In 1967 Jimi Hendrix posed as jolly Old Saint Nick for the Record Mirror newspaper to promote his then newest album, Axis: Bold as Love. The cover date of that issue was December 23, 1967 and the video below was shot on December 22nd, at one of the last truly “underground” events of the 60s held in London, the all-night “Christmas on Earth Continued” festival, which Hendrix headlined and also featured The Who, Traffic, Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett’s last gig with the group), Eric Burdon and the New Animals, The Move and Soft Machine.
Two years later, in December of 1969, Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, The Band of Gypsys, were rehearsing at Baggy Studios in New York prior to their New Year’s concerts at the Fillmore East, where they recorded this Christmas medley of “Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne.”
Slade never looked cool, but that wasn’t the point. They were four young lads out for a good time, and they wanted you to have a good time too. You can hear it on their classic album Slade Alive, when lead singer, Noddy Holder encourages everyone to get up, get ripping and really let themselves go. And during the 1970s, that’s just what their fans did.
Slade were Noddy Holder, Jimmy lea, Don Powell and the sequined Dave (“You write ‘em I’ll sell ‘em”) Hill. Between 1970 and 1975, they sold over 6.5 million records in the UK alone, chalking up 6 number ones, 3 of which went straight to the top of the charts - a feat not achieved since The Beatles - and this at a time of 3-day weeks, power cuts and food shortages.
For their energy, dynamism and 4-chord songs, Slade were more of an influence on Punk than Iggy and The Stooges. Just listen to the opening riff for “Cum on Feel the Noize”, it sounds like the start of a Sex Pistols track. Or try “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. As latter-day Mod-Father and frontman for The Jam, Paul Weller noted:
“The whole punk rock thing really happened because of bands such as Slade and the like; rock bands that wouldn’t back off.”
Then there’s Noddy Holder, who may have looked like a grown-up Artful Dodger, but had a brilliant and unmistakable voice, which inspired Joey Ramone:
“I spent most of the early 70s listening to Slade Alive thinking to myself, ‘Wow - this is what I want to do. I want to make that kind of intensity for myself.’ A couple of years later I found myself at CBGB’s doing my best Noddy Holder.”
The tags were all there: Slade’s first single was produced by Kim Fowley; their manager, was ex-Animal, Chas Chandler, who had managed Jimi Hendrix; and their writing partnership of Holder and Lea was compared to the greats who’d gone before, one of which, Paul McCartney saw the future of pop divided between Slade and T.Rex, just like The Beatles and The Stones.
It should have been, but in 1973, drummer Don Powell was seriously injured in a car crash that tragically killed his girlfriend. Slade nearly split. Then, there was their film Flame, not a mop-top romp, but a long-hard look at the music business - it alienated fans though is now considered the “Citizen Kane of rock musicals”. Then, in a bid to conquer America, they spent 2 years Stateside, when Slade returned to the UK, Punk had taken over, and they were “old farts”, even though the Pistols’ Steve Jones thought that:
“Slade never compromised. We always had the feeling that they were on our side. I don’t know but I think we were right.”
It’s Slade is a well-deserved and refreshing reassessment of one Britain’s greatly under-rated bands, with excellent archive and contributions from Slade, Ozzy Osbourne, Toyah Wilcox and Noel Gallagher.
The rest of ‘It’s Slade’, plus bonus clips, after the jump…
I’ve never seen this footage before. I suspect the sound was synced in later from a boot recording off the board or from a source in the audience. I’m tempted to call the Manhattan phone number embedded on the video to see if they can help me out on this one. But it’s almost 6 a.m. in New York and I don’t won’t wake up the poor soul who may have inherited the number from over 40 years ago. So, let’s just dig the fact that this is Jimi Hendrix at Madison Square Garden in 1969 and, despite its technical shortcomings (edited with a chainsaw), you still feel a bit of the thrill of the “I was there” vibe.
The time code indicates it was a pro-shoot perhaps for TV. Anymore footage out there?
