Hey Joe

Hey Joe

Infobox Single
Name = Hey Joe

Artist = The Jimi Hendrix Experience
B-side = "Stone Free"
Released = Start date|1966|12|16
Format = 7"
Recorded = October 23, 1966 at De Lane Lea Studios in London, England
Genre = Rock, psychedelic rock, blues-rock
Length = 3:30
Label = Polydor
Writer = Billy Roberts
Producer = Chas Chandler
Last single =
This single = "Hey Joe"
Next single = "Purple Haze"

"Hey Joe" is an American popular song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard, and as such has been performed in a multitude of musical styles. Diverse credits and claims have led to confusion as to its authorship and genesis. It tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife. The earliest known commercial recording, and the first hit version, is the late 1965 recording by the Los Angeles garage band, The Leaves, although currently the best-known version is the The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1966 recording, their debut single. The song title is sometimes given as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?" or similar variations. [Loose Ends. [http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/venue/7980/looseends1.htm The Originals of the Covers] . Retrieved on: March 23, 2008]


While claimed by some to be a traditional song, or often erroneously attributed to the pen of American musician Dino Valente (who also went by the names Chester or Chet Powers, and Jesse Farrow), "Hey Joe" was registered for copyright in the US in 1962 by Billy Roberts. [http://www.hey-joe.tk/] Clarifyme|date=March 2008 ] . Roberts is the author, and the song may have been written by him earlier. Scottish folk singer Len Partridge has claimed that he helped write the song with Roberts when they both performed in clubs in Edinburgh in 1956. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/double-take-hey-joe-tim-rose--jimi-hendrix-602790.html Double Take: 'Hey Joe', in "The Independent"] ] Another source (singer Pat Craig), claims [http://www.hey-joe.tk/ hey-joe.tk ] ] that Roberts assigned the rights to the song to his friend Valente while Valente was in jail, in order to give him some income upon release.

Roberts was a relatively obscure California-based folk singer, guitarist and harmonica player who performed on the West Coast coffee-house circuit. He later recorded the country rock album "Thoughts of California" with the band Grits in San Francisco in 1975, produced by Hillel Resner. Resner has stated that a live recording of Roberts performing "Hey Joe" dates from 1961. [ [http://home.casema.nl/janfranzen/readmore2.html] The Tale of Billy Roberts] Roberts possibly drew inspiration for "Hey Joe" from three earlier works: his girlfriend Niela Miller's 1955 song "Baby, Please Don’t Go To Town" [http://home.casema.nl/janfranzen/readmore.html Niela Miller] (which uses a similar chord progression based on the "cycle of fifths"); Carl Smith's 1953 US country hit "Hey Joe!" (written by Boudleaux Bryant), which shared the title and the "question and answer" format; and the early 20th century traditional ballad "Little Sadie", which tells of a man on the run after he has shot his wife.Liner notes to Original Seeds Vol. 2 (2004)Clarifyme|date=March 2008 ] . The lyrics to "Little Sadie" often locate the events in Thomasville, North Carolina, and Jericho, (near Hollywood, South Carolina). Roberts was himself born in South Carolina. Under various titles (including "Bad Lee Brown", "Penitentiary Blues", "Cocaine Blues", "Whiskey Blues") variations of "Little Sadie" have been recorded by many artists, including Clarence Ashley (1930), Johnny Cash (1960 & 1968), Slim Dusty (1961), and Bob Dylan (1970).

Despite extensive archives of US folk and blues music, and studies of the same, in the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and other bodies, no documentary evidence has been provided to support the claim, by the late Tim Rose and others, that "Hey Joe" is a wholly traditional work. (see also the article on "Morning Dew" regarding Rose and song copyrights).

Rights to the song were administered by the music publisher Third Story Music from 1966 into the 2000s, they list the author as Billy Roberts. In recent years the publisher has changed to Third Palm Music. [http://repertoire.bmi.com/title.asp?blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&keyID=562321&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&querytype=WorkID BMI.com] accessed 16 January 2008] .

First recordings

Song infobox
Name = Hey Joe

Artist = Deep Purple
Album = Shades of Deep Purple
Released = July 1968 (US) September 1968 UK)
track_no = 8
Recorded = May 11May 13, 1968 Pye Studios, London
Genre = Psychedelic rock, blues rock, hard rock
Length = 7:33
Label = Parlophone (UK) Tetragrammaton (US)
Writer = Billy Roberts
Producer = Derek Lawrence
prev = "Love Help Me"
prev_no = 7
next = "Shadows"
next_no = 9

Roberts’ song gained many fans in the Los Angeles music scene, which led to fast-paced recordings in 1965 and 1966 by The Leaves, The Surfaris, Love and The Byrds, swiftly becoming a garage rock classic. Both Dino Valente and The Byrds' David Crosby have been reported as helping to popularize the song before it was recorded by The Leaves in December 1965. "Hey Joe" has been recorded by hundreds of artists since.

The Leaves recorded and released three versions of "Hey Joe": the first version was released in November/December 1965; the third version was their hit in May/June 1966 (Billboard #31). The Surfaris version was released in June 1966, but some sources claim it was recorded in September 1965, before The Leaves' first version.

