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Jimi soundcheck from Monterey?

I'm no Hendrix expert, but I was at Monterey that weekend, and my recollection is that not many bands did formal soundchecks. Any such would have been plainly audible on the festival grounds, because the arena was in the center of the site, open to the air. I did sit down for a few minutes of the Buffalo Springfield soundcheck on Saturday,* because I could hear it walking by the arena, but honestly don't recall any others. FWIW...

*They did "Clancy"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx, Buck, you could probably write a book about that weekend. I could write a pamphlet and was on my way as a 12 year old without knowing diddly but got ditched in Bakersfield, probably wouldn't have known to stick around til the end tho...
But, we know Jimi did a soundcheck, plenty of pix and stories about it, how much of one and if it was recorded would only be known to a relative few, and many are gone now.
 

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Hey Ron, that is super-interesting to know! I guess at least a few people nearby got a sneak preview of what blew everyone else's minds later on. AFAIK he was utterly unknown in the U.S. when he stepped onto the Monterey stage that Sunday night... dunno if AYE even had radio airplay by then. Not on AM radio in my town, that's for sure....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's always stated that Monterey was his first US gig as Jimi Hendrix/Experience tho I'm thinking he must have done SOMETHING in the days leading up to that famous nite, but I havn't heard/found proof yet. And the lucky few that got turned on to him via the super scarce UK release were essentially the first Americans to dig it, even my cousin in-law was playing his stuff onstage prior to Monterey, so it was known but VERY little heard on the radio. Paul McCartney was hugely influencial in persuading the fest promoters to bill him at all and then place him strategically at the end, without him things would have been much different.
Regardless, he was totally new and mindblowing to the crowd and then our little world, the rest was fantastic history. Virtually nobody in the media had the knowledge or balls to play that stuff early on, but Jimi changed the world yet again after The Beatles did in '64. What a decade!

Did you actually see him?!
 

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Yes, I saw Hendrix at Monterey, not from the arena floor but from one of the side galleries, about a third of the way back from the stage. (Each show's seat assignment was different, but none sucked -- it wasn't a huge venue.) I made it to the Saturday and Sunday Monterey shows -- 4 out of 5. The Sunday night (fifth) show went on for quite a long time, with some excellent music mixed in with real snoozefests, until the Who came on quite a few hours along and raised the bar dramatically. I was a fan, via obscure ATCO 45s I'd tracked down -- felt quite smug about it too, they were not well- known in the U.S. yet -- and couldn't have been happier when they tore the place apart. (The "Monterey Pop" movie that features their "My Generation" raveup captures the atmosphere pretty well, actually.) Then the Grateful Dead played... I was NOT a fan & found the performance painfully tedious. The rest of the evening didn't seem too promising in advance: I was sure the closing set by the Mamas and Papas would be awful (and it was..), and then after the Dead there was just some band from England to look forward to, the one that' was supposedly the big new thing. Clearly, I thought, the best of the festival was behind us...
I was a pretty serious rock fan, for an L.A. kid who never went to shows -- followed the charts in the trades, all that stuff -- but I had no idea the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a trio, or that the lead guitarist was black. Nor had I heard any of their songs. That's how little publicity they'd received up to that point, or airplay either, again, at least in the SoCal market. I'm pretty sure the rest of the general-admission crowd knew as little as I did.
The impact on the crowd was instantaneous. Not only were they REALLY loud, but the noise was overwhelming, astounding, beyond description. I don't know if I perceived it as a new guitar vocabulary or anything so profound -- I was just a kid, and in rock 'n' roll shock -- but it was sure powerful, and beyond compelling. Who IS this guy?? And talk about giving a new band a warm reception -- the women in the crowd just went apeshit ... there was screaming, widespread screaming, like at a Herman's Hermits concert. Panties were tossed early on, during "Foxy Lady," for the only time that weekend, I'm fairly certain. (I wasn't close enough to Otis Redding to say for sure...he would have been the only other logical candidate.) And then, of course, "Wild Thing" to close -- lighter fluid and all.
A very, very tough act to follow for Scott McKenzie, let's leave it at that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fabulous insight, Buck, you set the tone of the moment perfectly for the times. Interesting you say it was so loud, thank god, it wouldn't have been the same otherwise. Obviously somebody (beyond Jimi) was thinking of making an impact with his performance. Plus that the crowd was going bonkers adds reality to the impetus as the usual mention is they were in stunned silence which has been enforced with the film footage showing the front rows (including Mama Cass) just gazing in wonder. No doubt that scene was somewhat out of context to the Wild Thing mayhem, but it's still cool.
And poor Scott McKenzie! I knew there was another act/s following Jimi but had forgotten who. After Hendrix Scott could have set his own panties on fire and nobody would have cared or remembered.
Speaking of panties, was it at Monterey that Jimi mentioned some "girl in yellow underwear" prior to a song (Wild Thing?), and that girl being Stevie Nicks?
Bozo, thanx for the pix, I've been trying to capture one from the soundcheck that shows Jimi in Wild Thing mode holding his Strat by the body with neck down and working the trem but havn't succeeded yet. I hadn't seen that one before nor a rare color shot from behind the stage showing Jimi and the empty venue, which I guess I didn't save and now can find. Wondering whatever became of that now iconic black Strat? A different one was sacrificed for the finale, of which the majority of pieces have been salvaged and are on display somewhere.
Despite the camera running out of film midway thru and missing a song and a half, at least we'll get to see most of the show and hear it all forever, thanx to Pennebacker. What luck, but nothing quite like being there and being blown away like nothing before, Buck, thanx for sharing such killer memories!
 

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There is also a shot of Jimi sitting behind the drums from that sound check. At least, I believe it is: He's wearing the same clothes and it's the Premier set with the tiger swirl pattern.
 
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