6 APRIL • THURSDAY

Transmission on BBC1 TV of 'Top Of The Pops' with the JHE doing "Purple Haze" (see 30 March diary listing for details).

Glasgow, "Odeon", Renfield Street, Scotland - Concert (two shows - 18:40 and 21:00).
Interview with Jimi by Donald Bruce at the venue (published in the Daily Record, 7 April).

Derek McAdam: "...kind of a story that certain people in Glasgow believe to be true... Jimi seemingly alone, walked from Glasgow Central Station to the gig with his guitar in his hand. This is about 200 yards to walk. He may have done but it seems a bit strange..."

The 'package' tour consisted of: The Walker Brothers, JHE, Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Californians, The Quotations [backing band for The Walker Brothers]; MC Nick Jones.


06-04-AD283

glasgow

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The year Hendrix came to Glasgow, twice
by John Neil Munro

IT’S late on the evening of Tuesday, 5 December 1967 and the greatest rock guitarist on the planet has just ambled onto the stage of the Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow.
Cue bedlam…
For a couple of minutes the roars of 3500 fans welcome the Jimi Hendrix Experience to the city. But up on stage, Jimi is taking his time, tuning his guitar.
Gradually the crowd quieten and an air of anticipation fills the hall.
Almost half a century on, Eddie Tobin, the former manager of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB), can still remember clearly what happened next.

“Hendrix actually opened the set with feedback. There was a young Glasgow girl in the crowd shouting ‘Jimi! Jimi! Jimi!’ over and over again while this went on. Hendrix was facing his Marshall amp. He walked backwards towards his mike and spoke sideways into it.
“He said ‘I hear you baby’ and launched into ‘Purple Haze’. The crowd just went crazy.
“The way he said it blew me away. I just thought to myself, ‘this guy is the king of the castle!’”
JIMI Hendrix visited Glasgow twice in 1967 – once on either side of the fabled Summer of Love. Still relatively unknown, the Experience played at the Odeon Cinema on Renfield Street on April 6. They were low-down on a strange brew of a bill, below Engelbert Humperdinck, Cat Stevens and headliners The Walker Brothers. There were two ‘houses’ featuring the same acts on the same evening – the first at 6.40pm and the second at 9pm. Hendrix was only on stage for around 20 minutes. He would later complain that “Our billing position was all wrong. I was setting the stage on fire for everyone else.”
On the day of the Odeon concert, the Daily Express reported that the “American coloured singer…has been warned to clean up his act or be banned from the Rank Organisation theatres.” Management at previous concerts on the tour had considered that Hendrix’s act was too “vulgar.” A defiant Jimi and his manager – former Animals bassist Chas Chandler - said they had no intentions of toning down the act. So, audiences at both the 1967 shows in Glasgow saw the full array of his guitar wizardry and showmanship – including playing guitar with his teeth and setting the instrument on fire.

After that first UK tour, Hendrix did more dates in Europe and America, including a fantastic set at the Monterey Festival. That summer also saw the release of the band’s ground-breaking first album Are You Experienced? So, by the time of the winter tour, Jimi and crew were the hottest band around and needed police protection from screaming fans to get from their Rolls-Royce to the stage door. It was the first – and last – “psychedelic package tour” – seven groups had to fit into two hours and then do it all again for a second ‘house’. Even though he was topping the bill, Hendrix still only had about 30 minutes on stage.
As Eddie Tobin recalls, tickets went fast for the shows. “Glasgow really bought into the whole Summer of Love thing. People were actually walking around wearing flowers in their hair. It was just a wonderful time to be a music fan. The Beatles were at the very peak of their creativity and all these great acts were touring.
“If you were a musician you had to go and see Hendrix. He was the most exciting new act in the business. We had seen all the others; many of them were bloody good acts but Hendrix was different. We had caught glimpses of him on the telly and we knew he was going to be sensational.”

