System Status: Mail server SSL certificate updated; some older mail clients (e.g., Eudora) are having problems. See welltech.374 for more info.


inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #0 of 154: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sun 11 Nov 07 15:12
    
I am pleased to introduce our next guest, Steven Roby, author of "Black
Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix." Steven previously worked for
the family of Jimi Hendrix and was editor and publisher of the international
Hendrix fanzine, Straight Ahead, from 1989 to 1996. In 1996 he went to work
for Experience Hendrix, LLC, as editor of their fan magazine and contributor
of their website.

His articles and interviews have appeared in numerous magazines, and
Roby has produced annual radio tributes to Hendrix including the
national syndicated show NBC's Source network. He has also promoted and
produced several tribute concerts. In 1995, The Jimi Hendrix Electric
Guitar Festival brought together all of the original band members
together on stage for an amazing three-hour performance.

In 2002, his first book was published, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives
of Jimi Hendrix" (Billboard Books). He has since lectured on Hendrix at
three universities, and teaches a college course on the life and music
of Jimi Hendrix. Steven will be hosting a Hendrix 65th Birthday Bash at
Book Passage (Corte Madera) on November 27, 2007.

Joining Steven is Scott MacFarlane. Scott lives in Western Washington and
is the author of  "The Hippie Narrative: A Literary Perspective on the
Counterculture." (Inkwell Interview <http://tinyurl.com/2e4tog> for off-
site readers, <inkwell.vue.296> if you're logged in). When he was 14 years
old, Scott saw Jimi's last concert in Seattle at Sicks Stadium, less than 
two months before Jimi died.  He shares Jimi's birthday of November 27, 
grew up in the same city and is mostly left-handed. Being white and 
musically-challenged, any comparison ends there. Favorite Hendrix album is 
Axis: Bold as Love. Favorite Jimi song: "Little Wing."
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #1 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Sun 11 Nov 07 16:39
    
Greetings!

One of the questions I'm often asked in interviews is - what do you
think Hendrix would be doing today? Other than attending the birthday
bash I'm hosting in a few weeks (shameless plug), I think he would have
followed in similar footsteps as his peers -- Eric Clapton and Carlos
Santana. We would have seen a jazz collaboration with Miles Davis,
probably "On The Corner," a blues duet album with Johnny Winter and
Buddy Guy, and no doubt Disco would have ended a whole lot sooner or
never reared its ugly cocaine-fueled head. I also imagine Jimi would
have his children (James and Tamika) in the music business with careers
of their own.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #2 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Sun 11 Nov 07 21:37
    
Welcome, Steven! 

Here's an interesting account of Jimi's two children including a photo
of a grown, James Daniel Sundqvist, Jimi's half-Swedish son:

http://members.tripod.com/~Wallyrus/JimisKids.html
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #3 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Mon 12 Nov 07 09:05
    
Steve, 

Black Gold has a fascinating structure as a book.  You move through
Jimi's story by tracking the history of his recordings, mainly.
Can you tell us if this was by design?  Were you intending to create
a narrative of Hendrix's life as well as a scholarly means for
musicologists to track the artistic development of this innovative and
iconic figure?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #4 of 154: Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 14 Nov 07 04:39
    
(Note: Off-WELL readers with comments or questions may have them added
to this conversation by sending them to <inkwell@well.com>  )
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #5 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Wed 14 Nov 07 08:44
    
Scott,

The main focus of the book is to show what a creative genius Hendrix
was. Many other biographies have zeroed in on drugs, groupies, and the
financial nightmares that are present in his afterlife - the numerous
court cases that continue today.

Many don't realize that Jimi could not read or write music. As a
result, he had to convey his song structures on tape or paper -- any
scrape of paper. Since his death in 1970, music historians, such as
myself, have discovered a different side of Hendrix. Sure the guy
carried his guitar with him everywhere he went, but he needed capture
all that imagination in his head. He had a decent tape recorder that he
bootleged his own jams with. He'd also compose beautiful songs and
even suites, often giving them away as a "thank you" to fans and
friends.

