and admiration for Jimi Hendrix and the original Experience. I came to "discover" Hendrix in my late teens, falling in love with the four albums released in his lifetime and early posthumous releases like Cry of Love. I read what I could (the McDermott book was a favorite) and bought up almost everything I could afford on a student's budget, though suffering through some egregious Alan Douglas releases. In the end I came away with a real appreciation for what Hendrix accomplished in such a short time. I honestly feel that, while some may have displayed more technical mastery, Jimi has never been truly equaled.

I will also say that I am happy that the Hendrix family gained control of his work. I feel that the right people are in control of Jimi's legacy, especially with the involvement of Eddie Kramer. I do understand that they are trying their best to preserve what they can and share the best of what they have access to with the public.

But while some releases are quite stunning (Miami Pop Festival, BBC, Monterey, a lot of Winterland) and some releases have strong moments (Berkeley, Atlanta, Maui), some of the material released since his death has been, quite frankly, so woefully underbaked that I feel slightly embarrassed listening to it. Isle of Wight is particularly bad and Both Sides of the Sky is completely awful (do we really need two Stephen Stills tunes on a Hendrix release?).

Which brings me to my point: What are some of the factors impacting the quality of these releases, especially his post-Ladyland work? I feel there are three major things:

1. Underdeveloped material: I do not feel that many of the post-Ladyland tunes were ever fully developed. Some are 100% there like Ezy Ryder, Drifting, Freedom. But often Hendrix was barely singing, borderline mumbling through these new tracks, such as Hey Baby in its multiple forms. The guitar work and most of the riffs are strong but a lot of the melodies are weak and the lyrics non-existent. Compared to the tunes on a release like Bold As Love, these tunes are simply not fleshed out nor ready for prime time.

2. Billy Cox was no Noel Redding: I get it, Noel Redding was very difficult according to some accounts. And yeah of course Jimi wanted to play with his old friend Billy. But Cox was just not of the same caliber as Redding. Cox was positively boring in comparison. It did work well on Band of Gypsys but comparing NoelÂ’s driving bass lines and how they propelled the original Experience forward to CoxÂ’s lines is particularly telling. I feel Cox dragged the trio down.

3. The Decline of Mitch MitchellÂ’s playing: After the release of Ladyland I feel that the quality of MitchellÂ’s drumming severely declined and is very evident in recordings of the time. Some have hinted at substance abuse but I think the blame falls mostly at JimiÂ’s feet. After playing with Buddy Miles, Hendrix was looking for a heavier drumming style in the group and this was the wrong thing to ask of Mitch. IMO MitchÂ’s swinging, beautifully busy, jazz influenced style was only secondary to HendrixÂ’s playing on those original sides. Mitchell is truly a genius on Bold and elsewhere. Asking him to abandon this for a plodding style influenced by pounders like Baker and Bonham was a critical error and the music suffered for it.

YouÂ’ve read my opinions (such as they are) so what are yours?

It seems to me you simply prefer the Experience recordings. Fair enough. While everything you say about the downsides of Jimi's post-psychedelic output may be true, there is, in my opinion, still much to enjoy and admire in the later work that you are missing out on.

In fact, I prefer the post E. Ladyland recordings. I listen to Band of Gypsys and First Rays of the New Rising Son (which I first encountered as Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes) much more than any of the Experience recordings. Of the latter, Are You Experienced and the live Albert Hall farewell show get the most play on my system.

Why? To me, the later music sounds more personal and direct, unencumbered by (what strike me as very dated) psychedelic trappings. I find this direct quality much more emotionally engaging, which is #1 for me. I realize this is not true for everyone. While I admire the musicianship of the Experience era, for me, it's much less satisfying. There's a self-conscious
"hip" aspect that impedes rather than enhances, my enjoyment.

My 2 cents...

Joe Beamish 10-19-2022 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7110146)
You know, the whole post I wrote last night was silly and badly written, both too long and too condensed. I don't know if anyone could extract what point I was trying to make. I'll try to do better.

