moon life in spiral light
One day in the Flower Power summer of 1967 my brother came
home with the French Barclay label edition of «Are You
Experienced?», the first album of a hitherto rather
unknown black guitarist. That day was to become one of the
cornerstones of my life, because it was only a matter of weeks
and I had turned into the most ardent Jimi Hendrix fan.
In 1993 the Dutch tobacco company «Drum» launched
a competition with all prices being pop memorabilia, among
them 3 lyric sheets that Jimi
Hendrix had written in 1970 - probably between March 9th and
March 19th when he had stayed at the Londonderry Hotel (these
lyrics had been lot 531 at Sotheby's June 22, 1991 auction).
I just had to get that item and, indeed, my faked Londonderry letter,
claiming all rights on the «stolen» hotel stationary,
was judged the most original entry and I was declared the winner
of the 'Moonlife in Spiral light' poem.
As you can see Jimi had started on the backsides of the stationary.
Maybe because he didn't have any more paper «at hand»,
he flipped over the third sheet to continue and finish the poem
on its actual upper side. Like with many other of his poems Jimi
didn't have enough time left to transform it into a song...
Hendrix and Switzerland
The Jimi Hendrix Experience have played Switzerland only
once with two gigs at the Pop Monsterkonzert at Zurich Hallenstadion
on May 30th and 31st 1968.
By that time sparks of the revolutionary fires, roused at
Paris and Berlin, had spread and already reached Zurich. The
young wing of the «Partei der Arbeit» (PdA) had
prepared the «1. Flugblatt der anti-autoritären
Menschen», a pamphlet that featured Jimi Hendrix' picture
on the frontside, the medaillon on his breast now propagating
Mao's «Revolution is legitimate». The same group
had also procured the master of ceremonies, Giorgio Frapolli.
Fire in the streets
Of course, that loaded atmosphere («Aufbruchstimmung»)
was also felt inside the Hallenstadion, and when it came about problems
and delays, some people started to throw bottles and other small
things on the stage, even during the Hendrix gig. Jimi had to stop
«Stone Free». Ironically, it was now Giorgio who had
to deal with the spirits they had called for, and had to argue with
the audience, warning them that Jimi Hendrix would stop playing
if people wouldn't cease throwing things.
«His music needs full attention, not only with the fists
but as well with your ears.» As on other occasions like this
when Jimi was angry, Mitch Mitchell would start his drum intro to
«I don't live today» - thus forcing the band leader
to take up his axe and go on playing.
The gig was saved - but not Zurich. After the second evening of
the Pop Monsterkonzert the first heavy riots in a long row to come
had hit the streets of Zurich.....
(For more infos look up the extensively researched article by Eugen
Sorg: «Aufbruch» in «Das Magazin» No. 21,
29/05/93 issued by Tages Anzeiger newspaper.)
There is still an active Hendrix scene in Switzerland, with Marcel
Aeby's More Experience, a professional and internationally touring
cover band (sometimes assisted by Noel Redding), Mario Capitanio
who recorded a CD «vo Jimi bis Hendrix» that features
10 Hendrix covers in Swiss dialect, and Peter Herzig, a regular
contributor to UNIVIBES , the quarterly Hendrix magazine, and co-organizer
of the 1995 Hendrix festival at Boldern on lake Zurich.
|This autograph was forwarded to me by Iris Gasparini.
As a London resident in those crucial end-sixties years she
had seen Hendrix on several occasions, from small club venues
to his 1970 Isle of Wight performance.