One of these songs, a 23 minute suite of music called "Scorpio Woman,"
was given to Melinda Merryweather. Melinda became good friends with
Jimi over a two week period while he was staying on Maui in 1970. Jimi
recorded it with an electric guitar and a small amp in his rented
apartment. She held on to it for 27 years before selling to Hendrix's
estate. You can now purchase it on a CD called "Morning Symphony
ideas."

I'm not sure if I created "Black Gold's" structure by design, but it
has helped in the college course I now teach on Jimi's life and music. 
Critics have written off Jimi as a "one hit wonder" or that wild man
who burned his guitar. But if you look a little closer, especially if
you explore his R&B roots, the man was more complex. There was talk of
sending him to a famous school of music in New York prior to his death
so he could take his talents further. Can you imagine what music would
sound like today?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #6 of 154: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Wed 14 Nov 07 09:20
    
Yup.  Of all the people who died before their time in that period, and
there were far too many, Hendrix is really the one who makes me wonder
what he could have produced if only...  I enjoy the surface flash, and
it's certainly rooted in his R&B background (which I'd love to know
more about), but the only part of "one hit wonder" that's accurate is
the last word.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #7 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 14 Nov 07 10:52
    
Nicely put, Mark. Hendrix was quite a phenomenon on many fronts, and I
think that "Black Gold", by focusing foremost on the musical
recordings––both found and still lost––allows us closer to the essence
of the man.

Steve, this approach really worked well for me.  You've chosen as part
of your life work to keep the spirit of Jimi Hendrix alive, to create
a larger sense of who this man was as a person and as a musician. Can
you give us some more insight into your own motivation for focusing all
these years on Hendrix in this way, starting a respected fanzine, and
working for Experience Hendrix, LLC? In other words, you've
establishing yourself as a consummate "Jimiphile" (my word).  How did
you get here?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #8 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Wed 14 Nov 07 10:57
    
Jimi's singles charted, but only in certain locations. "All Along The
Watchtower" (in the US) was his only Billboard Top 40 hit. In San
Francisco, "Purple Haze" reached #5 shortly after Monterey Pop --
playing a week at Fillmore West may have helped too.

Prior to the Experience, and something I didn't know until I began
research for the book, was that Jimi plays on Don Covay's hit "Have
Mercy" - the Stones even covered it. I had my suspicions that Jimi was
on it (listen to that Curtis Mayfield style opening riff), but it
wasn't until I could confirm it with Don Covay that I could be certain.

During this R&B period, Jimi also played with Jayne Mansfield, the
b-movie actress who decided to make records (bad career move). This was
another hard one to track down, but I did find the producer who said
Jimi plays bass and guitar for the session. The song's called "Suey,"
and it has some really lyrics -- "It make my knees freeze, It makes my
liver quiver." The melody is total bump-n-grind.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #9 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 14 Nov 07 11:03
    
<<a 23 minute suite of music called "Scorpio Woman," was given to
Melinda Merryweather. Melinda became good friends with Jimi over a two
week period while he was staying on Maui in 1970.>>


As for other never released archival works, you also named your book,
"Black Gold," after an unpublished rock opera that Jimi was working on
at the time of his death.  

Jimi's work suffered posthumously from a slate of substandard
recordings full of poor audio quality and musician overdubbings that
probably had Jimi rolling over in his grave.  Yet, the thought of this
unfinished rock opera is especially intriguing.  Do you know of any
talk, or interest in either having those songs released, or,if they are
too unpolished, of allowing some other rock group to take the core of
the "Black Gold" rock opera and finish what Jimi started?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #10 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Wed 14 Nov 07 11:18
    
Scott, They're not "too unpolished" for me, but maybe for the regular
record buying public. They may show up one day on the official bootleg
label "Dagger Records." "Black Gold" is a sci-fi autobographical rock
opera that Jimi wanted to animate.

