Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are proud to release Songs For Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts by Jimi Hendrix, on CD and digital November 22, with a vinyl release to follow on December 13. This collection assembles all four historic debut concerts by the legendary guitarist in […]
Historic Debut Concert, Band of Gypsys to Be Released In Entirety For First Time Ever
August 9, 2016- New York, NY- Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, are releasing Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69, fully documenting the debut performance of Jimi Hendrix’s short-lived but eternally influential Band of Gypsys on September 30. The group played four historic concerts at the Fillmore East in New York City – two on New Year’s Eve 1969, and two on New Year’s Day 1970. Never before has the first of these sets been available in its entirety. The vast majority of the performances have never seen the light of day in any configuration.
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 was produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott, the same team who have overseen all of Jimi Hendrix’s audio and audio visual releases by Experience Hendrix L.L.C. since 1995. Kramer served Jimi Hendrix as his primary recording engineer throughout his lifetime and the newly mixed Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 from the original 1” 8 track master tapes. The album was mastered by Grammy Award winner Bernie Grundman and will be simultaneously released, on CD, 2 LP 180 gram vinyl, high resolution SACD and digitally. Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 is available for pre-order on CD: http://smarturl.it/jh_mg_cd and Vinyl: http://smarturl.it/jh_mg_vinyl
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 marks the first ever Jimi Hendrix SACD and high resolution digital release. Additionally, Experience Hendrix is also releasing People, Hell & Angels on the same day. People, Hell & Angels, a collection of previously unreleased studio recordings, peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart in March 2013. The album features studio versions of many of the songs featured on Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69.
Over the course of four extraordinary years, Jimi Hendrix placed his indelible stamp upon popular music with breathtaking velocity. Measured alongside his triumphs at Monterey Pop and Woodstock, Hendrix’s legendary Fillmore East concerts illustrated a critical turning point in a radiant career which boasted of indefinite possibilities.
The revolutionary impact Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cox, and Buddy Miles had upon the boundaries and definitions of rock, R&B, and funk can be traced to four concerts over the course of two evenings on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These performances were first celebrated by Band Of Gypsys, which featured six songs from the two January 1, 1970 concerts including “Machine Gun,” the album’s dramatic centerpiece. Issued in April 1970, Band Of Gypsys challenged and surprised the guitarist’s wide following with its extended arrangements and vibrant mix of rock and soul. Nonetheless, the album proved to be a runaway commercial success and sadly, with his death in London in September 1970, would become the last album Jimi Hendrix personally authorized for release.
Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 documents the first of the group’s four legendary Fillmore East concerts. This set presents an assortment of fresh, exciting new songs such as “Earth Blues,” “Ezy Ryder,” “Stepping Stone,” “Burning Desire,” and “Machine Gun”—none of which had ever before been issued on disc. Moreover, nearly all of the group’s material had never been performed before an audience. “We decided that we couldn’t do any songs that had already been released,” explains Billy Cox. “We wanted to give them something different. So we went at the project in a joyous, creative posture and ultimately developed the repertoire of the Band of Gypsys.”
While promoter Bill Graham had advertised the concerts as ‘Jimi Hendrix: A Band Of Gypsys’, few could have anticipated what Hendrix had in store. “We had two shows New Years Eve and two shows New Years Day,” remembered Cox. “We didn’t know what to expect from the audience and the audience didn’t know what to expect from us, but from the time we hit that first note, they were in awe. You had Jimi Hendrix, a drummer who had been with the Electric Flag and Wilson Pickett, and I was the new kid on the block.”
With the anticipation of the sold out Fillmore audience heightened to fever pitch, Hendrix led his trio through a scintillating, seventy-five minute opening performance. None of the eleven songs presented had yet to grace an Experience album. In the place of signature songs like “Purple Haze” and “All Along The Watchtower” were confident renditions of “Power Of Soul” and “Hear My Train A Comin.’”
Jimi generously extended center stage to Buddy Miles, providing a showcase for “Changes” and a charged rendition of the Howard Tate R&B hit “Stop”. “We had rehearsed “Changes” and a few others for Buddy,” explains Cox. “All of the songs we performed had been rehearsed. We didn’t look at it as Buddy’s part of the show. We were all there to give. We were all there to help and material went on whether it was written by Jimi or not. Former Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke, who authored this collection’s liner notes, describes “Stop” as being something akin to “a psychedelic power-trio Temptations.” Hendrix’s scalding version of Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” is the set’s only other cover, underscoring the new band’s emphasis on the blues.