Alongside the cognoscenti of the Glasgow music scene, there were also plenty of younger fans at the gig. Jimi, after all, was a star of Top of the Pops, having already had top thirty hits like Hey Joe and Purple Haze.
Eddie recalls: “There was an awful lot of the audience who just screamed because they thought he was sexy. He had a huge following amongst the girls and, back then, they made their presence felt at concerts.
“Hendrix had a real visual presence. He had the stance of a superstar. He had the hat, the height, and the clothes. He was a star even before he put his guitar on. Then he started playing…comparing him to other guitar players back then is like comparing Real Madrid to Alloa Athletic. We were watching him and we just couldn’t believe he was at that level.”
Back in 1967, Eddie, was 21 and already involved in the music business, managing the Bo Weavles, a popular band on the thriving Glasgow music scene. The entire band sat with Eddie up in the balcony of Green’s, in the luxurious ‘Golden Divan’ seats.
Dave Batchelor, who played keyboards for the Bo Weavles and who would go on to become a renowned producer for the SAHB and many other bands, says that: “The sound the Experience made pinned back your ears, but it was also actually quite a sweet sound. There was a richness to it. Same with his voice.
“And the other musicians – Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding – weren’t bashers. Hendrix’s imprint was just so powerful and broad. It was something new. What a noise they made! You would think to yourself ‘wait a minute, did he just play that, did he really do that?’”

Also at the gig was fellow Bo Weavle Zal Cleminson who would go on to become a great guitarist in his own right with bands like SAHB and Nazareth. Zal says that seeing Jimi convinced him that he had made the right choice in taking up guitar. “So you might say I found it inspirational; like many I too found Hendrix irresistible as a guitarist and a performer. He is one of my all-time heroes.” Another Glasgow musician, Tom Hoy, who would later play with the band Magna Carta recalls, “During Wild Thing Hendrix set his white Stratocaster on fire with a very phallic looking device, sort of a thing for filling cigarette lighters!”
The Hendrix magic meant that the other bands on the bill struggled to make much of an impression. But boy, did they try. The Move smashed TV sets up on stage. Keith Emerson of The Nice stabbed knives and daggers into his Hammond organ. Tom Hoy recalls: “When Amen Corner performed Gin House, Andy Fairweather Low got down on his knees and, what I assume was the road crew, came up behind him and covered his head in shaving foam!”
Pink Floyd by all accounts had an off-night, playing two of their most complex pieces to a crowd desperate to see Jimi. Bikers in the crowd threw a bottle or two at the band. Others jeered them and started a slow handclap. One audience member, Robert Anderson from Glasgow was so annoyed by the Floyd’s “puerile act” that he wrote to the Melody Maker to complain. “What a boring load of rubbish the Pink Floyd turned out to be… All those stupid lights and painful noises made me sick.” The Herald’s own Pop Round-Up writer Jim Blair wrote that the Floyd’s appeal “is limited” and thought Hendrix stole the show.

Local freelance photographer Ronnie Anderson spoke to Hendrix after the gig. “I just knocked on the dressing room door and Jimi opened it and invited me in. The first thing he did was offer me a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. They had several crates of the stuff. I spoke to them for about half an hour, maybe more. I took some photos of them and Jimi in turn took some film of me using a Super 8 portable camera. They were all really nice guys, just happy young men enjoying life. They were actually eating ice lollies along with the beer!” It was the last night of a long tour and, legend has it that, the exhausted yet elated band partied the night away in Glasgow’s Albany Hotel, rapidly demolishing the supplies of Brown Ale. Sadly, despite the fantastic reception they got in Glasgow, the Experience never ventured north of the border again.
Bassist Noel Redding remembered the visit to Green’s fondly though. In his excellent autobiography, Are you Experienced? he told how he ran into one of Green’s (which was later relaunched as The Apollo) notorious security staff. “The audience was wonderful in Glasgow, but the vibes were heavy. This huge bouncer was staggering about nearly legless shouting for the bands’ autographs. ‘Where are ye?’ We hid. Afterwards, while trying to get the crowds out, he got his finger cut off in the door.” Apparently, the bouncer never noticed the loss of his finger until a musician picked it up off the floor! It was that type of night.

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