Thursday, November 13, 2008

The End of The Experience

Just read Mitch Mitchell died. The drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The powerful force in this trio of unlikely 60's musicians who changed the sound of music. The power that created heavy metal, grunge, and so on. The break-through sound of "controlled" feedback, wah-wah, and a black man not singing soul. Feather boas, bright colors, overpowering noise, with this thin sexy black man swirling and dipping and playing the heck out of an upside down Fender strat.

Saw Hendrix in '67 at the Richmond Mosque. No one knew who this guy was, he was just another band from England and it was rock and roll in Richmond, so we bought tickets.

Loved the front band, Soft Machine. Amazed by their single 15 minute song. Bass, drum, and keyboard played music intertwining, then a sudden stop. They just stood up and walked off the stage to complete silence. Another English trio of experimental music and sound.

Then this trio of two wild haired white guys and a kinda shy black dude quietly announcing themselves. The music began and the crowd was a gas. Amazed.

Imagine the conservative commonwealth of Virginia of the '60's watching a piece of music history taking place before their eyes. "You're a fag" someone in the crowd cried out. "Noel Redding on bass looked back and winked. All the while this amazing dude on guitar created sounds never heard before.

Now I play guitar, but I'd never heard or imagined anything like this. I watched his fingers and tried to figure out the chords. "Hey Joe"! I know that one, but it sure sounded different.

I looked over at my date and she was lost in this sexual atmosphere the experience created. I'd lost her to some guy from another Continent. She would have jumped on stage and had it with this guy if her conservative Virginia background and me had not held her back. I do think it changed her life or a least her opinion of what sexual excitement was. I lost her to this guy that night and forever more.

So good-bye to another one-in-a-life-time-experience.

1 comment:

Rus Wornom said...

This is part of the book -- it has to be! Gives the book a geographical setting, a cultural setting, and the character is affected not only by the music, but what it does to the crowd...and especially his girl.