June 18, 2017

"I'm going to sacrifice something here that I really love. Don't think I'm silly doing this, 'cause I'm not really losing my mind."

Robert Christgau wrote about that performance that took place 50 years ago today:

Music was a given for a Hendrix stuck with topping the Who's guitar-smashing tour de force. It's great sport to watch this outrageous scene-stealer wiggle his tongue, pick with his teeth, and set his axe on fire, but the showboating does distract from the history made that night—the dawning of an instrumental technique so effortlessly fecund and febrile that rock has yet to equal it, though hundreds of metal bands have gotten rich trying. Admittedly, nowhere else will you witness a Hendrix still uncertain of his divinity


Fernandinande said...

I always thought it was uncouth to burn guitars because, back then especially, children in China didn't have any guitars.

My version of that song is "Mild Thing (I Think I Like You)".

eddie willers said...

children in China didn't have any guitars.

And now they make 'em.

eddie willers said...

I've seen the lighter fluid part many times, but this is the first time I have seen the whole song all the way through.

But it wasn't the wild sacrificing of the guitar that got to me, but his breaking into a one-handed rendition of Strangers In The Night.

CWJ said...

Yeah, Townshend really did not like Hendrix' one upping The Who. OTOH, Pete stole the "windmill."

BudBrown said...

I wasn't into the music at the time. I was into Willie Mays. He went 0-4 in the Giants loss to the Cardinals in Candlestick that day before 38,000. I musta decided to
be cool you needed to know something about the music. Got one of my sisters day after Christmas that year at Sears or wards to get me some albums. Clearance, year old, Animalism,
Fifth Dimension and 2nd Spoonful. I'd have bet money up until Friday when I looked it up that
Hey, Joe was on The Animals' album and not the Byrds'.

Mountain Maven said...

I used to love his music but now it's Too sad to watch. He's heavily intoxicated here and overdosed not long after. I've spent my life in the catostrophic aftermath of the 60's. Now were reliving it with the nihilist left.

Ann Althouse said...

"I used to love his music but now it's Too sad to watch."

I watch it now and feel nothing but what it was the summer of: love.

Douglas said...

No one has come close. Not even in the same universe. What genius!

retail lawyer said...

A God really once walked among us.

Ann, good for you for feeling the way you do, love. Thanks for putting these up.

Bad Lieutenant said...

If I could go back in time, I'd like to go back to 1970 and put Jimi Hendrix in the recovery position.

Jay Elink said...

Just tonight, on Father's Day, my musical sons--in their mid-late 20's-- treated me to a great meal and a Jimi Hendrix retrospective via Alexa.

Fantastic night. We agreed, for example, that Jimi's super-charged Buddy Miles's version of "Them Changes" trumped the original.

We went waaay back to the roots of Rock n roll.

They were surprised to hear Barrett Strong sing the original version of "Money", covered by the Beatles and many others.

Then we switched to Debussy's " La Plus que Lente".

Because that's the kind of guys they are. Musical, not forzen into a style, genre or period.

Alexa had problems with that, probably because our French is horrible. Or should it be "hor EEEBle?"

I am immensely proud.

It was a great night.

Fen said...

Ah okay, from the title, I thought Ann was cutting Meade's slacks into shorts.

One of those divide by zero moments.

But the world is safe. It was just a guitar.

Robert Cook said...

The Christgau quote must have been written years after the event. I've read Christgau's original review of the festival--it's reprinted in his first book, ANY OLD WAY YOU CHOOSE IT--and he praises The Who but excoriates Hendrix, calling him a "Psychedelic Uncle Tom." He says, "I suppose Hendrix's act can be seen as a consistently vulgar parody of rock theatrics, but I don't feel I have to like it. Anyhow, he can't sing."

Christgau's review of the Monterey festival online.

Amos510 said...

Whole generation of working class Americans (black and white) bought the whole "sex/drugs/rock and roll will set you FREE!" lie. And Mick Jagger and all the other false prophets will die in their silk sheets because of it. tearing down civilization may have been fun, but there seems less of it than there used to be. Working class should have stayed "churched" instead of buying the lies sold by the charlatans from haight ashbury and the village. But yeah, listening to Hendrix burn bright for a few years before he flamed out is still awesome. I will take Hendrix Band of Gypsies live at the filmore or Woodstock any day over Monterey tho.

Robert Cook said...

BTW, "Wild Thing" was written by Chip Taylor, who is Jon Voight's brother and Angelina Jolie's uncle.