Date Archives September 2010

Jimi Hendrix haunts me


The anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s death is coming up next Saturday (18 September), which I guess accounts for the recent surge of Jimi Hendrix articles in the music press.

Brad Schreiber’ On Becoming Jimi Hendrix has hit the shelves.  I have not read a Hendrix biography to date, but David Dean’s article in ShortList has inspired me to explore the Hendrix body of knowledge.  I’ll see if I can order Schreiber’s book in the next day or two.

Music wise I only have two Hendrix CD’s.  My favorite Hendrix tunes can be found on the Smash Hits CD.  My favorite tracks include: The Wind Cries Mary (with it’s haunting images of loneliness), Hey Joe (the dangers of messing with another man’s woman), All Along the Watchtower (whenever I listen to it I imagine it being a conversation between God and Satan), Manic Depression (haunts me with the line ‘I know what I want/but i just don’t know how to go about getting it), and Red House (which I spent the summer of ‘96 singing with a German rock band called Frank the Tank Meets Speedball).

Here’s the thing about the Hendrix story that has me transfixed. He dared to be an individual, a free-thinker who refused to accept someone else’s story as his own.  The other attraction, which is mildly dark, is Hendrix’s death.  He died at 28, locking himself in time as a legendary Sixties icon who will forever embody what the sixties purported to be about – sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  Perhaps proving that it is indeed better to burn out than to fade away.

Read More

blondes, ham and cheese, and serial killers

I hate days that pass so fast that you can’t remember what happened. I can remember waking up, catching a train to London, blinking and waking up on a train again headed north. Oh I do remember sitting next to a random blond discussing the merits of always carrying an umbrella with you if you live in England. It seems her boyfriend told her she didn’t need to carry an umbrella today. Up to 13:30 he was right, she didn’t need an umbrella. Then God opened up the heavens and poured out his bath water and her I sat and watched the people scramble to get out of the rain. Stimulating conversation I know. That over I returned to eating my ham and cheese sandwich and reading about a guy with a fascination for serial killers.

Read More

Would you rather a life of difficult freedom or comfortable slavery? What I mean by comfortable…

Would you rather a life of difficult freedom or comfortable slavery? What I mean by comfortable freedom is that you are free to do what you want, but you know that you are slave (with a benevolent master). And by difficult freedom I mean life is hard but you are totally free. Put another way, would you rather be plugged or unplugged (to borrow a phrase from The Matrix)?

Read More