As the Fillmore audience roared with approval, the Band Of Gypsys left the stage confident that they had validated Jimi’s new music before his loyal followers. “After the gigs were finished, Jimi was quite relieved,” remembers Cox. “We felt the concerts went well. I might add that in previous gigs with the Experience he had used a fuzz face [tone control pedal] and a Wah-Wah pedal, then at Woodstock he used a fuzz face, Wah-Wah pedal and Uni-Vibe, but at the Fillmore East he used a fuzz face, Wah-Wah pedal, Uni-Vibe and Octavia and it was incredible. In fact you could hear all of it kicking in on ‘Machine Gun.’ It was incredible. There were people in the audience with their mouths open.”
“Machine Gun” stands as one of Hendrix’s finest and most influential compositions. Hendrix pushed Delta blues into places its pioneers could not have imagined, fusing his extraordinary instrumental skills within his passionate expression of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. “Machine Gun” endures as a classic amongst the already classic-drenched Jimi Hendrix canon. Fricke notes of this version, the first that Hendrix and company had ever played in concert, “..Here it is, after 46 years, another revelation – a stunning essay in pain, rage and determined survival, fully formed in its initial outing.”
Long sought after by the guitarist’s worldwide following, Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 presents the complete performance in its original sequence.
Jimi Hendrix – Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 (release date: September 30)
1) Power Of Soul
2] Lover Man
3) Hear My Train A Comin’
6) Machine Gun
8) Ezy Ryder
9) Bleeding Heart
10) Earth Blues
11) Burning Desire
Electric Church was a belief held by Jimi Hendrix’s knowledge that electric music (such as Jimi’s band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience created) brings out emotions, feelings and ideas in people as well as fosters spiritual maturity. In an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969, Cavett asked Hendrix about the Electric Church. Hendrix replied by saying that he designed his music so that it would be able to go “inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside, because there are so many sleeping people”. I thought it might be interesting to review the three point intersection in the Electric Church shared by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana.
Jimi Hendrix considered “Electric Church” his religion and based his third album Electric Ladyland on that inherent belief.
When asked why he didn’t name his then-new album “Electric Church” instead of “Electric Ladyland”, Jimi said that some ladies were electric too. (then he laughed as if he were embarassed.)
Buddy Miles appeared on two songs on the Hendrix album “Electric Ladyland.” When Hendrix disbanded the Jimi Hendrix Experience and replaced the British musicians with African-Americans, Buddy Miles joined Jimi in the Band of Gypsys along with Billy Cox on bass.
On the last night of the 1960s, a New Year’s Eve show, they recorded Band of Gypsys, an album that included “Them Changes.” This was the epitome of the Electric Church in the most spiritual rock hall at that time, The Fillmore East. If only the walls of that building could talk. Fortunately that concert was preserved on DVD (or YouTube I am guessing…).
The Buddy Miles Express album, Electric Church was partly produced by Jimi Hendrix. It bridged the gap between the late 60s psychedelic rock scene and Miles’ R&B roots. The album Electric Church had a looser, more jam-oriented vibe than the first album, Expressway to Your Skull.
Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana joined their talents to further grow the Electric Church as a live concert setting which became the album for Columbia Records, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live! They recorded this performance in the Diamond Head Crater an inactive volcano in Hawaii. Embed from Getty Images
Lyrics are both powerful and seductive. The lyrics of Jimi Hendrix fashion an in the music of our heart. I recently ran across a new book about Jimi Hendrix’s lyrics, Jimi Hendrix, The Ultimate Lyric Book, compiled by Janie Hendrix. It is a loving, heartfelt tribute from a sister to a brother.
“When I was a child, I was always fascinated by my brother Jimi’s handwriting,” recalled Janie Hendrix, who compiled this collection. “It was an art form in and of itself. I remember the feeling of being captivated the first time I saw his handwritten lyrics, thinking how beautiful, how complicated both the writing and the words were on paper. Even now they offer such an insight into who my brother was and is.”
The blad (book layout and design) of the Europe and UK edition is view-able here on Issuu. Issuu is the future of mobile publishing. They offer a vivid experience for readers! I urge you to subscribe to their Web site and enhance your visual knowledge.
