The Electric Church High Priests – Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana

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

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.

Copyright 1968 Eddie Kramer

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…).

Buddy Miles

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. 

Carlos Santana

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

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Jimi Hendrix – The Ultimate Lyric Book and Fashion

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.

Cover Image

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, Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys
Image by basspunk via Flickr

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)

  1. “Power of Soul”
  2. “Lover Man”
  3. “Hear My Train A-Comin'” ~ +
  4. “Them Changes” +
  5. “Izabella” +
  6. “Machine Gun”
  7. “Stop”
  8. “Ezy Ryder”
  9. “Bleeding Heart”
  10. “Earth Blues”
  11. “Burning Desire”

Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (Second Fillmore East set)

  1. “Auld Lang Syne” +
  2. “Who Knows” +
  3. “Stepping Stone”
  4. “Burning Desire”
  5. “Fire” ^
  6. “Ezy Ryder”
  7. “Machine Gun” +
  8. “Power of Soul”
  9. “Stone Free/Nutcracker Suite/Drum Solo/Outside Woman Blues/Cherokee Mist/Sunshine Of Your Love” ^
  10. “Them Changes”
  11. “Message of Love”
  12. “Stop”
  13. “Foxy Lady” ^
  14. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
  15. “Purple Haze”

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Third Fillmore East set)

  1. “Who Knows” *
  2. “Machine Gun *
  3. “Them Changes”
  4. “Power of Soul” +
  5. “Stepping Stone” +
  6. “Foxy Lady” ~
  7. “Stop” ~ +
  8. “Hear My Train A-Comin”
  9. “Earth Blues”
  10. “Burning Desire” +

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Fourth Fillmore East set)

  1. “Stone Free/Little Drummer Boy” +
  2. “Them Changes” *
  3. “Power of Soul” *
  4. “Message of Love” *
  5. “Earth Blues” +
  6. “Machine Gun” +
  7. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” +
  8. “We Gotta Live Together” * +
  9. “Wild Thing” +
  10. “Hey Joe”
  11. “Purple Haze”

(I plan to update this blog post with more specifics when my schedule permits later this week….)