Are You Experienced?
Main article: Are You Experienced
The first Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Are You Experienced, was released in the UK on May 12, 1967. It contained no previous UK singles or any B sides ("Hey Joe/Stone Free," "Purple Haze/51st Anniversary" and "The Wind Cries Mary/Highway Chile"). Only The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band prevented Are You Experienced from reaching No. 1 on the UK charts.
At this time, the Experience extensively toured the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. This allowed Hendrix to develop his stage presence, which reached a high point on March 31, 1967, when he set his guitar on fire. Later, after causing damage to amplifiers and other stage equipment at his shows, Rank Theatre management warned him to "tone down" his stage act. On June 4, 1967, the Experience played their last show in England, at London's Saville Theatre, before heading off to America. The Sgt. Pepper's album had just been released days prior, and two Beatles (Paul McCartney and George Harrison) were in attendance at the show, along with a roll call of other UK rock stardom: Brian Epstein, Eric Clapton, Spencer Davis, Jack Bruce, and pop singer Lulu. In a courageous and brilliant display, Jimi chose to open the show with his own rendition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", crafted minutes before taking the stage.
Months later, Reprise Records released the US version of Are You Experienced, removing "Red House," "Remember" and "Can You See Me" to make room for the first three UK single A-sides. Where the UK album kicked off with "Foxy Lady," the American one started with "Purple Haze". The UK and US versions both offered a startling introduction to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the album was a blueprint for what had become possible on the electric guitar.
The June 1987 cover of Rolling Stone magazine immortalizes Hendrix's iconic burning of his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival twenty years prior.Although quite popular in Europe at this time, the Experience had yet to crack America. Their chance came when Paul McCartney recommended the group to the organizers of the Monterey International Pop Festival. This proved to be a great opportunity for Hendrix, not only because of the large audience present at the event, but also because the performances were filmed by D. A. Pennebaker and later shown in movie theaters throughout the country as the concert documentary Monterey Pop, which immortalized Hendrix's iconic burning and smashing of his guitar at the finale of his performance.
Following the festival, the Experience played a short-lived gig as the opening act for pop group The Monkees on their first American tour. The Monkees asked for Hendrix because they were fans, but their mostly teenage audience did not warm to his outlandish stage act and he abruptly quit the tour after a few dates. Chas Chandler later admitted that being "thrown" from The Monkees tour was engineered to gain maximum media impact and publicity for Hendrix. At the time, a story circulated claiming that Hendrix was removed from the tour because of complaints made by the Daughters of the American Revolution that his stage conduct was "lewd and indecent". Australian journalist Lillian Roxon, accompanying the tour, concocted the story. The claim was repeated in Roxon's 1969 Rock Encyclopedia but she later admitted it was fabricated.
Meanwhile in England, Hendrix's wild-man image and musical gimmickry (such as playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back) continued to bring publicity, but Hendrix was already advancing musically and becoming frustrated by media and audience concentration on his stage tricks and hit singles.
Axis: Bold as Love
Hendrix is depicted as two Vedic deities, with the multiple hands of Durga and with his bandmates as avatars of VishnuThe Jimi Hendrix Experience's second 1967 album, Axis: Bold as Love continued the style established by Are You Experienced, but showcased a profound sense of melody along with his well-known technical virtuosity with tracks such as "Little Wing" and "If 6 Was 9". The opening track "EXP" featured a stereo effect in which a ruckus of sound emanating from Jimi's guitar appeared to revolve around the listener, fading out into the distance from the right channel, then returning in on the left. It should also be noted that this album marked the first time Jimi recorded the whole album with his guitar tuned down one half-tone, to Eb, which he used exclusively thereafter.
A mishap almost prevented the album's release: Hendrix lost the master tape of side 1 of the LP, leaving it in the back seat of a London taxi. Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer tried re-mixing it, but couldn't match the lost mix. It was only saved by the discovery that bassist Noel Redding had a copy on tape, which had to be ironed flat as his machine had chewed it up. With the release deadline looming, Hendrix, Chandler, and engineer Eddie Kramer remixed the missing side from the multitracks in an all-night session. Kramer and Hendrix later admitted that they were never entirely happy with the results.