In the course of this thread, commenting on the limits or relative levels of Hendrix's fame during his lifetime was meant to remind folks that:

1. When living in The Sixties (as I did) the world then was not all hip folks with hip tastes. People who didn't live it sometimes think it was.

2. That it's been remarkable that Jimi Hendrix's overall cultural footprint has continued long past his death. My vague "He wasn't that level famous" thing is just to highlight that interesting outcome. I wouldn't have predicted it in 1971 or 1972. Question for those who were adults in 1972: would you have?


“…The world's highest-paid performer,[2] he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 before his accidental death in London from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970.”

The world’s highest paid performer. I don’t know. Seems sort of significant to me.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix

FrankHudson 10-20-2022 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Beamish (Post 7110401)
“…The world's highest-paid performer,[2] he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 before his accidental death in London from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970.”

The world’s highest paid performer. I don’t know. Seems sort of significant to me.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix

I started, and then thought better about a long, researcher's post on details about Hendrix and business and billings. Not worth anyone's time to read here.

Yes, Hendrix was famous, on par with a lot of other acts in the emerging "Rock" scene that became a big business soon after his death. Here's a couple of things for others who (like me) were alive and around as adults in the time before Hendrix's death to reply to:

It's just a side point to your opinion, but did Hendrix really "Headline" Woodstock? Not in my memory. Headline or Headliner means to me that you're first billed, usually in larger type, because you're the big draw, the one ticket buyers will want to pay to see. Here's the famous Woodstock poster:

https://www.shopbethelwoods.com/medi...6/2/626140.jpg

Question 1: Did any of us old folks here on the AGP go (or wanted to go) to Woodstock because Jimi Hendrix was going to play? I'm not talking retroactively, but in the summer of '69. Me? There were rumors that unbilled, Bob Dylan was going to play Woodstock. My logistics in 1969 made Woodstock impossible, but I'd have gone for Dylan.

Question 2: I've already asked it, but we've stayed in the relative weeds of what's famous and how famous. Again, it's for those who were adults (or maybe quasi adults willing to think about the flow of time and the future) in let's say 1972, after Hendrix's death was absorbed. Would you have predicted that we'd have this much attention and concern for Jimi Hendrix in 2022, 50 years on? I was writing "rock criticism" (at a low level, I'm not famous) and hanging out at a college radio station in that era. I would not have.

Think about the four most famous "Rock Deaths" near the end of The Sixties: Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Hendrix. Now again, if you're a fan of anyone one of them I'm not saying they weren't significant artists, or that some don't make some notice of them. But how many of them have Hendrix's profile today in terms of publication features (web or the remaining print), song covers, tributes, etc. Jones star was already fading at death, and musically he's never given out as an influence in the 2020's. Joplin, similar, despite being a front-woman. Morrisson? He had a huge bump later in the 20th century, and without being able to measure it to the millimeter, higher than Hendrix for a while. Now? Not-so-much. That's remarkable that Hendrix's value to music and guitar has been retained I think.

Joe Beamish 10-20-2022 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7110796)
I started, and then thought better about a long, researcher's post on details about Hendrix and business and billings. Not worth anyone's time to read here.

Yes, Hendrix was famous, on par with a lot of other acts in the emerging "Rock" scene that became a big business soon after his death. Here's a couple of things for others who (like me) were alive and around as adults in the time before Hendrix's death to reply to:

It's just a side point to your opinion, but did Hendrix really "Headline" Woodstock? Not in my memory. Headline or Headliner means to me that you're first billed, usually in larger type, because you're the big draw, the one ticket buyers will want to pay to see. Here's the famous Woodstock poster:

https://www.shopbethelwoods.com/medi...6/2/626140.jpg

Question 1: Did any of us old folks here on the AGP go (or wanted to go) to Woodstock because Jimi Hendrix was going to play? I'm not talking retroactively, but in the summer of '69. Me? There were rumors that unbilled, Bob Dylan was going to play Woodstock. My logistics in 1969 made Woodstock impossible, but I'd have gone for Dylan.

