Jimi Hendrix A Musician For All Seasons This Week at LiveAuctionTalk.com Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly column offers a motherload of information and history about the world of art, antiques and collectibles. Visit the site. Sign up for a free weekly subscription.
News-Antique.com - Nov 09,2011 - “This song is for a friend of mine.” Jimi Hendrix whispered softly into the microphone toward the end of his performance. The songster began to slowly improvise on his guitar. The music he played sounded fragile and grief-stricken.
No one had heard anything quite like this before from Jimi.
His playing seemed to embrace the anger and hurt the audience and he were both experiencing. His music was common ground, a place where they could come together and mourn.
It was April 5, 1968. The audience knew Jimi’s song was an elegy to Martin Luther King Jr. who had been shot and killed the day before in Memphis.
Jimi was performing in Newark that night and thought about cancelling the show. But the Newark Police Department insisted the “Jimi Hendrix Experience” would perform.
They were certain if he didn’t black citizens would burn the city down. Inside the music hall the sound of gunfire could be heard in the streets. The stagehands figured they could all end up dead.
“We all thought there was some kind of conspiracy going on, to eliminate people who were seen as enemies of some kind of dream of America that had never been,” said Mark Boyle, a lighting technician, who was part of the audience.
Jimi was making it up as he went along. “Hauntingly beautiful…appallingly beautiful,” is how Boyle described it. When he was done the singer, songwriter-guitarist laid down his guitar and quietly walked off stage.
On June 14, Christie’s, South Kensington, England, featured a selection of Jimi Hendrix items in its Pop Culture auction.
A Promotional Poster; “Jimi Hendrix Experience” Jan. 15, 1969; 55 inches by 39 inches; sold in the auction for $2,665.
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