Hendrix was also somewhat disappointed with the album's cover art. Although he appreciated the symbolic design, he had requested cover art that showcased his "Indian" heritage. The British art designers who created the cover assumed that he meant India the South Asian country, not the Native American race, and thus created cover art that depicts Hendrix and his Experience bandmates as the Vedic deities Durga and Vishnu.
Upon the album's release, the Jimi Hendrix Experience continued to pursue an extremely demanding touring schedule, which involved performing in front of ever-larger audiences. This, combined with the influence of drugs, alcohol and fatigue, led to a trouble-plagued tour of Scandinavia that culminated with the arrest of Hendrix in Stockholm after trashing his hotel room in a drunken rage.
Hendrix's third recording, a double album, Electric Ladyland (1968), was a departure from their previous efforts. As the album's recording progressed, Chas Chandler became so frustrated with Hendrix's perfectionism and with various friends and hangers-on milling about the studio that he decided to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Chandler's professional and musical education was very business-oriented, and it taught him that songs should be recorded in a matter of hours, and written with a view to releasing them as singles. His influence over the Experience's first two albums is clear in light of the facts that very few of the tracks are more than four minutes long, that both albums were recorded in short times, and that most of the songs on both albums conformed to the structure of a typical pop song. However, as Hendrix began developing his own vision and started to assert more control over the artistic process in the studio, Chandler decided to move to other opportunities and ceded overall control to Hendrix. Chandler's departure had a clear impact on the artistic direction that the recording took.
Electric Ladyland (U.S. version)Hendrix began experimenting with different combinations of musicians and instruments, and modern electronic effects. For example, Dave Mason, Chris Wood, and Steve Winwood from the band Traffic, drummer Buddy Miles and former Dylan organist Al Kooper, among others, were all involved in the recording sessions. This was one of the other reasons that Chandler cited as precipitating his departure. He described how Hendrix went from a disciplined recording regimen to an erratic schedule, which often saw him beginning recording sessions in the middle of the night and with any number of hangers-on.
Chandler also expressed exasperation at the number of times Hendrix would insist on re-recording particular tracks--the song "Gypsy Eyes" was reportedly recorded 43 times. This was also frustrating for bassist Noel Redding, who would often leave the studio to calm himself, only to return and find that Hendrix had recorded the bass parts himself during Redding's absence. The effects of these events can clearly be identified in the album's musical style. On a purely superficial level, the tracks no longer conformed to the standard pop song format, often lacked easily identifiable patterns or sections, and would sometimes lack even a recognizable melody. More particularly, however, the themes that the songs addressed, and the music that Hendrix set out to record, went far beyond anything that he had attempted to achieve before.
Electric Ladyland includes a number of compositions and arrangements for which Hendrix is still remembered. These include "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" as well as Hendrix's rendition of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower". Hendrix's version was a complete departure from the original, and includes one of the most highly praised guitar arrangements in modern music. It was around this time that Hendrix lived with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham at her Brook Street home, now the Handel House Museum, in the West End of London.
Throughout the four years of his fame, Hendrix often appeared in impromptu jams with various musicians. A recording exists of Hendrix playing in March 1968 at Steve Paul's Scene Club, with blues guitarist Johnny Winter followed by Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles, in which Jim Morrison grabbed an open microphone and contributed a growling, obscenity-laced vocal accompaniment. The band continued to play behind him, and Hendrix can be heard on the tape announcing Morrison's presence and offering him a better microphone. The recording, circulated among Hendrix and Doors collectors, is titled Morrison's Lament. Albums of the recording were sold under various titles (originally Sky High, then Woke Up this Morning), some falsely claiming the presence of Johnny Winter's band.
Breakup of Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at London's Royal Albert Hall February 18 and February 24, 1969, two sold-out concerts which became the last British appearance of the band. A Gold and Goldstein-produced film titled "Experience" was also recorded at these two shows, but remains to this day unreleased.
Noel Redding felt increasingly frustrated by the fact that he was not playing his original and favored instrument, the guitar. In 1968, he decided to form his own band "Fat Mattress", which would sometimes open for the Experience--Hendrix would jokingly refer to them as "Thin Pillow". Redding and Hendrix would begin seeing less and less of each other, which also had an effect in the studio, with Hendrix playing many of the basslines on Electric Ladyland.