In regards to your other question: It's all about respect and setting
the record straight. In the early 1970s, I bought into a lot of the
hype and misinformation... for example how he died, where he played,
and that there was very little left to release. Some of that still
continues today.

After hours of sifting through collector's tape (and all the trading
that goes with that), and cross referencing information with other
world-wide collectors, did a chronological concert and studio log
surface. Please keep in mind that this was years before the Internet
and home computers. When I started my fanzine, Straight Ahead, I
started conducting interviews and further verified dates etc. This
still continues. Just a few weeks ago I interviewed a lady that was
with Jimi at party he was at just hours before his death. Something
keeps telling me to continue.

If you'd like to read more about my past, please go to my website:
http://www.steveroby.com/
You can see photos of some of the people I've interviewed, an amazing
tribute concert I helped put together in 1995, and what I looked like
in 1967 - check out the fringe vest, man.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #11 of 154: Ed Ward (captward) Wed 14 Nov 07 12:05
    
Hendrix played on several Covay sessions, if I remember right, and
also contributed some really deep guitar to one of Little Richard's
best records "I Don't Know What You've Got (But It's Got Me)," which
Covay wrote and (my ears say) sings harmony vocal on.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #12 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 14 Nov 07 12:19
    
You've put together a great website, Steve.

As for digging deeper into the essence of Jimi Hendrix, "Black Gold"
does a fine job of chronicling the many anecdotes, quotes from friends
and fellow musicians, and the phases of Jimi's life from growing up in
Seattle, following the "Chitlin" curcuit, the Greenwich Village scene
in 1966 and hitting it big in London, and then in the States.

A few years ago I did a good deal of probing into the life of Jimi
Hendrix for a fiction project I was researching.  In many ways, I found
Jimi to be a highly paradoxical person.  Most people think of the
flamboyant performer at the height of the psychedelic rock movement,
lighting his guitar on fire, playing with his teeth or behind his head.
At the same time, repeatedly in your book, you quote several people
such as Billy Preston saying that "he was a very introverted kind of
person, but a very sweet guy"; or, Judy Roderick, a folk singer from
the Village describing Jimi as shy and withdrawn. Another time he's
very overtly seducing one of the many girlfriends he would have during
his short life. Then, in other places, you quote Jimi talking
enthusiastically about his future music projects where he uses rich,
excited, phantasmagorical language.

You mentioned Jimi's two weeks on Maui a few weeks before he died. 
For me, there were a few scenes from the movie, "Rainbow Bridge", that
gave me a sense of this complete person.  Jimi was, indeed, a
fascinating contradiction of all these ways he was described.  One
consistent thread, the primary driver in his life, though, came from
Carlos Santana who, in "Black Gold" said that: "Jimi had a ferocious
appetite to explore new music."

When you began to seriously explore this man's life and music, was
there ever a moment, or realization, or awareness for you, Steve, when
you had captured a full sense of this complex man, Jimi Hendrix? 
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #13 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Thu 15 Nov 07 11:56
    
Very Good Ed. There was a brief opportunity for Little Richard and
Jimi to perform in 1970, but it never happened. Take a peek a the
Nightrain TV show from 1965 on You Tube. Little Richard's band (minus
Little Richard) perform "Shotgun" - Jr. Walker hit. Jimi will be on the
left behind the singers Buddy and Stacy. Jimi fans his guitar and
plays it with his elbow. My ears also hear him a little louder than the
other guitar player.

Scott: Good observations, and I'd love to hear about your fictional
project as I'm working on as well.