Rose, Hendrix and other recordings

Folk rock singer Tim Rose’s slow version, (recorded in 1966 and claimed to be Rose's arrangement of a wholly traditional song) inspired the first single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix and his manager Chas Chandler had seen Rose performing at the Cafe Wha? in New York City (Hendrix himself had recently played the same venue). Some accounts credit the slower version of the song by the British band The Creation as being the inspiration for Hendrix's version; Chandler and Hendrix had both seen the Creation many times around London, although their version was not released until after Hendrix's. It is unclear if the members of the Creation had heard Rose's version. Released in December 1966, Hendrix's version became a worldwide hit in 1967 and remains the best known recording of the song. The single was released in the United States on May 1, 1967 with the B-side "51st Anniversary". It is #198 on "Rolling Stone's" list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". [ [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs/page/2 Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time] ]

Garage rock band The Music Machine recorded a slow, gothic, fuzz-laden version of the song in late 1966 which bears a strong resemblance to Hendrix's version.

Arthur Lee of Love claimed it was their version that turned Hendrix onto the song as well as most of the other Los Angeles acts (See "Mojo Heroes" - Arthur Lee biography).

According to guitarist Junior Campbell, quoted in the notes of their CD "I See The Rain: The CBS Years", Marmalade recorded the song in 1968 as they needed a B-side to their single "Lovin' Things" in a hurry, and they did their arrangement of "Hey Joe" because they thought it was a traditional song and they would get the royalties. "Jimi Hendrix's version had already sold about 200,000 copies and then we sold about 300,000 on the flip of 'Lovin' Things'. But then the following year, the bloke who'd written the bloody song suddenly turned up out of the woodwork!".

Patti Smith released a cover of the song as the A-side of her first single, "Hey Joe/Piss Factory," in 1974. The arrangement of Smith's version is based on a recording by blues guitarist Roy Buchanan that was released the previous year (and dedicated to Hendrix). Smith's version is unique in that she includes a brief and salacious—some would say tasteless—monologue about fugitive heiress Patty Hearst and her kidnapping and participation with the Symbionese Liberation Army. Smith's version portrays Patty Hearst as Joe with a "gun in her hand."

Tim Rose re-recorded "Hey Joe" in the 1990s, re-titling it "Blue Steel .44" and again falsely claiming it as his own work.

This track was covered by the Les Humphries Singers in 1971.

elected list of recorded versions

Infobox Single
Name = Hey Joe

Artist = Patti Smith
B-side = "Piss Factory"
Released = Start date|1974
Format = Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM
Recorded = Electric Lady Studios,
June 5, 1974
Genre = Protopunk
Length = 5:05
Label = Mer
Writer = Patti Smith, Billy Roberts
Producer = Lenny Kaye
This single = "Hey Joe"
Next single = "Gloria"
"A long list of versions of Hey Joe can be found at [http://www.franzen.tk/ Hey Joe Versions] )"

The following versions of "Hey Joe" made the pop charts in the US or UK:

* The Leaves as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go" (Mira 207, December 1965); re-recorded as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go" (Mira 222, 1966), and then again as "Hey Joe" (Mira 222, May 1966). This last version charted, peaking at #31 in the US.
* The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967) Peaked at UK #6. In 2000, "Total Guitar" magazine ranked it as the 13th greatest cover version of all time. [citation | publication = Total Guitar | date = August 2000 | title = The Best Cover Versions Ever | publisher = Future Publishing]
* Cher (1967) on her album "With Love, Cher". Peaked at US #94.
* Wilson Pickett (Atlantic 2648, July 1969) Peaked at #29 on the US R&B charts, #59 on the US pop charts, and #16 on the UK charts. Featured Duane Allman on guitar.

