Bands I've Seen Live [Part 1, 2nd ed.]: Jimi Hendrix Experience


Jul 24 2006, 2h50

The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I saw them twice, on Saturday May 18, 1968. The band played two sets at "The 1968 Pop Festival," at Gulfstream Park [a horse-racing place] in Hialeah, Fla., in between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. I was a sixteen-year-old high school junior, my mother had died in September and my father was in the hospital during this time; so, I had a free rein, and took it to the two day festival within hitch-hiking distance from home.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience--consisting of Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding--had only their first album out, the self-titled "The Jimi Hendrix Experience," as I recall; and it was among the three albums that I owned at the time. And, from that album, they played the memorable "Foxy Lady," "Fire," and "Purple Haze."

The band played one set in the day, and one at night. This was eight days after their Filmore East gig, and Jimi did it all! It was The Experience at their finest! Costumes, stoned presence [Jimi: "hey the dude up there with the [spot]lights, either turn 'em on or turn 'em off; I am trying to set your head and I can't see...], and showmanship. He not only played with his teeth and behind his back and squatting with the guitar in a blatant phallic position; he actually stood on the microphone-stand base and pressed the guitar strings against the metal stand and swung it back and forth for an incredible sound.

One discussion of this performance in contained on a website discussing film footage of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention who appeared on the same stage:

I recently saw concert footage from a festival in Miami at a race track in what I think was 68. Along with the Mothers - great shots of Frank, was the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Best damn footage of Hendrix I have ever seen. He's in prime form. The best shot was a slow mo of Jimi humping his guitar during a solo. Pure power in the shot. But to the question, I guess, has there been a legit or bootleg of the Mothers from this show? The woman who owns the footage (her late husband promoted the festival) also has four track tapes of the show. Eddie Kramer engineered Hendrix's set. Not sure who twiddled the nobs for the Mothers.

Update: Not sure what is going to happen to the Mothers film, but I found out the Hendrix people cracked and cut the "proper amount" check. The footage and soundtrack will probably be hitting the stores in a year or perhaps Christmas. It'll be worth the pennies.

Further update: The woman who owns the film is going to approach the ZFT about the footage. Not sure if they'll want the board tape since they've probably already got their own mix - as shown by using a live take of King Kong on Uncle Meat. I've talked to the woman's entertainment lawyer. He said they were approaching the ZFT.

The only correction I would make is that it was probably not slow motion film of Jimi humping the guitar: I remember it being pretty slo mo in real time.

I recently saw Blue Cheer in concert in Tallahassee, FL., at a small venue called The Beta Bar. I went in part because I had also seen Blue Cheer at that festival with Jimi Hendrix; they had played earlier that day on that stage. I chatted with Blue Cheer's bass player and lead singer, Dickie Peterson, about the festival, and he told me that Jimi Hendrix arrived at the show "loaded" and wanted The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown to hurry up and complete their set so his band could take the stage. He told me that this created a problem and that Arthur Brown was so unhappy that he put some kind of smoke bomb on the stage during Jimi's set. I don't remember seeing any smoke bomb, but as I have described in another journal entry, Arthur Brown was crazy; and he had a number of smoking and flaming devices that he used in his act. Since he had just, perhaps unhappily, left the stage, it is certainly believable that he did try to, at least literally, smoke Jimi Hendrix.

If you enjoyed this one, you might like some of my other journals. There are a number of journals about new artists, but I have also written about other live shows I saw as a teenager. Here are links to my journals about seeing The Doors, Cream, Blue Cheer, Uriah Heep, and the truly crazy Crazy World of Arthur Brown.


  • Corongo

    You are a happy man!!

    Jan 2 2008, 18h35
  • Arnoe

    Wow you've seen Hendrix live, that is pretty awesome :P

    Fev 1 2008, 19h00
  • trameffx

    incredible, thanks for sharing

    Fev 4 2008, 16h33
  • rltoombs

    One of the enduring regrets of my life: I saw Jimi live, but I was four years old and can't remember a thing. The Atlanta Pop Festival, July 4, 1970--and all I can remember from the whole event is trying to sleep, outside, in a sleeping bag, while hippies kept stepping on me. That's the stuff that matters when you're four, I guess. There were also the Allman Brothers, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, lots of great bands--and not a thing in memory. Aargh.

    Fev 20 2008, 6h53
  • emergingsynergy

    oh.... and I still have one of these posters

    Out 17 2008, 17h31
  • emergingsynergy

    Here's some information I found today: "Both the afternoon and evening shows featured amazing versions of "Foxy Lady". "Hear My Train A Comin'", "Fire" and "Purple Haze" were also performed. During the evening show Hendrix burned his Stratocastor guitar and afterwards gave it to Frank Zappa. Zappa rebuilt it and played it for years to come, and apparently Dweezil Zappa (Franks's son) plays that guitar to this day." Also, this: a soundboard recording of the first set!

    Out 17 2008, 21h13
  • El_Salvador7

    My god, I'm so jealous... :( I wish I could've seen the experience live too, but Jimi died 20 years before I was even born. You should feel a very blessed man, sir.

    Nov 17 2008, 18h09
  • fburns99

    Wow.You are the envy of all humans who didn`t get to see Hendrix. Very nice Journal and profile Dude!

    Fev 27 2009, 16h06
  • gckDenHaagNL

    :-p ... What can I add to it? ... Wow, man, beautiful ... you describe it nicely ... I was fading away a bit (and am stoned right now too, almost always actually) and really felt like if I was there too and saw and heard that moment when Hendrix got that incredible "fully scream power cry" sound out of his guitar whilst swinging it forth and back against the metal of the microphone-stand ...hearing the final notes fade away, looking back on 'what' I've just heard, what I've experienced...the sounds, the music, the message, everything, wow ..., suddenly [eyes opened] realising I'm just staring at my computer screen ... ... Peace, Love & Happiness ... ... \\//

    Mar 20 2009, 2h46
  • RG0


    Mai 13 2010, 20h51
  • deathsthread

    So envious

    Fev 6 2012, 23h14
  • emergingsynergy

    New DVD coming out with both of these sets!

    Set 7 2013, 13h07
  • emergingsynergy

    Check out his moves on this trailer for the documentary film about this gig...

    Set 12 2013, 21h42
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