Rainbow Bridge: From the people I interviewed this seemed liked the
happiest two weeks in Jimi's. He loved the weather, the people, and
considered coming back to Maui to grow grapes. What I found unusual was
Chuck Wein's comments that Jimi was so frustrated will all the
conflicts in the world that he suggested a three-way suicide with
Chuck, a lady friend named Pat Hartley, and himself. There's a section
in "Black Gold" where I talk about the spoken word version of a song in
progress called "Roomful of Mirrors." I think Jimi suffered numerous
nervous breakdowns; stress from touring and management, and some may
have been have been brought on by using different combinations of
drugs. My point is that I feel he was wrestling with his superstar
image (king guitar/stud), and the gentle child inside that had
alcoholic parents that may have never given him all the love he needed.
The only way he could express his sadness and joy was through
composing and performing.

Yes, Carlos even said he wanted to join his band, but as Carlos said,
"What would I play?" I think Jimi wanted to lay back after the
disastrous 1970 European tour and do some musical explorations. Had he
lived, I feel he would have found new management, his own record label,
and Chas Chandler would have returned as his producer.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #14 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Thu 15 Nov 07 11:59
    
Regarding Jimi's children (post #2): He had two a daughter Tamika, and
a son named James. It's a shame he never saw them. I think Jimi would
have been a great father. Who knows, maybe Tamika and James would be
performing now.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #15 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 12:27
    
One of the most fascinating things about Jimi concerns the way he
walked a fine line as a black American in the charged civil rights era,
but also managed to largely transcend racial barriers by succeeding as
a superstar in a predominantly white market of hard rock music.

"Black Gold" does a fine job of chronicling the stages of Jimi's
development, but I'd like to ask you a couple or three questions about
his upbringing in Seattle.

For a major city, Seattle in the 50s and 60s had one of the smallest
concentrations of blacks.  Prior to desegregation, Jimi went to
Garfield High School, which served Seattle's Central District, which
was the closest Seattle had to what was then called a ghetto.  At the
same time, Garfield served the wealthy white neighborhoods along Lake
Washington (where Kurt Cobain later lived and committed suicide).  I
once met a white man who had gone to H.S. with Jimi and remembered how
friendly Jimi was and how easy it was to hang out with him.

Jimi obviously had this fluid ability to live and work in the black
R&B scene, but then, rather easily, adapt to the psychedelic rock scene
when that opportunity presented it.   

Do you think his upbringing in a less racially-charged environment of
Seattle, helped Jimi be more chameleon-like with regards to his career?
   
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #16 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 12:42
    
The song "Spanish Castle Magic" on Jimi's Axis:Bold as Love LP was
inspired by a rock n' roll nightclub between Seattle and Tacoma that
catered to teens.  Author Keith Abbott (originally of Tacoma) wrote a
great short story called "Spanish Castle" that describes the mostly
white greaser/gang teen scene there.  The Spanish Castle was
significant to Jimi because it was one of the few venues where a 16/17
year old kid could play.  Abbott's story talks about a battle of the
bands between The Wailers and The Coasters.

In other words, Jimi, as a teen, was influenced by an eclectic array
of sounds, of which Rock N Roll was very significant. He also loved
traditional blues and R & B. 

Steve, don't you think this eclecticism that Jimi grew up with in
Seattle, helps to also explain how fluidly he could explore so many
types of sounds? Do you think it helps us understand how he could then
adapt himself so well to the blues/rock N roll based psychedelic sound
of which he played no small role in creating in the last half of the
'60s?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #17 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 13:55
    
Finally, on this Seattle note, it's fairly well documented that Jimi
visited his family after he had hit it big.  He played at the smallish
Seattle Arena in 1968 and at Sicks Stadium in July, 1970.  Compared to
London, New York and Los Angeles, Seattle probably seemed like a
frontier outpost to Jimi by the late '60s.  Yet, he corresponded fairly
regularly with his dad, Al.  Also, I noticed in your list of songs
that Jimi was working on in 1969, one of them was titled: "If Found
Lost...Please Return to Body––West Coast Seattle Boy."

The title speaks both to Jimi's identity with the city in which he
grew up, and to his increasing fascination with extraterrestial and
paranormal themes. There is also a strong hint of homesickness attached
to this title.  