Redding was also increasingly uncomfortable with the hysteria surrounding Hendrix's performances. The last Experience concert took place on June 29, 1969 at Barry Fey's Denver Pop Festival, a three-day event held at Denver's Mile High Stadium that was marked by rioting and tear gas. The three bandmates were smuggled out of the venue in the back of a rental truck which was crushed by a mob of fans. The next day, Noel Redding announced that he had quit the Experience.
Throughout 1969, Hendrix also experienced a number of legal difficulties. First, a contractual dispute arose in relation to an unfavorable agreement Hendrix had entered into with producer Ed Chalpin long before he became successful. The dispute was resolved when the parties agreed that Hendrix would record an album specifically for Chalpin which would be released under his auspices. This was the genesis of the live album entitled Band of Gypsys. Then on May 3, 1969, Hendrix was arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport after heroin and hashish were found in his luggage. Hendrix argued in his trial defense that the drugs were slipped into his bag by a fan without his knowledge, and he was acquitted.
Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
After the departure of Noel Redding from the group, Hendrix moved into a rented eight-bedroom mansion near the town of Shokan in upstate New York for the duration of the summer of 1969. Manager Michael Jeffery arranged the stay, with hopes that the respite would produce a new album. To replace Redding as bassist, Hendrix immediately tracked down Billy Cox, his old and trusted Army buddy. The trio of Hendrix, Cox, and Mitch Mitchell fulfilled his last commitment at the time, which was an appearance on The Tonight Show. In an effort to expand his sound beyond the power trio format, Hendrix then added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee (another old friend from his R&B days), and percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez.
He dubbed the new band Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, although this was never formally announced by management. The cohesion of the group in the relaxed, country atmosphere of the Shokan house inspired fresh material like "Jam Back at the House", "Shokan Sunrise", "Villanova Junction", and the funk driven centerpieces of Hendrix's post-Experience sound: "Message to Love" and "Izabella".
Hendrix playing The Star-Spangled Banner, 1969Hendrix's popularity eventually saw him headline the Woodstock music festival on August 18, 1969. Although a number of the world's most talented and popular musicians were invited to the festival, including The Who, Santana, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix was considered to be the festival's main attraction. The band's $18,000 stipend was the highest of all Woodstock performers, and the group was given the top-billing position, scheduled to perform last on Sunday night.
Due to enormous delays caused by bad weather and other logistical problems, Hendrix did not appear on stage until Monday morning, by which time the audience, which had peaked at over 500,000 people, had been reduced to, at most, 180,000, many of whom merely waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving. The band was introduced at the festival as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Hendrix quickly corrected this to Gypsy Sun and Rainbows and launched into a two hour set (the longest of his career) that was plagued with technical difficulties. Besides suffering microphone level and guitar tuning problems, it was also apparent that Jimi's new, much larger band had not rehearsed enough, and at times simply could not keep up with him. Despite this, Hendrix managed to deliver a historic performance, which featured his highly-regarded rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a solo improvisation which became a defining moment of the 1960s.
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A sample of "The Star Spangled Banner" performed by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969
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The controversial nature of Hendrix's style is epitomized in the sentiments expressed about his renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner", a tune he played loudly and sharply accompanied by simulated sounds of war (machine guns, bombs and screams) from his guitar. His impressionistic renditions have been described by some as anti-American mockery and by others a generation's statement on the unrest in U.S. society, oddly symbolic of the beauty, spontaneity, and tragedy endemic to Hendrix's life.
Hendrix claimed that he did not intend for his performance of the national anthem to be a political statement, that he simply intended it as a different interpretation of the anthem. When taken to task on the Dick Cavett Show regarding the "unorthodox" nature of his performance of the song at Woodstock, Hendrix replied, "I thought it was beautiful," which was greeted with applause from the audience. His later-career live favorite "Machine Gun" however, was clearly a protest song against war.
Woodstock was not the first time Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner in concert. It was in fact a setlist staple from fall 1968 through the summer of 1970, and studio recordings of the song exist as well.