Back to the Land. Urban homesteads. Sustainable cooperatives. The movement that swept the nation in the 70s is back with a new passion. Economic, permaculture, and social concerns have drawn thousands across the country to rediscover the benefits of collective living. The new Process book The Modern Utopian is the definitive examination of the alternative communities in the ‘60s and ‘70s, documented by those who knew it and lived it—from the fabled Drop City to Morningstar Ranch, Timothy Leary at Millbrook to Detroit’s Translove Energies and the still-thriving Stephen Gaskin’s Farm.
Join Process Media’s Jodi Wille as she leads a conversation with members of a new generation (mostly in their 20s and 30s) of intentional communities in Los Angeles. Afterwards, Process presents a rare screening of the 1972 documentary/concert film RAINBOW BRIDGE. This gem of occult/commune 70’s cinema features Warhol stars Pat Hartley and Chuck Wein, Dr. Bronner, cosmic surfers, black power soul sisters, clairvoyant shamans, Jesus freaks, and the actual inhabitants of a chic mansion commune in Maui called the “Rainbow Bridge Occult Research Meditation Center.”
Then Jimi Hendrix drops in, and on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, he performs for his penultimate live concert in the U.S. before his departure from the planet only two months later.
Rainbow Bridge is is a mind-blower. It was directed by a guy named Chuck Wein who palled around with Andy Warhol in the 60s and who “discovered” Radcliffe debutante Edie Sedgwick (at their mutual therapist)
Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, 7pm, but if you get there early, there is a meet-n-greet with snacks thing on the patio with the special guests.
Here’s a rare video of Little Richard performing “It Ain’t What You Do” on American Bandstand on March 6, 1965 with his back-up band The Crown Jewels. Jimi Hendrix was a member of The Crown Jewels in ‘65 and there’s some debate as to whether or not Hendrix appears in this American Bandstand performance.
Is that Hendrix in a Royal Guardsman uniform at the 1:29 point in this clip? No one seems to know. I think it is. You may not. But the one thing I think we can all agree upon is that Little Richard is wearin’ a bitchin’ wig in this video.
Sound is out of synch but this thing is still amazing.
When I was growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Top of the Pops was essential, nay compulsory viewing. You see, for a certain age group TOTP was the only music show on British TV. Yes, there was the excellent Old Grey Whistle Test with “Whispering” Bob Harris, which had Zappa, The New York Dolls, Deep Purple and alike, but that went out long after sundown and well past most young uns bedtimes. It would really take until the arrival of the pop promo for music shows to become ubiquitous, which meant back in the days of mop tops, glitter and platform boots, Top of the Pops was King.
Top of the Pops was the BBC’s legendary, Top 40 chart run-down show. It ran between 1964 and 2006, when it was pulled by the Beeb bosses due to a lack of viewers or, too much competition - depending who you read. It was an inevitable demise for music had changed after Rave, and the diversity and choice available meant what most youngsters listened to was rarely reflected by a show centered around the record sales of bland and talentless groups squeezed out by music industry execs.
Moreover, because TOTP was a chart run down show, you were likely to see David Bowie in the same studio as The Osmonds or, The Sex Pistols on the same show as Hot Chocolate. Even so, there was always moments to treasure from Jimi Hendrix, to Bowie’s “Starman”, Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”, The Smiths with a gladioli-waving Morrissey singing “This Charming Man”, to Blondie “Dreaming”.
And yes, there was The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Move and so on, right up to The Damned, The Jam, Marc Almond, and even Nick Cave. But for all the great and the good, there was always a lot of shit. Something that is more than apparent in this 2-hour compilation of forty years of Top of the Pops. It’s an odd mix with some great, and some inexcusable songs, and a lot of brilliant ones missing. Yet, for all the good, the bad and the ugly, it does tell a story of how music has changed for better and worse over the past four decades.
