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Eddie Kramer, the genius behind the scenes with Kiss, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and more, shared a fascinating story in an interview with Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French. Picture this: Eddie and Jimi Hendrix at a Rolling Stones concert. It’s like stepping into a time machine of rock greatness! Back in the day, these icons crossed paths, creating a musical tapestry that still resonates today. Imagine the energy, the vibes, and the sheer magic of witnessing such a meeting of musical minds.

Eddie Kramer recalls Jimi Hendrix and Rolling Stones backstage meeting:

(There was) a concert in ’69 that I was very fortunate to go to, and the history of that one is kind of fun. I know exactly the dates and the time because it was November 27th, 1969 [Jimi’s last birthday]. I got a phone call…

It was very unusual for me to get a phone call from Jimi. ‘Hey man, what’s happening? You want to go to The Rolling Stones, Madison Square Garden tonight?’ ‘Yeah, OK. Yes, Jimi, that would be fantastic, thank you.’ So he said, ‘Meet me backstage.

This is how the whole thing comes about – we met up backstage, we go up in the elevator, everybody knows everybody, of course, The Stones and Jimi are all friends, and it was just wonderful. Backstage, talking to all the folks that I know there, The Stones and everything, I had this beautiful shot of Mick [Jagger] and Jimi sitting on a bench, basically in the dressing room with the concrete blocks behind them and the hangers.”

 

The First Encounter Between Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger

 

But, in November of 1969, it wasn’t the first time that Jimi Hendrix had been in the company of a member of The Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger were caught on camera during their first-ever meeting at the Top of the Pops Studio in May 1967. The tale goes that Jimi Hendrix was in for a taping, doing his thing for Top of the Pops, and Jagger decided to swing by and “check out the competition.”

Mick Jagger caught Jimi Hendrix’s right in the heart of the “Summer of Love”. Their paths crossed after Hendrix’s Top of the Pops session at BBC studios, leading to a chat between the two legends.

Mick Jagger famously recalled, “I loved Jimi Hendrix from the beginning. The moment I saw him, I thought he was fantastic. I was an instant convert. Mr. Jimi Hendrix is the best thing I’ve ever seen. It was exciting, sexy, interesting. He didn’t have a very good voice but made up for it with his guitar“.

 

The Backstage Encounter Between Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones

 

Jimi Hendrix wasn’t exactly a fan of Mick Jagger, and one of the reasons behind their less-than-friendly relationship had ties to Devon Wilson, a long-time girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix who happened to be romantically involved with Mick Jagger as well. In fact, Jimi Hendrix composed a song addressing this love triangle, “Dolly Dagger,” inspired by witnessing Devon’s seducing Jagger. One line in the song, “she drinks her blood from a jagged edge,” directly references an incident where Mick pricked his finger, and Devon proceeded to suck the wound.

Nevertheless, as Jimi Hendrix celebrated his 27th birthday in November 1969, he spent the night at Madison Square Garden watching the Rolling Stones. Before the show, he had a backstage chat with Keith Richards, inquiring if Keith had heard of Linda Keith, the British fashion model instrumental in launching Jimi Hendrix’s career. She famously lent him a white Fender Stratocaster owned by her then-boyfriend Richards when Jimi Hendrix was still an unknown musician.

Still, backstage, Jimi Hendrix also borrowed an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite Guitar guitar from Keith and started playing. This historical encounter is captured in rare footage owned by Albert Maysles, with Jagger repeatedly passing in front of the camera. I wonder why!

However, much of the audio is overdubbed by Jimi Hendrix’s “My Little One,” recorded at Olympic Studios in London on October 5, 1967. In the video, you can also witness Jimi Hendrix and Mick Taylor, the Stones’ new guitarist at the time, engaging in what appears to be a duet or jam session. This marked Taylor’s debut tour, stepping in for Brian Jones.

As you watch these iconic figures of rock history hanging out, there’s a bittersweet undertone. Little did they know that this occasion would be Jimi Hendrix’s final birthday. He would die on September 18 the following year, adding a poignant layer to this memorable encounter.