In September, 1969, Hendrix was apparently kidnapped and held for two days in New York City by two men who appeared to be New York mobsters. The standoff ended when associates of manager Michael Jeffery appeared and peacefully regained custody of Hendrix. No police or media reports of the incident exist, but Hendrix himself retold the story often when confiding with friends or associates about his management problems. He believed that Jeffery staged the kidnapping to bolster his role as manager or as a threat of some kind. The incident had occurred at a time when Hendrix was at odds with Jeffery over the direction of his career, and his recollection was influenced by his drug induced paranoia.
Band of Gypsys
Band of Gypsys (1970)The Gypsy Sun and Rainbows band was short-lived; after two post-Woodstock shows, some studio time, and an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Hendrix disbanded the group, but retained bassist Billy Cox. After attending to the successful defense of his drug possession charges in Toronto, Hendrix added drummer Buddy Miles and formed a new trio: the Band of Gypsys. Rehearsing for ten days at Juggy's sound studio, the group gelled quickly and produced a surprising amount of original material, including the lively "Earth Blues", which featured The Ronettes on background vocals. Four memorable concerts on New Year's Eve 1969-70 at Bill Graham's Fillmore East in New York captured several outstanding pieces, including one of Hendrix's greatest live performances: an explosive 12-minute rendition of his anti-war epic Machine Gun. The release of the Band of Gypsys album--the only official live recording sanctioned by Jimi--brought to an end the contract and legal battles with Ed Chalpin.
The second and final Band of Gypsys appearance occurred one month later (January 28, 1970) at a twelve-act show in Madison Square Garden dubbed the Winter Festival for Peace. Similar to Woodstock, set delays forced Hendrix to take the stage at an inopportune 3am, only this time he was obviously high on drugs and in no shape to play. He belted out a dismal rendition of "Who Knows" before snapping a vulgar response at a woman who shouted a request for "Foxy Lady". He lasted halfway through a second song, then simply stopped playing, telling the audience: "That's what happens when earth fucks with space--never forget that". He then sat quietly on the stage until staffers escorted him away. Various explanations have been offered to explain this bizarre scene--Buddy Miles claimed that manager Michael Jeffery dosed Hendrix with LSD in an effort to sabotage the current band and bring about the return of the Experience lineup; blues legend Johnny Winter said it was Hendrix's girlfriend Devon Wilson who spiked his drink with drugs for unknown reasons.
Cry of Love band
Jeffery's reaction to the botched Band of Gypsys show was swift and firm; he immediately fired Buddy Miles and Billy Cox, then rushed Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding over from England to begin press for the upcoming tour dates as a reunited Jimi Hendrix Experience. Before the tour began however, Jimi fired Redding from the band and reinstated Billy Cox. Fans refer to this final Hendrix/Cox/Mitchell lineup as the Cry of Love band, named after the tour.
Most of 1970 was spent recording during the week and playing live on the weekends. The "Cry of Love" tour, begun in April at the LA Forum, was structured to accommodate this pattern. Performances on this tour were occasionally uneven in sound quality, but featured Hendrix, Cox, and Mitchell playing new material alongside extended versions of older recordings. The tour included 30 performances and ended at Honolulu, Hawaii on August 1, 1970. A number of these shows were professionally recorded and produced some of Hendrix's most memorable live performances.
Electric Lady Studios
In August, 1970, Electric Lady Studios was opened in New York. In 1968, Hendrix and Jeffery had invested jointly in the purchase of the Generation Club in Greenwich Village. Their initial plans to reopen the club were scrapped when the pair decided that the investment would serve them much better as a recording studio. The studio fees for the lengthy Electric Ladyland sessions were astronomical, and Jimi was constantly in search of a recording environment that suited him.
Designed by architect and acoustician John Storyk, the studio was made specifically for Hendrix, with round windows and a machine capable of generating ambient lighting in a myriad of colors. It was designed to have a relaxing feel to encourage Jimi's creativity, but at the same time provide a professional recording atmosphere. Engineer Eddie Kramer upheld this by refusing to allow any drug use during session work.
Hendrix spent only four weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still ongoing. An opening party was held on August 26, This party followed a recording/dubbing session that generated his last studio recorded song, Belly Button Window . He then boarded an Air India flight for London (with Billy Cox in tow), joining Mitch Mitchell to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival.