Top of the Pops 40th Anniversary 1964 - 2004
1964: Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - “Little Children”
1965: Sandie Shaw - “Long Live Love”
1966: The Seekers - “The Carnival Is Over” (Performance was from 1965)
1967: Procol Harum - “A Whiter Shade of Pale”
1968: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - “Fire”
1969: The Hollies - “Sorry Suzanne”
1970: Free - “All Right Now”
1971: T.Rex - “Get It On”
1972: Roxy Music - “Virginia Plain”
1973: Slade - “Cum on Feel the Noize”
1974: The Three Degrees - “When Will I See You Again”
1975: Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”
1976: The Real Thing - “You to Me Are Everything”
1977: Queen - “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy”
1978: The Jam - “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight”
1979: Ian Dury & The Blockheads - “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”
1980: Adam and the Ants - “Ant Music”
1981: The Human League - “Don’t You Want Me”
1982: Culture Club - “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”
1983: UB40 - “Red Red Wine”
1984: Wham! - “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
1985: Eurythmics - “There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)”
1986: Pet Shop Boys - “West End Girls”
1987: Bee Gees - “You Win Again”
1988: Yazz And The Plastic Population - “The Only Way Is Up”
1989: Lisa Stansfield - “All Around the World”
1990: Sinéad O’Connor - “Nothing Compares 2 U”
1991: Seal - “Crazy”
1992: Stereo MCs - “Connected”
1993: New Order - “Regret”
1994: Blur - “Parklife”
1995: Take That - “Back for Good”
1996: Oasis - “Don’t Look Back in Anger”
1997: Spice Girls - “Wannabe”
1998: Manic Street Preachers - “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”
1999: Ricky Martin - “Livin La Vida Loca”
2000: Sophie Ellis-Bextor & Spiller - “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”
2001: Texas - “I Don’t Want a Lover”
2002: Status Quo - “Rockin’ All Over The World”
2003: The Darkness - “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”
2004: Michael Andrews Featuring Gary Jules - “Mad World”
The UK and Australian pressings of Band of Gypsys featured this cover, with puppet versions of Hendrix, John Peel, Bob Dylan and Brian Jones. (What would be the meaning of this grouping?)
Band of Gypsys was a short-lived “jam band” blues-rock project that came to fruition—and was dissolved—shortly before the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970. The Band of Gypsys live album was his last release during his lifetime.
Band of Gypsys consisted of Hendrix, his old army pal, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. They recorded very little studio material and performed live very few times, including four legendary shows that took place over two nights at the Fillmore East. commencing on New Years Eve of 1969. Before the month was out, the Band of Gypsys was no more, disbanding after a disaster at Madison Square Garden.
The Fillmore performances heard on the album were videotaped using a B&W half-inch open reel recorder, the then new Sony Portapak, from two different angles and forms the basis of this 1999 film, Hendrix: Band of Gypsys.
I just read and reviewed a well-researched, interesting book about Hendrix’ musical development called Becoming Jimi Hendrix by Steven Roby and Brad Schreiber, just pubbed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Jimi’s death on September 18th. Roby & Schreiber will be at Skylight Books in LA on September 17th
They mention Jimi’s appearance in 1965 on a Nashville TV show with a duo called Buddy & Stacy as part of the Crown Jewels, Little Richard’s back-up band. Lo and behold, it’s on YouTube. Dig the guitar!
The song is called “Shotgun” and the TV show, televised on Nashville’s Channel 5 WLAC-TV, was called Night Train. Apparently, this is the oldest known footage of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar. Considering who they’ve got in their backing group, campy Buddy & Stacey seem pretty comical doing their little routine.
This performance of Wild Thing by Jimi Hendrix, from Tony Palmer’s documentary All My Loving (1968), is explosively sexy. Serpent power unleashed! Guitar as an extension of flesh.
When it comes right down to it, for me, Hendrix is the greatest rocker to have lived. He may not have been the greatest songwriter, but as an embodiment of the power, glory and sexuality of rock and roll, he is untouchable.
It sounds like director Tony Palmer played around with the audio on this, adding some sound effects and audience noise, but this clip is all about Hendrix and his body language. I can visualize Hendrix pulling his guitar from his body Videodrome style - a tantric machine.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
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