 

Check out the footage below to glimpse into this historic moment:

 

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Later, at the concert, Jimi Hendrix watched it from near Keith Richards’ amplifier, visible to everyone. There were brief suspicions that he might join the band on stage, creating what could have been another epic moment in music history. Ultimately, Mick Jagger may not have been too thrilled about the prospect of sharing the stage with Jimi Hendrix. We can understand the hesitation in the face of the guitar G.O.A.T!

 

 

FAQ’S

Who Was Jimi Hendrix’s Favorite Guitarist?

In his prime, Jimi Hendrix referred to three guitarists whom he considered the best in the world as his favorites: Terry Kath, Rory Gallagher, and Billy Gibbons.

During an appearance on the Dick Cavett show, the host show praised Jimi Hendrix, proclaiming him the finest guitar player of all time. This prompted a smile from Jimi Hendrix, but he quickly corrected Cavett by responding, “The greatest sitting in this chair, maybe.” It seems Jimi Hendrix had his own perspective on who deserved the title of the best guitarist of all time.

On another occasion, on The Mike Douglas Show Jimi Hendrix, was asked by Douglas about being the best rock guitarist. Jimi Hendrix humbly replied, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Rory Gallagher.” For this reason alone, Gallagher could be considered Hendrix’s all-time favorite. Yet, most people believe that the coveted title is reserved for another extraordinary guitarist, Billy Gibbons.

It’s known that Hendrix and Gibbons were not only close but also good friends. Gibbons reminisced about his time with Jimi and even shared the story of their initial meeting when he spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock:

“I remember wrapping up the set, coming off the stage, there was Jimi in the shadows – off to the side with his arms folded. But he was grinning, and as I passed by, he grabbed me and said, ‘I like you. You’ve got a lot of nerve.”

Moreover, in a later interview, Gibbons was informed by a reporter that Jimi considered him one of his favorite guitarists. In response, Gibbons said, “I remember that. I’ve heard that for a long time ago. We were good friends. I still have some fond memories of our time together. I hope that someday we can just bring it out and let it come out. It’s still swirling around up there.”

 

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Terry Kath’s guitar legacy with Chicago is nothing short of brilliance, and in the late 1960s, the band shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix. Jimi was profoundly impressed by Kath’s skills, even stating that he believed Kath played the guitar better than himself. In a noteworthy declaration, Hendrix went on to dub Terry Kath the “Best Guitarist in the Universe.”

For fans and critics alike, Jimi Hendrix’s accolades for Terry Kath carry immense weight. Considering Hendrix’s widespread recognition as one of the greatest guitarists ever, his endorsement of Kath’s prowess raises intriguing questions.

A close examination of Terry Kath’s guitar solo on Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” lends credence to Hendrix’s praise. Unfortunately, Kath’s virtuoso playing didn’t receive the acclaim it deserved, primarily because he was a team-oriented musician. Fellow Chicago band members attested that Kath prioritized delivering exceptional albums with the band over personal accolades. For those who grew up listening to the first five Chicago albums, Terry Kath’s commitment to his musical goals is undeniable.

It’s truly unfortunate that Terry Kath of Chicago met a premature end at just 31, succumbing to an accidental gunshot wound.

 

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What Guitarist Inspired Jimi Hendrix?

Throughout his short career, Jimi Hendrix spoke about those who he idolized during his childhood. Muddy Waters was an artist who mattered to him more than most, and he remembered being transfixed by his playing style, which illuminated his life at an early age. In the grand tapestry of musical influences, Muddy Waters held a special place as Jimi Hendrix’s hero.

Hendrix once reflected, “I heard one of Muddy Waters’ old records when I was a little boy, and it scared me to death because I heard all of those sounds. Wow, what is that all about?” This encounter with Waters’ music left an indelible mark on Hendrix, sparking a curiosity and awe that would later shape his own groundbreaking approach to the guitar.

Muddy Waters was one of the first guitarists Jimi Hendrix was aware of. Jimi listened to and drew inspiration from Muddy’s records as a young child. One of Jimi’s favorites to sample and play was Muddy’s song called ‘Mannish Boy’ from the album ‘Electric Mud,’ recorded in 1955. Jimi often performed this song at his concerts, and when you hear Jimi play, you can unmistakably sense the Muddy Waters inspiration in his music.

 

 

 

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