The group then commenced on a tour of Europe designed to earn money to repay the studio loans, temper Jimi's mounting back taxes and legal fees, and fund the production of his next album, tentatively titled First Rays of The New Rising Sun. Longing for his new studio and creative outlets, the tour was a requirement by Jeffery that the already restless Hendrix was not eager to perform. Audience demands for the older hits and stage trickery that he had long tired of performing only served to worsen his mood. In Aarhus, Hendrix abandoned his show after only two songs, remarking: "I've been dead a long time".
On September 6, 1970, his final concert performance, Hendrix was greeted with some booing and jeering by fans at the Isle of Fehmarn Festival in Germany in a riot-like atmosphere reminiscent of the failed Altamont Festival. Shortly after he left the stage, it went up in flames during the first stage appearance of Ton Steine Scherben. Billy Cox quit the tour and headed home to Memphis, Tennessee, after reportedly being dosed with PCP.
Hendrix retreated to London, where he reached out to Chas Chandler, Eric Burdon, and other friends in a renewed attempt to divorce himself from manager Michael Jeffery. He caught up with Linda Keith, an old flame he still admired, and gave her a brand new black Fender Stratocaster as a token of his appreciation for her discovery efforts years earlier. Included in the guitar case was a stack of letters--all of their mutually written correspondence. Jimi's last public performance was an informal jam at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho with Burdon and his latest band, War.
One of Hendrix's last known recordings was the lead guitar part on Old Times Good Times from Stephen Stills' eponymous album (1970), a track recorded at London's Island Studios.
In the early morning hours of September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was found dead in the basement flat of the Samarkand Hotel at 22 Lansdowne Crescent in London. Hendrix died amid circumstances which have never been fully explained. He had spent the night with his German girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, and likely died in bed after drinking wine and taking nine Vesperax sleeping pills, then asphyxiating on his own vomit. For years, Dannemann publicly claimed that Hendrix was alive when placed in the back of the ambulance; however, her comments about that morning were often contradictory and confused, varying from interview to interview. Police and ambulance reports reveal that not only was Hendrix dead when they arrived on the scene, but he had been dead for some time, the apartment's front door was wide open, and the apartment itself empty. Following a libel case brought in 1996 by Hendrix's long-term British girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, Monika Dannemann allegedly took her own life.
Some reports indicated that the paramedics who escorted Jimi out of the apartment did not support his head and that he was still alive. According to this version of events, he choked on his own vomit and died during the trip to the hospital, because his head and his neck were not supported.
A sad poem written by Hendrix that was found in the apartment has led some to believe that he committed suicide. More speculative is the belief that Hendrix was murdered--forcibly given the sleeping pills and wine, then asphyxiated with a scarf by professionals hired by manager Michael Jeffery. The most popular theory, however, is that he simply misjudged the potency of the sleeping pills, and asphyxiated in his sleep due to an inability to regain consciousness when he vomited.
Reports that Hendrix's tapes of the concept album Black Gold had been stolen from the London flat are in fact wrong: the tapes were handed to Mitch Mitchell by Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival three weeks prior to his death. Hendrix's Greenwich Village apartment, however, was indeed plundered by an unknown series of vandals who stole numerous personal items, tapes, and countless pages of lyrics and poems, some of which have resurfaced in the hands of collectors or at auctions.
The original gravestone of Jimi Hendrix, incorporated into the granite base of his memorial where a large brass statue will someday be installed.Although Hendrix had verbally requested to be buried in England, his body was returned to Seattle and he was interred in Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, Washington. Al Hendrix created a five-plot family burial site to include himself, his second wife Akayo June, his adopted daughter Janie, and son Leon. The headstone for Jimi contains a drawing of a Stratocaster guitar, though it is depicted as the instrument of a traditional right-handed player. (Hendrix played the instrument left-handed.)
As the popularity of Hendrix and his music grew over the decades following his death, concerns began to mount over fans damaging the adjoining graves at Greenwood, and the growing extended Hendrix family further prompted Al to create an expanded memorial site separate from other burial sites in the park. The memorial was announced in late 1999, but Al's deteriorating health led to delays. He passed away two months before its scheduled completion in 2002. Later that year, the remains of Jimi Hendrix, his father Al Hendrix, and grandmother Nora Rose Moore Hendrix were moved to the new site.