What do you know about this song? Did you ever hear any version of it,
or read the lyrics?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #18 of 154: Street Figthing Man (carolw) Thu 15 Nov 07 14:00
    
>>alcoholic parents

Was his father an alcoholic too?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #19 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Thu 15 Nov 07 19:19
    
>>Do you think his upbringing in a less racially-charged environment
of Seattle, helped Jimi be more chameleon-like with regards to his
career?

While there was racial diversity in Seattle, I don't feel it was less
racially charged than other well-known cities. Jimi had problems with
schoolmates making fun of the clothing his Native American grandmother
made for him ("they talk about me like a dog, they talk about the
clothes I wear..." - Stone Free). He even upset a teacher for holding
hands with a white girl (refer to the article in Look magazine 1969). I
think Jimi had a thick skin when the press called him a "Psychedelic
uncle Tom" or even the "Wild Man from Borneo." 

What makes Jimi and his music unique for the time was that he made
rock music and mixed in his R&B roots, and it was packaged for the
white kids. Interacial groups like Love focused more on a folk sound,
while Sly and the Family Stone stayed with R&B. Jimi did experience
pressure from the Black Panthers to become more sympathetic to their
cause, and he even sided with them in a 1968 interview, but for the
most part Jimi was "color blind." 


>>don't you think this eclecticism that Jimi grew up with in
Seattle, helps to also explain how fluidly he could explore so many
types of sounds?

I feel his father's record collection and love of music had a lot more
to do with it than growing up in Seattle. Al had a mix of R&B (e.g.,
Etta James) and jazz (e.g., Jimmy Smith) records that I'm sure young
Jimmy strummed a broomstick to. Then of course add in some Elvis,
Little Richard and Chuck Berry (from the radio) and you have a variety
of influences.

>>Do you think it helps us understand how he could then
adapt himself so well to the blues/rock N roll based psychedelic sound
of which he played no small role in creating in the last half of
the'60s?
Of course! Gather those early influences, add in a few years on the
Chitlin' Circuit, playing with the greats like B.B. King, Cutis
Mayfiled, and The Isley Brothers... flip the script with LSD, Sci-Fi,
and an enormous imagination and that's the basis for Hendrix's sound.

>>What do you know about this song ("West Coast Seattle Boy"? Did you
ever hear any version of it, or read the lyrics?

Part of it appears in the "Black Gold" suite. I'm not sure if there's
homesickness attached to it. Jimi was ready to leave Seattle, and
that's evident in the song "Hear My Train A Comin'"

        I didn't love that town
        Had to leave that town
        Go out on the road, become a magic boy
        Gonna come back and buy that town
        Put it all in my shoe

Jimi dropped out of high school, hung out with the wrong crowd, and
was arrested. Seattle held a lot bad memories. Even when he went back
to Garfield High School in 1968 to address the students, he didn't take
it seriously.

It's a shame Seattle hasn't done more to recognize him. There's that
embarrassing hot rock exhibit in the zoo, and a statue of him playing
guitar (on his knees) on a street corner. I do like the exhibit at EMP,
but that's been pulled for a few years to preserve it.



>> Was his father an alcoholic too?

Watch the documentary "Jimi Hendrix: The Uncut Story." Leon, Jimi's
brother, talks about some rough times growing up. 
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #20 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Thu 15 Nov 07 20:02
    
There a few references Jimi makes to his rough childhood in songs like
"Castles Made of Sand":

    Down the street you can hear her scream you're a disgrace
    As she slams the door in his drunken face
    And now he stands outside
    And all the neighbors start to gossip and drool

Then there's "51st Anniversary"

    And a thousand kids run around hungry
    Cause their mama's a louse
    Daddy's down at the whiskey house

Jimi's mother also had another brother and sister that were given up
for adoption.

