Jimi Hendrix Live Album Coming, Ahead of 80th Birthday

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To help celebrate what would have been Jimi Hendrix’s 80th birthday, Experience Hendrix LLC, in partnership with Legacy Recordings, is releasing Jimi Hendrix Experience Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 on Nov. 18, 2022, on CD and LP vinyl. Recorded in the spring of 1969 before a raucous, sold out audience, the performance of the original lineup (singer/guitarist Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, bassist Noel Redding) has never before been released in its entirety. Hendrix was born on Nov. 27, 1942. Listen to the advance track, “I Don’t Live Today,” below.

From the Sept. 8 announcement: Following the massive success of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967-68 studio album trifecta (Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland), the trio had developed into the most popular international touring attraction in rock music. This widescale public interest coincided with the construction of new arenas for sporting events, among them the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Designed by famed architect Charles Luckman (who also designed New York’s rebuilt Madison Square Garden), this multi-purpose venue opened in 1967 as the home of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, but also began to serve as a music venue. Among the earliest concerts held there was Aretha Franklin in January 1968 and the Cream farewell tour with opening act Deep Purple in October of that year. The Jimi Hendrix Experience were booked to perform on April 26, 1969 with opening acts Chicago Transit Authority (soon-to-be renamed Chicago) and Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, the latter of whom shared management with the headliners. Floor seats cost $6.50 ($51.20 adjusted for inflation).

Watch a brief trailer for the release

By the time the Jimi Hendrix Experience took the stage to blaze through a spirited set, live concert sound had drastically improved from the time of the Beatles baseball stadium tours, but crowd control was still a major concern. Between songs, Hendrix pled with audience members to stop rushing the stage. A heavy police presence is felt; lyrics for their hit “Purple Haze” are altered (“‘Scuse me while I kiss that policeman!”) and Jimi dedicates “Spanish Castle Magic” to “the plain clothes police out there and other goofballs.” Hendrix treated each performance as a unique event. He never relied on a standard set list comprised only of his biggest commercial hits. This approach was on full display at the Forum performance, blending more familiar tunes such as “Foxey Lady” with “I Don’t Live Today” from Are You Experienced and his signature blues original“Red House” (“Everybody want to know what America’s soul is; everybody think it’s Motown . . . America’s soul is something more like this here”) which had still not yet been released in the U.S. at this time. Furthermore, the group opened their set with a cover of “Tax Free” – an obscure 1967 instrumental by Swedish duo Hansson & Karlsson (consisting of Bo Hansson and Janne Karlsson), with whom the Experience had previously shared bills in Stockholm. Another unique highlight featured within the Forum performance was an early reimagining of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which Jimi would canonize four months later at Woodstock. “Here’s a song we was all brainwashed with,” Jimi trenchantly declares, at a time when the nation was in a state of great political unrest. The group closed their performance with a unique, extraordinary medley of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”. The song was an Experience favorite and a perfect live vehicle for the trio’s unparalleled improvisational skill.

Listen to “I Don’t Live Today”

The performance was recorded by Wally Heider and Bill Halverson contemporaneously, and recently remixed by longtime Hendrix producer/engineer Eddie Kramer for maximum audio fidelity. It was produced by Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix, LLC (and the sister of Jimi Hendrix), Kramer and John McDermott, who manages the Hendrix music catalog on behalf of Experience Hendrix. The package’s liner notes are by former LA Times staff writer/critic Randy Lewis with a preface by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons who attended the Hendrix Forum show, having toured with the Experience, as part of the Moving Sidewalks, his pre-ZZ band.

Also coming out during the month of Hendrix’s 80th birthday is the book JIMI. Published by Chronicle Books imprint Chroma for a Nov. 24 release, this comprehensive visual celebration is an official collaboration with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott. JIMI significantly expands on the authors’ previously published titles, including An Illustrated Experience, and features a new introduction by Janie, extensive biographical texts, and a trove of lesser known and never-before-published photographs, personal memorabilia, lyrics, and more. Additionally, JIMI includes quotations by legendary musicians such as Paul McCartney, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton, Drake, Dave Grohl and others who have spoken about Hendrix’s lasting influence.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 Tracklist
Tax Free
Foxey Lady
Red House
Spanish Castle Magic
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
I Don’t Live Today
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Sunshine of Your Love
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Related: Director D.A. Pennebaker talks about filming Hendrix at Monterey Pop

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  1. Drawde
    #1 Drawde 8 September, 2022, 11:45

    Previously released as the 4th disc to the “Lifelines – The Jimi Hendrix Story” boxed set. Now out of print and hard to come by at reasonable prices. Thankfully I have mine still with the outer box.

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  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 9 September, 2022, 12:27

    Janie Hendrix is running out of any kind of recording of her brother that she can regurgitate into a “New Release,” to keep plundering his legacy. It’s disgusting, and even more so that Eddie Kramer is along for the ride. Kramer, probably the only living person involved who was actually “there,” should be protecting Hendrix’s legacy instead of helping his baby sister to pilfer it. This release at least is a live performance that is what it is, unlike so many of “Experience Hendrix’s” reclaimed studio out-takes studio jams and recording of songs in the writing process that they’ve release as posthumous Hendrix albums. All in all, disgraceful.

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