Anyone actually see Jimi Hendrix play live?

Recalcitrant

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Philly April 1968, in a decrepit venue called the Arena (where more commonly were hosted under-card boxing and pro wrestling). Before the show we goggled at his totally bashed-up pair of Marshalls-- a sort of ominous sign of things to come. Noel Redding had an impressive mountain of new Sunn cabinets. Jimi was phenomenal-- the guitar seemed to play itself while he went through all these gyrations. The denouement seemed kind of perfunctory-- he kind of pretended to jump on the guitar and sort of mashed it against the amps some-- clearly tired of wasting expensive Strats.
 

3-Chord-Genius

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I did, three nights at the Ambassador Theater in DC in August 1967. He played 5 nights in all but I missed the first one and I was grounded for the Saturday one. He smashed his guitar at the end of the show each night & his roadies would round up the pieces and cobble them together for the next night, until Sunday, when he smashed the guitar for reals & threw the pieces out into the audience. I got the strap, had it for years, no idea where it went. It was immediately apparent that he was the real thing. We spent the first night looking for the other guitar player; it seemed unreal that so much music could come from a single guitar. Saw him later at the Hilton Ballroom and, memorably, during a lightning storm at the open air Merriwether Post Pavilion. Gone way too soon. I'd love to know what the rest of that career would have looked like.
My guess is that if his career continued we'd be here discussing how he "sold out" in the 80's, and how we'd love to see him return to his 60's roots. "He went downhill when he started using the Bradshaw rig, keyboards and Ibanez guitars", etc.
 

Robert H.

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I saw Jimi perform as the closing act at the Winter Festival For Peace (or something like that) at MSG in 1970. He went on after midnight and played 2 songs before walking off in a foul mood. I read later on that he had been slipped some drug or other, but it was a huge disappointment for him to bail so fast. He remained my guitar hero however. One of his notoriously bad performances, but it was still Hendrix, live, which meant magic.
 

mefgames

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Twice, the most memorable being this one which I posted back in 2012. Back in the 60's I was at the Fillmore watching Jimi Hendrix. In front of me was this girl in a silver sparkle bell bottom outfit just groovin to the music. When the song ended, she turned around to walk away. It was Janis Joplin. Those WERE the days !!!
 

Jake909

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Saw him and Eric Burden and The Animals in 1969 at the Hollywood Palladium/Lawrence Welk Theater. I recall Jimi's performance as good enough to remember the event, but not a great concert in my memory bank. He set fire to his Strat. But before then I'd seen The Who and watched them destroy guitars, amps and Moon's drum kit. Don't remember anything specific about Eric and The Animals opening act. Sang their hits and left the stage. The concert seemed sparsely attended. I was about 10 rows back from the stage. I didn't leave thinking I'd just seen a legend. His untimely death would change that, of course.
 

88 asat

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Jun 5 1970, Dallas Memorial Auditorium, me and a buddy rode the bus from Pleasant Grove to downtown that morning. Took some psychedelics on the way, wish I could rember more of it.
 

String Tree

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I’ve never met anyone who has.
If you have, please tell me about it.
Where, when, what was it like, did you have any indication he would become an icon?
I look forward to hearing about it.
Nope, never did.
Sadly, he had come and gone before I ever had the chance.
 

boris bubbanov

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Saw JHE on the Axis Bold as Love tour, at War Memorial in Buffalo.

The opening act was The Hudson Brothers - yawn.

Jimi was having a bad hair day and would not take off his hat. The sound was not very good - kinda muddy.

I was simply blown away by Mitch Mitchell - one of the best drummers I have ever seen in my life.

And Jimi was so far off the charts, after the show was over I left sort of in shock. Ready to just disband our group - we were decent by local standards but just pathetic next to Hendrix. I remember catching a ride home from my Dad, sitting in the back of the family wagon and realizing that there were serious impediments to our long term prospects in music.

Years later, someone asked me if Jimi used big headstock Strats or small headstock. Did I care? Not on your life.
 

boris bubbanov

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Several posters here have mentioned The Soft Machine in positive terms. I thought they were one of the bigger letdowns in all the concerts I saw in that era.

I love that Seattle Pop concert lineup that Schmee mentions. That sounds just astonishingly good! I mean, Lee Michaels would be the weakest link? That's amazing.
 

Bulldoggio

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My home town, San Francisco, I think it was '70. I went to Winterland to see my favorite artist, Albert King (still kinda is) and thought I'd stay to hear the headliner who I'd heard so much about, but first came John Mayall. Boring (sorry, but he was following King Albert!), then Hendrix came on and I got it. He was amazing. I also got to see him not long after doing a free concert in the Panhandle Park, very close to the Haight.
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

Nope. But I met someone once who was in London when he first showed up and was sitting in with others and then appearing with the Experience. This guy saw him / them often.

It was immediately apparent that he was the real thing. We spent the first night looking for the other guitar player; it seemed unreal that so much music could come from a single guitar.

It was immediately apparent that he was the real thing’……………because he could smash up a guitar………………..oh dear.

I suspect the “real thing” here may be referring to @KC ’s following sentence…

it was that authentic.

While I may or may not enjoy one of his performances, authentic is not really the word that fits, I suspect.

the guitar seemed to play itself while he went through all these gyrations

Yes, I had a similar experience with SRV. As well as taking his hands off and it still making melodies, there were also times I swore two entwined melodies were happening. Like @KC above, I was looking around for that hidden guitarist. Nope, just his control of feedback. The reason I was so desperate to see SRV at the time, not being that big a fan, was that I’d read a concert review a while earlier where the reviewer had stated he was the nearest you’d get to experiencing something like Jimi Hendrix live, that was not just mimicry.

Pax/
Dean
 

Mike M

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Saw him twice. First time was at the San Diego Sports Arena. Some of the songs are on the Hendrix In The West album. Late 60's.
Also saw him at the Newport Pop Festival in 1969 at the Devonshire Downs Race Track in Los Angeles. This was a 3 day festival. The first day we got there, we were standing at the fence because we didn't have tickets. Then the fence went down due to the size of the crowd. We all ran into the event. I remember getting thrown to the ground by a security person, and I got up and just kept running so I wouldn't get trampled. We mixed in with the crowd and didn't leave until it was over.

Cool, the San Diego "Red House" from In the West is my favorite, sooo cool you where there!
 

oldunc

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Saw him live at the Berkeley (CA) Community theater (best I remember), along with Tower of Power. It was extraordinarily loud.
 




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