    For thirty years they've been married
    They don't get along so good
    They're tired of each other, you know how that goes
    She got another lover

Al suspected Lucille was having an affair

    So now you're seventeen
    Running around hanging out, and a havin' your fun
    Life for you has just begun

Lucille was a teenager when she got married.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #21 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 20:28
    
<<I don't feel it was less racially charged than other well-known
cities.>>

Growing up white in suburban Seattle in the late Sixties and
Seventies, the Central District, where Jimi grew up, was known as a
place to avoid. This was because it was considered the black ghetto. 
Certainly, Seattle had its proportionate share of racism.  But compared
to Watts in LA, Newark, Detroit, Oakland,etc., Seattle had nowhere
near the racial discord, or history of rioting in the Fifties an
Sixties.  Maybe having a black population of about 6% had something to
do with this. 

Jimi, as a kid, by going to places like the Spanish Castle, listening
to Elvis and other "white" Rock N Rollers, engaging well with the white
kids at his school, showed a knack for being able to rise above some
of the racial bullshit of his times.  Maybe this had more to do with
Jimi's personality, but had he grown up in Newark, Detroit, Watts, or
Oakland, would he have been as racially transcendent as he was? It's a
rhetorical question, of course.


<<It's a shame Seattle hasn't done more to recognize him.>>

Maybe you can shed some light on this, Steve.  Paul Allen, a big
Hendrix fan from his teen years in Seattle and co-founder of Microsoft,
had a vision of building a world-class museum dedicated to the memory
of Jimi Hendrix.  You worked for the heirs of the Hendrix estate with
Experience Hendrix, LLC.  Apparently, there was a major falling out
between Paul Allen and Al Hendrix during the developmental phase of the
Seattle Hendrix Museum. 

Consequently, Allen shifted gears and donated more than
$250,000,000.00 for the construction of the Experience Music Project
(EMP) at the base of Seattle's most notable monument, the Space Needle.
Despite the falling out, Jimi Hendrix remained a strong focal point of
this museum. EMP also features many other Northwest musicians and rock
groups, including those in Seattle's later Grunge scene.

My sense is that the people of Seattle are very proud of Hendrix and
the other rock groups from the city.  A few years ago I went to the
Greenwood Cemetery in Renton (south of Seattle) to visit Jimi's
gravesite.  He was buried next to his relatives under an inauspicious
paver.  To one side of the Cemetery was a fundraising display erected
by the family to build a more prominent burial site.  It struck me as
odd that the heirs of the considerable Hendrix estate were asking for
outside money for a shrine to Jimi.  I actually liked Jimi's modest
burial site and the fact that some fans would leave incense and cool
mementos on his paver.  Also, throughout Seattle there are several cool
Hendrix statues.  I guess I don't know what more you would expect that
the people of Seattle should do?  Does Liverpool have a
quarter-billion dollar museum for the Beatles?  Where's San Francisco's
world-class museum for Psychedelic Rock?

I would love to learn more about why there was a falling out between
the Hendrix family and Paul Allen that diminished the greater exposure
and legacy that Hendrix would have had in Seattle.      
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #22 of 154: John Ross (johnross) Thu 15 Nov 07 21:36
    
The entire history of the Experience Music Project (the Paul Allen Museum)
is full of stories of people driven away by the way the place has been
managed. Much of it comes down to the fact that Allen is in control, and
what he wants, he gets, even if the professional staff don't think it's in
the museum's best interest.

A personal example: There's a stack of about 60 tapes from 1970s Seattle
concerts and live radio gigs in my garage. I offerred to donate it to EMP,
and deliver it to their loading dock. After four months, they told me they
couldn't accept them, because they need the space in their vault to hold
Paul Allen's art collection.


