Houston Calling

Are you experienced?

November 12th, 2005 · 1 Comment

I recently have been revisiting some albums from my collection, hoping to write expanded pieces on a few of them. One I have never touched is anything by Jimi Hendrix, feeling I could never do it justice. Plus, after I read Joe Pernice‘s installment in the 33 1/3 book series on The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder, I feel pretty lame in comparison.

The other day, however, I came across this article in Popmatters on Hendrix’s Smash Hits.

Here’s a taste:

I was eight or nine years old when Night Court changed my life. It wasn’t the snide dealings of Assistant DA Dan Fielding or one of Judge Harry T. Stone’s sleight-of-hand tricks that did it; it was just an offhand aside, a throwaway line. The no-nonsense bailiff, a burly black woman, said that she wouldn’t mind going to heaven if Jimi Hendrix were there. For whatever reason, the name lingered.

The name didn’t have any meaning to me. It’s not as if I was some precocious music kid. I owned two tapes at the time: The Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and an album of songs by the stars of the WWF. But in the time since, those two albums have grown to something like two thousand and Jimi’s the reason why…

Hearing Jimi made me realize that what I had was not all there was. I didn’t have to accept things as they were. I could run away without leaving my room. When I felt like crap, I would escape into those Martian blues soundscapes and let everything else melt away. I fell into his world of sex, sass, ecstasy, and poetry — and all those unclassifiable things his guitar expressed. The world I lived in didn’t have to exist when Smash Hits was playing. I preferred Jimi’s world anyway, even if it wasn’t all billowing smoke and daisies. I knew The Wind Cries Mary was a sad song. But it was Jimi’s sadness, not my own. Rather then cry or scream — two things I desperately needed to do — I let his guitar do it for me. I’d figured it out. Music was it.

Be sure to read the entire thing — it’s pretty good. Hope you enjoy it. If so, check out another of the site’s pieces on headbanging. It’s good as well.

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Tags: Music

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jamie // Nov 12, 2005 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the reading suggestions David!! I loved the ‘…Confessions of a Recovering Headbager’ piece. It really took me back to high school. I was admittedly not quite as hardcore as he seemed to be but I can definitely relate to everything he mentioned. Although I *did* have a little trouble with the second half of this quote,

    “We were the few, the proud, the true. And each in our own individual way, not quite right in the head.”

    ….I always thought it was eveyone else that wasn’t quite right in the head, no??

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