Question 2: I've already asked it, but we've stayed in the relative weeds of what's famous and how famous. Again, it's for those who were adults (or maybe quasi adults willing to think about the flow of time and the future) in let's say 1972, after Hendrix's death was absorbed. Would you have predicted that we'd have this much attention and concern for Jimi Hendrix in 2022, 50 years on? I was writing "rock criticism" (at a low level, I'm not famous) and hanging out at a college radio station in that era. I would not have.

Think about the four most famous "Rock Deaths" near the end of The Sixties: Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Hendrix. Now again, if you're a fan of anyone one of them I'm not saying they weren't significant artists, or that some don't make some notice of them. But how many of them have Hendrix's profile today in terms of publication features (web or the remaining print), song covers, tributes, etc. Jones star was already fading at death, and musically he's never given out as an influence in the 2020's. Joplin, similar, despite being a front-woman. Morrisson? He had a huge bump later in the 20th century, and without being able to measure it to the millimeter, higher than Hendrix for a while. Now? Not-so-much. That's remarkable that Hendrix's value to music and guitar has been retained I think.


I see this is really all about your personal individual recollection, and nothing else. Which is great! And definitely interesting. Being more of a facts guy, I was quoting those. Not opinions. In response to some earlier point you had made, I forget now, to the effect that Hendrix wasn’t that big of a deal in his day, but only later. But the evidence doesn’t support it. When I said Jimi was the highest paid performer in the world, I was quoting Wikipedia, not offering opinions.

I do love that poster, and I own one of the originals (wedding present.) Michael Lang had really, really wanted Jimi to play the festival (he had booked him the year before in Miami), but the Hendrix people insisted that he close the festival or no deal. We know how that went down. Which should clarify Jimi’s status at that point, about a year before his death.

As for the poster contents, I think the festival was about something much bigger than any single act. Look at the roster. This was like no other event.

Anyway, I agree that Hendrix’s posthumous star rose even higher in the 70s and beyond. This I attribute not only to the moment of his disappearance, but also to the times, and to the much-discussed fact of his being something of a racial outlier, appealing widely to a white audience, but largely ignored by a black one. His sound and voice and message were unique.

His gentle personality, combined with his monster stage presence, was intoxicating. As so many of his peer musicians said at the time, Hendrix was groundbreaking. His embrace of British rock (extending it and marrying it to Muddy Waters) and his creation of something new was breathtaking to those who were paying attention to the music itself — and not just the journalistic hype.

turtlejimmy 10-20-2022 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7110796)
I started, and then thought better about a long, researcher's post on details about Hendrix and business and billings. Not worth anyone's time to read here.

Yes, Hendrix was famous, on par with a lot of other acts in the emerging "Rock" scene that became a big business soon after his death. Here's a couple of things for others who (like me) were alive and around as adults in the time before Hendrix's death to reply to:

It's just a side point to your opinion, but did Hendrix really "Headline" Woodstock? Not in my memory. Headline or Headliner means to me that you're first billed, usually in larger type, because you're the big draw, the one ticket buyers will want to pay to see. Here's the famous Woodstock poster:

https://www.shopbethelwoods.com/medi...6/2/626140.jpg

Question 1: Did any of us old folks here on the AGP go (or wanted to go) to Woodstock because Jimi Hendrix was going to play? I'm not talking retroactively, but in the summer of '69. Me? There were rumors that unbilled, Bob Dylan was going to play Woodstock. My logistics in 1969 made Woodstock impossible, but I'd have gone for Dylan.

Question 2: I've already asked it, but we've stayed in the relative weeds of what's famous and how famous. Again, it's for those who were adults (or maybe quasi adults willing to think about the flow of time and the future) in let's say 1972, after Hendrix's death was absorbed. Would you have predicted that we'd have this much attention and concern for Jimi Hendrix in 2022, 50 years on? I was writing "rock criticism" (at a low level, I'm not famous) and hanging out at a college radio station in that era. I would not have.