The memorial gravesite of Jimi Hendrix in Renton, Washington.The memorial is an impressive granite dome supported by three pillars under which Jimi Hendrix is interred. Jimi's autograph is inscribed at the base of each pillar, while two stepped entrances and one ramped entrance provide access to the dome's center where the original Stratocaster adorned headstone has been incorporated into a statue pedestal. A granite sundial complete with brass gnomon adjoins the dome, along with over 50 family plots that surround the central structure, half of which are currently adorned with raised granite headstones.
To date, the memorial remains incomplete: brass accents for the dome and a large brass statue of Hendrix were announced as being under construction in Italy, but since 2002, no information as to the status of the project has been revealed to the public. In addition, a memorial statue of Jimi playing a Stratocaster stands near the corner of Broadway and Pine Street in Seattle.
In May 2006 Seattle honored the music, artistry and legacy of Jimi Hendrix with the naming of a new park near Seattle's historic Colman School in the heart of the Central District.
The unique use of color and accessories that defined Jimi's fashion sense can be seen in this multiple exposure image that adorns the cover of Smash Hits, the only Hendrix compilation album released before his death.Hendrix was well known for his unique sense of fashion, and strived to perfect his hairstyle and wardrobe almost to the point of obsession. A set of hair curlers was one of the few possessions that travelled with him to England upon his discovery in 1966. When his first advance check arrived, Hendrix immediately took to the streets of London in search of clothing at obscure fashion haunts like I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet, where he purchased an ages old British military jacket adorned with tasseled ropes. A traffic warden once ordered him to remove the jacket, citing it as an offense to the Queen.
Many photographs of Hendrix show him wearing various rings, medallions, and brooches, and Hendrix often peppered his attire with pins that professed his support for the hippie movement or his fascination with folk singer Bob Dylan. His only vacation, a two week trip to Morocco with friends Colette Mimram and Deering Howe, deeply affected his sense of art and style, and upon his return Hendrix filled his Greenwich Village apartment with Moroccan art and decor. Mimram and Stella Douglas, the wife of producer Alan Douglas, created some of Hendrix's most memorable attire: a Bowler style derby adorned with either an angled feather or a set of silver bangles, a Trilby hat crowned with a purple scarf and adorned with various brooches, the blue dashikis he wore on the Dick Cavett Show, and the blue on white fringed jacket that he wore at Woodstock.
Politics and racism
Even after achieving worldwide success as a musician, Hendrix could not avoid experiences of racism, which was omnipresent whenever he returned to the Southern United States. While on tour with the Experience in the South, Hendrix would often wait in the car or bus during highway restaurant stops, sending Mitch Mitchell or a roadie in to purchase food for the group. His eccentric wardrobe and white friends compounded the offense that some Southern whites took from his mere presence. At one of his shows in the deep South, police officers hired for concert security drew their guns on Hendrix when he walked into the venue arm-in-arm with a tall blond woman. Before the show began, the entire security force walked off the job in protest.
Jimi was also shunned by much of the black community for playing "white music" and for having white musicians in his band. Weeks after Woodstock, his performance at a Harlem block party became a harrowing experience. Within seconds of arriving at the site, his guitar was stolen from the back seat of his car by two Harlem thugs. When he appeared stageside to watch the early acts with his girlfriend Carmen Borrero (a Puerto-Rican model), the crowd verbally harassed the pair. When he appeared on stage, he was bottled, and had eggs thrown at him from the crowd. After the show, drummer Mitch Mitchell and roadie Eric Barrett were physically assaulted while dismantling their set.
Hendrix was also constantly harassed by various civil rights oriented activist and extremist groups who wished to use his fame to further their own message or cause. The Black Panthers even went as far as posting signs for his appearance at a benefit concert that Hendrix never even knew existed. Jimi tried to handle these experiences in stride and with as much finesse as he could muster, but this usually meant pandering to whatever was pulling at him at any given time. He would speak in a "jive" tone with his black friends, but in the company of whites, his speech and mannerisms would seem more like those of a British sophisticate.
It has been equally difficult for biographers to discern Hendrix's political views because his opinions on social and political topics varied in step with the company that he kept. To a crowd of hippies, Hendrix would speak about social change and against the Vietnam War; in Europe, however, he would rant in disgust to his British friends about witnessing anti-war protesters riot in Paris.