- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
:"The Experience" redirects here. For other uses of this term, see
Experience (disambiguation)."Infobox musical artist
Name = The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Background = group_or_band
Alias = The Experience
Psychedelic rock, acid rock, hard rock, blues-rock
Label = Track (UK), Barclay (France), Reprise (USA & Canada),
Polydor(rest of the world), MCA (present day, Int.)
Curtis KnightAnd The Squires, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, Band of Gypsys, Fat Mattress, The Dirty Mac, The Noel Redding Band, Ramatam
Jimi Hendrix(deceased) Noel Redding(deceased) Mitch Mitchell Billy Cox
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were an English/American rock band famous for the guitar work, original songs, outrageous style and performance of its eponymous frontman
Jimi Hendrixon songs such as " Hey Joe", " Purple Haze", " Foxy Lady", "Fire", " Little Wing", " Spanish Castle Magic", " All Along the Watchtower" and " Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". This title was used again in 1970 for the group that replaced Noel Redding with Billy Cox, it is now referred to by fans as the "Cry of Love" band, after the name of the tour they played.
Hendrix arrived in England in September 1966 and, together with his new manager
Chas Chandler, launched auditions to find him a backing band. Noel Reddingwas chosen for the bass spot. Even though he had never played bass before auditioning (he was a guitarist), Hendrix liked his look and attitude. Mitch Mitchellwas a seasoned London drummer formerly with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames who brought Jazz chops and a lead style of playing to the band. He would prove to be Hendrix's most valuable musical partner. The name The Jimi Hendrix Experience was coined by their business manager Mike Jeffery (according to both Noel Redding and Jeffery's assistant Trixie Sullivan), and is ambiguous in that it can be seen as a group name, or just as a description of Jimi Hendrix's performance.
Though initially conceived as Hendrix's backing band, The Experience soon became much more than that. Following the lead of Cream, they were one of the first groups to popularize the "
power trio" format, which essentially strips a rock band lineup down to the essentials: bass, guitar and drums. This smaller format also encourages more extroverted playing from the band members, often at very high volumes. In the case of The Experience, Hendrix mixed lead and rhythm guitar duties into one, while also making use of guitar effects such as feedback and later the wah-wah pedal to an extent that had never been heard before. Mitchell played hard-hitting jazz-influenced grooves that often served a melodic role as much as they did timekeeping. Redding was often seen as the eye of the storm, playing deceptively simple bass lines that helped to anchor the band's sound. Visually, they set the trend in psychedelic clothes and, following the other two's Bob Dylan 1966 style hair-do's, Mitch (briefly) got himself a permed copy (as did most of the London trend-followers, including Eric Clapton). The lineup only came to prominence in the USA after the Monterey Pop Festival, one of the first major rock music festivals. The band delivered a stellar performance, that ended with Hendrix famously setting his psychedelically-painted Fender Stratocasteron fire. The performance was not critically well-received, yet word-of-mouth by fans and attending bands would help Hendrix attain stardom. The only positive reviews in the USA music press were from small circulation papers "The Berkeley Barb" and "Down Beat" (aimed at musicians); most were along the lines of Robert Christgau's for "Esquire" magazine. The Experience's appearance was also filmed for the documentary film " Monterey Pop" which premiered at Lincoln Centerin New York on 26 December 1968 and was only seen by the general public starting in 1969. After the festival they were then asked to go on tour with The Monkeesas the opening act. They left the tour after only a few dates - Chas Chandler later said that it was all a publicity stunt.
With the band, Hendrix recorded his five hit singles "
Hey Joe", " Purple Haze", " The Wind Cries Mary", " Burning of the Midnight Lamp" and " All Along the Watchtower", and his three most successful albums, " Are You Experienced", "", and " Electric Ladyland". By April of 1969, Hendrix had decided to break up the group, and flew his old friend Billy Coxup to New York to begin working with him. Deteriorating relations with Redding had come to a head, and Hendrix also felt his musical development was hampered by the trio format. The original group held together long enough to fulfill their existing engagements, culminating in the Denver Pop Festivalon 29 June where, following the infamous announcement by Hendrix, from the stage: "This is the last gig we'll be playing together", the original Experience was dissolved. Hendrix experimented with a larger band lineup known as Gypsy Sun and Rainbowsfor his Woodstock concert in August 1969, but would revert to the trio format with the Band of Gypsys. But by 1970, Hendrix had disbanded the Band of Gypsys - it has been claimed this was due to the desire of Michael Jeffery (now Jimi's only manager) to reform the original Experience lineup, but as Trixie Sullivan, Jeffery's assistant, testified, Jimi did exactly as he felt musically and Jeffery just handled the business side, as usual. Also, according to Billy Cox, the all-black power trio was mainly a one-off to help Hendrix fulfill an outstanding obligation to Ed Chalpinby recording a one-off live LP. Jeffery called Redding and Mitchell about reforming the Experience. Both agreed to participate in what would seem to be a great money maker of a tour; Mitchell and Redding could use the cash, and the tour would also get Jimi out of the financial problems he was in at the time partly due to the building of Electric Lady Studios. Hendrix was open to have Mitchell rejoin, but reluctant to bring Redding back into the fold.
In early February 1970, it seemed as if the original Experience was reformed after being disbanded following the Denver show the previous June. Manager Michael Jeffery even set up an interview with "Rolling Stone" magazine to announce the reformation of the group. This was published on 19 March 1970 in "Rolling Stone" as "J.H.: The End of a Beginning Maybe" (and was reprinted in "Guitar Player" magazine five years after Hendrix's death). While the interview gave the impression that the old wounds were healed and the future seemingly bright for the Experience, it was far from the truth. Redding was waiting for weeks to hear back about rehearsals for the upcoming tour when he finally spoke with Mitchell's girlfriend only to learn that he had been replaced by
Billy Cox. Before it started Jimi "called this tour The Cry of Love, because that's what it is" in an interview, this is the only mention of that name, prior to the posthumous LP of that name (1971), and the group itself was still referred to in all ads, articles, promos, bookings, introductions etc. as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" or just "Jimi Hendrix". So after a break of nearly ten months (during which he only played six dates) the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" hit the road for one last tour. Hendrix died later that year during a break in the tour, allegedly caused by Billy Cox' breakdown.
The Experience was inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Famein 1992.
Jimi Hendrix- guitar, lead vocals (also occasional bass, keyboards, drums, harpsichord, and recorder)(once)
Noel Redding- bass, backing vocals (also occasional lead vocals, 8 string bass, and rhythm guitar)
Mitch Mitchell- drums, percussion, backing vocals (also occasional lead vocals, and glockenspiel)
Billy Cox- bass, backing vocals, started recording with Hendrix in April 1969 as the replacement for Redding, who left in June.
With Noel Redding
Are You Experienced" (UK: May, 1967; US: August, 1967)- #2 UK, #5 US
*"" (UK: December,
1967; US: January, 1968) - #5 UK, #3 US
Electric Ladyland" (September, 1968) - #5 UK, #1 US
*"BBC Sessions" (
With Billy Cox
First Rays of the New Rising Sun" ( 1997)
The Cry of Love" ( 1971) (most tracks)
Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
Band of Gypsys
Gypsy Sun Experience
Saville Theatre, London, the last UK concert venue of the band before Monterey International Pop Festivalon 4 June, 1967
*Denver Pop Festival
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