New question: Steven, did you have any contact with the former Sandy Fisher,
who was a studio engineer at Ladyland? He was an early role model (more or
less) of mine.
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #23 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 22:13
    
<< Interacial groups like Love focused more on a folk sound,
while Sly and the Family Stone stayed with R&B. Jimi did experience
pressure from the Black Panthers>>

Motown had crossover artists, but Arthur Lee of Love and Sylvester
"Sly Stone" Stewart represent, along with Hendrix, three highly
talented black American musicians who best embraced the psychedelic
rock of the '60s in its many permutations.  In "Black Gold" you mention
Jimi, near the end, talking with Arthur Lee about cutting an album
together.  You also mention that he did share a concert with Sly and
the Family Stone.  Do you know if Jimi and Sly had much interaction?  

 
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #24 of 154: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 15 Nov 07 22:17
    
As for the Black Panthers, I read where Jimi's family chose to have a
memorial service for Jimi in Seattle instead of a big wake for him in
NYC.  The reason given was that the Hendrix family was afraid that the
Black Panthers would distrupt such a musical gathering.  Do you know
anything about this scenario?
  
inkwell.vue.312 : Steven Roby, "Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix"
permalink #25 of 154: Steven Roby (jimijames) Fri 16 Nov 07 10:16
    
>>I would love to learn more about why there was a falling out between
the Hendrix family and Paul Allen that diminished the greater exposure
and legacy that Hendrix would have had in Seattle.

I covered this topic extensively in my fanzine with an article called
"S'cuse Me While I Sue This Guy." It's my understanding that after Al
Hendrix was told by a family member that Jimi's rights were being sold
to overseas investors, Paul Allen stepped in with a generous loan of $5
million to help get the legal case started. (At the time, Mr. Hendrix
was only receiving a $50,000 year annuity - that's it!). 

As the case proceeded, Paul Allen expressed his interest to build an
exclusive all-Jimi Hendrix museum. (Mr. Allen scooped up most of the
major Hendrix items that were being auctioned in the early '90s.) When
the Hendrix family discovered that Mr. Allen wanted to sell his own
Hendrix brand of t-shirts, mugs, etc. (in the gift shop), the $5 mil.
gift became a loan. I believe now that the "misunderstanding" is over,
and Janie Hendrix is now working with EMP helping to provide artifacts
to the exhibit, and granting certain rights.

>>  He (Jimi) was buried next to his relatives under an inauspicious
paver. To one side of the Cemetery was a fundraising display erected by
the family to build a more prominent burial site. It struck me as odd
that the heirs of the considerable Hendrix estate were asking for
outside money for a shrine to Jimi.  I actually liked Jimi's modest
burial site... 

Me too! 
Years before the shrine, I interviewed a person in charge at Greenwood
Cemetery, and he told me that "fans" would often steal flowers from
other graves and put them on Jimi's. People would get high, leave a
mess, and trample other sites. The cost was always passed onto the
Hendrix family. It was suggested that a new burial structure be
constructed for Jimi. From what I've read, I guess several things went
wrong. There was a plan to sell engraved nameplates at the new site,
and even dirt (to cover costs)- Jon Stewart did quite a parody on The
Daily Show. Jimi's body was secretly exhumed and relocated to the new
location, without telling Leon Hendrix. Leon said he later discovered
he was praying to an empty grave. I believe Leon recently had a private
ceremony for he and Jimi's mother Lucille -- she previously had a
private unmarked grave away from Jimi's.

>> I guess I don't know what more you would expect that
the people of Seattle should do? 
 
I don't know, and that's not for me to decide. I imagine many people
still believe Jimi was a drug addict and loop him in with Janis'
overdose. So, that prohibits many projects from ever getting off the
ground. 

>>Does Liverpool have a quarter-billion dollar museum for the Beatles?

No. They don't need one.  

Where's San Francisco's world-class museum for Psychedelic Rock?

It's coming. The Grateful Dead are working on one, and I believe
there's also something similar in the works with another investor.
There's also Jerry Garcia amphitheater, and they're working on changing
a section of Golden Gate Park to Chet Helms Meadows.
  

More...



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook