Wednesday, 23 May 2012

JIMI HENDRIX: the first press reports

Jimi Hendrix arrived in the UK with Chas Chandler at 9:00 am on Saturday, September 24th 1966. He spent the ensuing month dazzling the former Animal's musical contemporaries, as well as joining forces with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell and supporting Johnny Halliday in Paris. He recorded his debut single, Hey Joe, on October 23rd, and on October 29th the great UK music paper Record Mirror published the first ever article about him. Written by Richard Green, it has a dubious tone (Chandler: "he's coloured but he doesn't think like a coloured person"), calls him 'Jim Henrix' and slashes three years off his age - but it also makes it clear how much of a stir he was causing.

As well as continuing to wow London's hipsters, in November Hendrix signed to Track, played some shows in Germany, hung out with the Stones as they recorded Ruby Tuesday at Olympic (and with the Who as they recorded at IBC), and began taping what would become Are You Experienced. On November 25th he spoke to Peter Jones, also of Record Mirror, and the resulting interview - his first - appeared on December 10th. By this time it was obvious that he was destined for major stardom, as the headline made clear:

Hey Joe / Stone Free was released a week later, on December 16th. It got rave reviews in the Christmas editions of the music papers and climbed to #6 in the British charts. As Chandler had predicted to Jones, Hendrix did indeed end the year 'a sensational success'.

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