Published on August 18th, 2023 | by AlexandreG.0
The Story of Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones Iconic Friendship
Brian Jones, the multi-instrumentalist heart and soul of The Rolling Stones, was a prodigy in his own right. Known for his eclectic fashion sense, golden locks, and intoxicating charisma, Jones was a force to be reckoned with. He introduced the Stones to a variety of instruments and sounds, from the marimba on “Under My Thumb” to the sitar on “Paint It Black”, pushing the boundaries of rock and creating masterpieces.
Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix had a brief but notable friendship. Their paths crossed in the mid-1960s when both were rising stars in the music industry. Brian Jones was already established as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the time. Jimi Hendrix, on the other hand, was an emerging talent with his innovative and electrifying guitar skills.
Their friendship is said to have begun when the Rolling Stones invited Jimi Hendrix to open for them during a few of their concerts in 1966. Hendrix’s performances were groundbreaking and left a strong impression on both the audience and the Stones themselves. There are stories of Jones and Hendrix spending time together backstage, jamming, and discussing music and guitar techniques.
It’s worth noting that both Jones and Hendrix were known for their experimentation with drugs and their often tumultuous personal lives. This shared aspect of their lifestyles may have contributed to their bond.
Brian Jones & Jimi Hendrix, Monterey Festival 1967
1967’s Monterey Pop Festival was a historic moment in rock and roll history, showcasing a galaxy of rising talents. Among them were Jimi Hendrix and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who gave a performance that would be remembered for ages. One of the defining moments was Hendrix setting his guitar on fire, leaving an indelible image in the annals of rock.
Brian Jones, already a rock star as a member of The Rolling Stones, was present at the festival not as a performer but as an enthusiast and an admirer. Donning a flower-powered outfit, Jones took the stage to introduce Hendrix’s set, describing him as “the most exciting guitar player I’ve ever heard.” The interaction and mutual respect between the two on that day were evident.
Why Jimi Hendrix Cut Off Brian Jones at Sessions for ‘All Along the Watchtower’
One of the most enigmatic episodes in the relationship between Hendrix and Jones occurred during the recording sessions for “All Along the Watchtower,” a Bob Dylan cover that would go on to become one of Hendrix’s most iconic tracks. Brian Jones, known for his multi-instrumental prowess, was present during some of these sessions.
However, the sessions were not smooth-sailing. Despite the mutual admiration, Hendrix was known for his perfectionism in the studio. As the story goes, Jones attempted to contribute using various instruments, including a piano and a percussion instrument. Yet, his contributions were not aligning with Hendrix’s vision for the track. After several attempts and growing frustrations, Hendrix decided to cut Jones off from the session. It was a decision based on the musical direction Hendrix wanted rather than personal animosity.
27 Death Club: The Deaths of Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix
However, their friendship was short-lived due to Jones’s struggles with substance abuse and the increasing tensions within the Rolling Stones. Jones faced legal troubles and was eventually dismissed from the band in 1969. Tragically, Jones died on July 3, 1969, just a few weeks after his departure from the Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix, too, faced his own challenges and tragically died on September 18, 1970, due to an accidental drug overdose.
For this, both Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix are often associated with the “27 Club.” The 27 Club refers to a group of influential musicians who tragically died at the age of 27, often due to drug-related issues or other untimely circumstances. This group also includes other iconic artists like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
Did Brian Jones Record any Song With Jimi Hendrix?
Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones once collaborated on a very rare occasion, delivering a powerful rendition of “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong (Little One).” This was apart from their fateful recording of “All Along the Watchtower.”