31 DECEMBER • SUNDAY

1967speakeasy1
Jimi and an unknown person at the Speakeasy club, circa December 1967.

London W1, “Speakeasy” - Jimi attends the New Years Eve party and jams with various musicians. According to Melody Maker reporter Chris Welch, Jimi played a 30-minute version of “Auld Lang Syne.” [UV]

Phil Ryan (keyboards, Eyes Of Blue, later of Man): "We were playing there that night, and it was a special New Year’s party, so the audience was full of celebrities like Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, Georgie Fame and, of course, Hendrix. When midnight struck, my band was shunted off the stage to make way for a sort of supergroup jam. I remember Ginger Baker turfing our drummer, Pugwash, off his kit. I made my mind up that I wasn’t leaving the stage, so I stayed put, and up comes Eric Burdon, Jimi Hendrix and the rest, and they launch into a rock’n’roll version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Most of them were playing it pretty straight but Hendrix, in his inimitable way, mutated it into something else completely. Everybody was utterly out of it by this time, but what a brilliant way to bring the New Year in." [JB]