Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I did not watch the debates last night. I was not even tempted to watch them. I am, of course, terrified that Trump will win, but he is unbearable to contemplate in the flesh, pixilated or otherwise. So instead I lit a small fire in the woodstove, and I cooked chicken and tomatoes, and I listened to a recording of Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding live at the Monterey Pop Festival. I took some notes on what I was hearing. A few of them go like this:
Jimi talks to the audience, pleads, in a nerdy way, “O don’t be mad,” and then quickly tries to disguise it as hippie cool.

Much of the intro to his version of Wild Thing depends on his need to forget that he’s nerdy, which he’s very successful at because his Wild Thing ends up being one of the most erotic versions ever. 
Otis was glad to learn new things, like figuring out what it would be like to play for the hippie crowd. And Jimi had class anxiety, afraid he couldn’t fit into Otis’s cool. I find this very touching and would like to make dinner for both of these boys. 
But both of them were dead before I ever heard their first notes.


David (n of 49) said...

‘There was a lot of fire coming from the trees, but we were all right as long as we kept down. And I was thinking, Oh man, so this is a rice paddy, yes, wow! when I suddenly heard an electric guitar shooting right up in my ear, and a mean, rapturous black voice singing, coaxing, "Now c'mon baby, stop actin' so crazy,".... and when I got it all together, I turned to see a grinning black corporal hunched over a cassette recorder. "Might's well," he said. "We ain' goin' nowhere till them gunships come."

‘That's the story of the first time I ever heard Jimi Hendrix. But in a war where people talk about Aretha's “Satisfaction” the way others speak of Brahm’s Fourth, it was more than a story; it was Credentials... '"Say, that Jimi Hendrix is my main man", someone would say. "He has definitely got his shit together!" Hendrix had once been in the 101st Airborne, and the Airborne in Vietnam was full of wiggy-brilliant spades like him, really mean and really good, guys who always took care of you when things got bad. That music meant a lot to them. I never once heard it played over the Armed Forces Radio Network.'

- from Michael Herr's "Dispatches"

Dawn Potter said...

"I never once heard it played over the Armed Forces Radio Network."