Think about the four most famous "Rock Deaths" near the end of The Sixties: Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Hendrix. Now again, if you're a fan of anyone one of them I'm not saying they weren't significant artists, or that some don't make some notice of them. But how many of them have Hendrix's profile today in terms of publication features (web or the remaining print), song covers, tributes, etc. Jones star was already fading at death, and musically he's never given out as an influence in the 2020's. Joplin, similar, despite being a front-woman. Morrisson? He had a huge bump later in the 20th century, and without being able to measure it to the millimeter, higher than Hendrix for a while. Now? Not-so-much. That's remarkable that Hendrix's value to music and guitar has been retained I think.


I'll try to answer this, though I was 13 years old in 1969. I had been to the Monterey Pop Festival over that long weekend with my parents, after an older kid asked them to take him, because his parents wouldn't.

At that time (1967), I didn't even recognize the name, Jimi Hendrix, and I don't remember if I saw him (probably not) or if my parents did. I'm not really sure if my parents knew who he was either. Janis Joplin? Oh yeah, we knew her pretty well because we'd seen her playing free in Golden Gate Park, she was more local. Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles were huge and we had their records in the house. I got in trouble at school, in like 2nd or 3rd grade I think, when I brought in a "Meet The Beatles" LP, right after it came out. They were very controversial at the time and Rock and Roll was considered somewhat "evil" by Mister Jones (if you were around back then, you know who that is ;)). I got into so much trouble for that, they sent me to the principal's office. :D

I didn't really get into Hendrix until I was older, probably around 1974.

I think that, pretty much overall, not just me but my family, that was very hip, did not know Hendrix much at all, certainly not as well as other huge famous acts at the time. My Mom loved Rock and Roll very quickly, and she played guitar and sang in a little folk group, called the "Sometime Singers" with a family friend who sang with her. My cousin is a professional musician and played on a bill with Herman's Hermits. I saw not just Janis, but the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane free in the park numerous times ..... So we were right in the middle of the whole West Coast music scene.

Here's where I have to agree pretty strongly with Frank Hudson (and jseth). As completely immersed in the music scene as my family was, they didn't know much, if anything about Hendrix. He just simply wasn't anywhere near as famous as Dylan, the Beatles and many others. At least not that I remember. I think Frank is absolutely correct. Jimi Hendrix was not as famous or popular (not even close imo) as these others, back in the day. Dylan and The Beatles, those were the two huge pinnacles of fame, Dylan because he connected folk and rock, and the Beatles, well they were the Beatles. Hendrix was many rungs down the list, with many other acts far more well known than him. He was more famous and popular with other musicians and music industry people, but he was so far out of the mainstream at the time. Everyone knew who he was, with his guitar playing and things like lighting guitars on fire on stage. That was memorable, but he wasn't that famous. You had to be there. I don't think anybody can suss out how famous and popular Hendrix was, during his lifetime, by reading about it or cherry picking statistics and translating those to so-called "fact".

Frank Hudson wrote: "At the time he died I'd say he wasn't as famous as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, or Elvis." No, he was not. Not even close. It takes time to build the sort of fame and popularity of these performers, and Jimi wasn't around long enough for that.

I also inherited many boxes full of LPs from that era .... Everything from Led Belly to Dylan and the Beatles, Peter Paul and Mary, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell and Country Joe and the Fish and on and on and on ..... It's a massive collection of scratched, heavily played records. No Hendrix.



Turtle

Joe Beamish 10-22-2022 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankHudson (Post 7095900)
….Hendrix was a star in a much smaller world of ballrooms and "underground rock" and the next step world of Seventies until the age of streaming was only emerging at the end of his life. His record sales were not spectacular in the US, and his fandom among a generalized contemporary audience was not remarkable….

Going back to the original claim (there’s been some drift), we do know Hendrix was the highest paid performer in the world by 1969. (Wiki page, quoted above.)

On the other hand, it is clear he was not as famous as some of the veterans of rock ‘n’ roll among 10 year olds. Check.

But in order to understand his eventual cultural importance in the 70s and beyond, it is worthwhile to note the intensity of his importance to his peers and to adults in the late 60s. Which was phenomenal.

But yes. In 1967, the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles.

Who was the biggest cultural phenomenon? Not the Monkees, except for a passing moment.

Such distinctions do matter.


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