Other recorded versions of "Hey Joe" include:
* The Surfaris as "Hey Joe, Where Are You Going" (Decca 31954, June 1966)
* Love (1966) on their album "Love"
* The Byrds on their album "Fifth Dimension" (1966) Album chart: US #24, UK #27
* The Standells (1966)
* The Music Machine (1966)
* The Shadows of Knight (1966)
* Warlocks (1966)
* Tim Rose (1966)
* The Cryan' Shames (1966) on their album "Sugar & Spice"
* Gonn (1966 or '67)
* The Hazards (1967) on the compilation CD "Aliens, Psychos and Wild Things, Vol. 2"
* Johnny Hallyday (1967) French lyrics by Gilles Thibault, on the album "Olympia 67"
* [http://www.marto.it/ Martò] (1967) Italian lyrics by Francesco Guccini
* The Golden Cups (1968) Japanese group
* The Creation (1968)
* Marmalade (1968)
* The Mothers of Invention (1968) parodied "Hey Joe" and took a satirical swipe at hippies in their song "Flower Punk" from "We're Only In It For The Money"
* Deep Purple (1968) on their first album, "Shades of Deep Purple". While writing a new instrumental introduction to the song, the album credits mistakenly list "Deep Purple" as the song's author. This happened in the original edition of the album, and current versions have corrected credits.
* Johnny Rivers (1968) on the album "Realization"
* Band Of Joy (1968) demo version with Robert Plant issued in 2003 on the album "Sixty Six to Timbuktu"
* Fever Tree (1970) on "For Sale"
* The Les Humphries Singers (1971) on the album "We'll Fly You to the Promised Land"
* Roy Buchanan (1973)
* Patti Smith (1974) her first music single. This version is only available on the 2004 compilation album "".
* Spirit (1975) on the album "Spirit of '76"
* Alvin Lee (1979) on the album "Ride On"
* "Weird Al" Yankovic (1984) as part of the medley "Polkas on 45" on the album ""Weird Al" Yankovic In 3-D"
* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1986) on the album "Kicking Against the Pricks"
* Seal (1991) on the "Killer" single
* The Offspring (1991 and 1997) on their Baghdad EP and later as a B-side on their single "Gone Away"
* Willy DeVille (1992) on the album "Backstreets of Desire"
* Type O Negative (1992) as "Hey Pete" on the album "The Origin of the Feces"
* Jerry Douglas (1992) on the album "Slide Rule". Vocals by Tim O'Brien
* Buckwheat Zydeco (1992) on the album "On Track"
* Body Count (1993) on the albums "Born Dead" and "
* Eddie Murphy (1993) on the album "Love's Alright"
* Mathilde Santing (1994) as "Hey Joan", where the woman shoots her man
* Lick the Tins (1995) on the album "Blind Man on a Flying Horse"
* O Rappa (1996) Portuguese version on the album "Rappa Mundi". This version changed the original song idea. Here Joe is a poor boy, trying to become powerful by means of drug dealing.
* Fifteen (1996) on the EP "There's No Place Like Home (Good Night)"
* The Make-Up (1999)
* Axel Rudi Pell (1999) on the album "The Ballads II"
* Franco Battiato (2001) on the album "hierro forjado
* Robert Plant (2002) on the album "Dreamland" and also earlier with the Band of Joy in 1967
* Brant Bjork (2004) on his album "Local Angel"
* Gabe Dixon Band (2005) on "Live at World Cafe"
* Cassie Steele (2005) on "How Much For Happy"
* Psychedelic Deja Vu (2006)
* Insted (2008)
* Arklio Galia (2007) Lithuanian version called "Ei, Juozai" on their debut album.
* Guitar Shorty (2006) Guitar Shorty is Jimi Hendrix's brother in law.
* Popa Chubby
* Joe Cocker
* Pete Cornelius and the DeVilles
* Ten Years After
* Suzie Hendrix 1978


* "Hey Joe" was the last song Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock, it was played after the crowd, comprising the 80,000 who hadn't left, cheered for an encore. It was the last song of the festival.
* Sonic Youth's song "Hey Joni" is titled in reference to this song and to Joni Mitchell, but it shares no lyrical themes from Hendrix's version.
* Type O Negative re-titled it "Hey Pete" (in reference to frontman Peter Steele) and changed the song's protagonist to an axe-murderer. This fit the song into a story arc spanning several of the band's own compositions.
* 1,572 guitarists played "Hey Joe" simultaneously in the town square of Wrocław, Poland on May 1 2006, breaking a Guinness record [ [http://cichonski.art.pl/eng/record.htm cichonski.art.pl - Guinness Guitar Record 2006 ] ] 1,881 guitarists played "Hey Joe" in Wrocław on May 1 2007 to break the record again. [ [http://miasta.gazeta.pl/wroclaw/1,35751,3318567.html Pobiliśmy we Wrocławiu gitarowy rekord Guinnessa ] ] 1,951 guitarists played "Hey Joe" in Wrocław on May 1 2008, setting a new Guinness record. [ [http://cichonski.art.pl/eng/record.htm cichonski.art.pl - Guinness Guitar Record 2006 ] ]
* The professional wrestling stable, known as the "b-team" nWo, used audio samples of "Hey Joe" in their entrance music.
* The rock band The Who occasionally performed "Hey Joe" during their 1989 tour. Their version was influenced by Jimi Hendrix's arrangement and was dedicated to him.

In the media

The Hendrix version appears in the following films:
*"Forrest Gump"
*"Easy Rider"
*"Empire Records"
*"Waynes World 2"
*"Death Sentence"

A version sung by Michael Pitt with the band The Twins of Evil features in the film "The Dreamers".

The Deep Purple version appears in "Vietcong" computer game.

"Hey Joe" appears in the "Deep Space Nine" episode "Future Tense".

amples and quotes

* Old school hip-hop artist Schoolly D samples "Hey Joe" for his song "Pussy Ain't Nothin'" from the album "Am I Black Enough for You?".
* The T.I. song "What You Know" uses the same synthesizer line as "Hey Joe".
*Fort Minor's Mike Shinoda sampled the song for his remix of Styles of Beyond's song "Bleach" (simply entitled "Bleach (Jimi Remix)", which was featured on Fort Minor's official "We Major" mixtape.


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