I discovered after the fact that Janie Hendrix was at Bloomingdale’s the other night, signing copies of Jimi Hendrix, The Ultimate Lyric Book. It was a pretty cool event. Bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th Street in New York City held an event with Lyric Culture introducing a Jimi Hendrix clothing line together. Billy Cox (Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys) and Eric Gales played live as a special surprise. I met Billy Cox a couple of years back, he’s a really nice guy.
Lyric Culture has forged a great clothing concept, wearable lyric fashions. Visit their Web site and I bet you’ll find a song/artist item you’ll want to wear. I found several shirts I liked 🙂
- Jimi Hendrix Gets A Clothing Line (noise11.com)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Origin of Heavy Metal (musicofourheart.me)
- Hendrix At 70: “He’s The Ultimate Rock Guitar Player” – Def Leppard (wncx.cbslocal.com)
- JIMI HENDRIX To Be Celebrated At Bloomingdale’s Stores This November (blabbermouth.net)
The Fillmore East established a rich heritage of live rock music with groundbreaking acts and hosting legends in an intimate setting. When Jimi Hendrix decided to premier his new musical group, Band of Gypsys he chose the house that rock built, The Fillmore East as the venue to record the historic New Years Eve concert on December 31, 1969.
It was more than fitting that Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys ushered in the next decade 1970, which proved to be a monumental year for the music industry. Jimi Hendrix had broken the mold of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and was seeking a new live sound and direction for his music. He partnered with ex-Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles (who also appeared on Electric Ladyland) and his old Air Force buddy Billy Cox, on bass.
My personal memories about these concerts are that a late friend of mine, Rudy Graham attended the New Years Show. I’ll never forget bumping into Rudy on New Years Day. He had spent the previous evening and most of the next morning hanging out at a special after party hosted for Jimi Hendrix. Rudy was always in the know for music happenings. He and I ran the concert committee at Norwalk Community College later that year. Rudy was smiling ear to ear. He said to me, “Ed, man you missed a great show at the Fillmore East last night. I caught Jimi Hendrix bringing down the house with his new group, The Band of Gypsys.” I was excited to get first hand information about Jimi Hendrix fresh from the show from Rudy. I’ll never forget talking to Rudy on the street as he wore his Fillmore East green and yellow Fillmore jersey he was given as a present at the party. He was soaring about Hendrix’s guitar playing. All he would say was. Hendrix hit the stratosphere last night into today.” 😉
There is the now famous Band of Gypsys recording available as well as a DVD of The Fillmore East concerts, Band of Gypsys: Live at the Fillmore East which features film shot by a fan in attendance on a hand held movie camera. Find a copy and rent it or better yet own it.
Here are the real set lists of all four shows on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970.
Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (First Fillmore East set)
- “Power of Soul”
- “Lover Man”
- “Hear My Train A-Comin'” ~ +
- “Them Changes” +
- “Izabella” +
- “Machine Gun”
- “Ezy Ryder”
- “Bleeding Heart”
- “Earth Blues”
- “Burning Desire”
Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (Second Fillmore East set)
- “Auld Lang Syne” +
- “Who Knows” +
- “Stepping Stone”
- “Burning Desire”
- “Fire” ^
- “Ezy Ryder”
- “Machine Gun” +
- “Power of Soul”
- “Stone Free/Nutcracker Suite/Drum Solo/Outside Woman Blues/Cherokee Mist/Sunshine Of Your Love” ^
- “Them Changes”
- “Message of Love”
- “Foxy Lady” ^
- “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
- “Purple Haze”
Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Third Fillmore East set)
- “Who Knows” *
- “Machine Gun *
- “Them Changes”
- “Power of Soul” +
- “Stepping Stone” +
- “Foxy Lady” ~
- “Stop” ~ +
- “Hear My Train A-Comin”
- “Earth Blues”
- “Burning Desire” +
Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Fourth Fillmore East set)
- “Stone Free/Little Drummer Boy” +
- “Them Changes” *
- “Power of Soul” *
- “Message of Love” *
- “Earth Blues” +
- “Machine Gun” +
- “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” +
- “We Gotta Live Together” * +
- “Wild Thing” +
- “Hey Joe”
- “Purple Haze”
(I plan to update this blog post with more specifics when my schedule permits later this week….)