Jimi Hendrix - 05-24-1969

Jimi Hendrix

05-24-1969
International Sports Arena
San Diego CA
Jimi Hendrix Experience

discs: 1
recording type: SBD
shn: yes; book/page: 2/29
quality rating: A-

[disc 1] (64:51)
1. Fire (3:37)
2. Hey Joe (4:55)
3. Spanish Castle Magic -> drum solo (9:06)
4. Sunshine Of Your Love tease -> Spanish Castle Magic (2:59)
5. Red House (14:14)
6. I Don't Live Today (7:23)
7. Foxy Lady (6:13)
8. Purple Haze (5:46)
9. Voodoo Chile (slight return) (10:37)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded live at the International Sports Arena; San Diego, CA 5/24/69. Released 1995. Includes 'Foxy Lady' which was left out of the 'Stages' release (Reprise). Soundboard CD.

bootleg title?: DON'T MISS HIM THIS TIME (Triangle)

Original CD->.wav(using EAC)->shn(mkwact).

NOTE: the copy i received had two seconds of silence between all the tracks, i sucked it all into cooleditpro, flushed the big file, removed the silence, and retracked the tracks. came out nice. -davepeterson

From Chris Dixon's 30th Anniversary Series C S Dixon:

24 May 1999 marks 30 years since the Experience concert at the Sports Arena in San Diego, California. The band has headed out for a few western US dates as the last Experience tour winds down. The previous night had seen a show in Jimi's hometown of Seattle and they would continue to San Jose and Hawaii before a couple of weeks off and their last two dates. The San Diego gig was recorded for a possible live album and tracks from the show appeared on 'In The West' and 'Concerts' with the whole show, save 'Foxy Lady', appearing on the (out of print) 'Stages' box set. This would be the last officially recorded work of the original Experience. The soundboard recording (presumably onto 8 tracks) is of course most welcome, though IMO it's begging for an eventual rerelease with a remix/remaster. Mix on 'Stages' sounds a little off to me, lopsided with bass to one side (though, like LA'69, probably an attempt to replicate stage placements) and guitar a little low at times. The bass sound leaves a bit to be desired, but I'm sure we're hearing a mic on the overworked Sunn amps (later to be known as the 'Felix Pappalardi' sound !). A great listen regardless.

(Setlist): Fire; Hey Joe; Spanish Castle Magic; Red House; I Don't Live Today; Foxy Lady; Purple Haze; Voodoo Child (SR)

Jimi, perhaps recalling the previous show at MSG, tells the audience "...don't concentrate on the flash bulbs but concentrate on what we can get across to you (and) let your money be well spent...". Some sort of disturbance down front prompts Jimi to say "Now let's not get frantic there... the cat in the bebop hat - watch out for them, they're livin in the past", repeating the last 5 words in his exaggerated comic voice. He then says they're going to create their "...own little electric church..." and launches into a minute or two of his 'flamenco style' improv, starting with a variation on the 'Bolero' progression. Some stray guitar squeals delays things for another minute or two and Noel apologizes for having to "adjust these boxes".

Jimi dedicates 'Fire' to that "girl in the yellow underwear" (she gets around!). An unusually clipped drum fill at 1:45 (on 'Stages', at least) almost sounds like a tape edit. Some shouted requests afterward prompt Jimi to point out "..we'll get to all that-you don't have no program...when I say 'toilet paper' *that's* when you come rolling out".

After a short bluesy solo improv, Jimi intros 'Hey Joe' as being from the Ben Franklin Studios in 1734. He starts the song with his low E string a little flat but corrects it after the first vocal line. 'I Feel Fine' quote still here, this time after the first "..shot your lady down..". It seems appropriate that we'd have a soundboard recording of this, the Experience's last known performance of HJ, as it was the very first song they ever recorded in the studio! A little more tuning afterward prompts Jimi's "..only cowboys stay in tune anyway" line, adding "we aren't a cowboy band are we?".

'SCM' dedicated to other familiar Jimi characters of the period, the "plainclothes policemen and other goofballs". Solo features some lightning quick pull-offs around 3:15, but sounds like Jimi breaks a string just before the 4 min. mark. He switches to some long sustained notes then drops out for a drum solo. Returns, as he has in the last couple of SCMs, with the 'Sunshine of Your Love' riff. After just one verse/chorus of same they return to SCM for the final chorus. At the end, Jimi comments "That's what happens when you get bored playing the same old song all the time"!

'Red House' here is a real tour-de-force and often cited as *the* definitive version. Though I'm not too interested in trying to choose a "best" version, the combination of performance and recording quality puts it right up there for me, too! This was first heard on 'Hendrix In The West' and the years have not diminished it's power IMO. It would take way too long to point out all the highlights as almost every phrase is a perfect composition in and of itself! Even at the outset, I always dug the 'knocking' sound before the second line of solo after band enters- probably done with pick on pickup or pickguard, it sounds like he's knocking on the door that the key won't unlock! The middle section has the percussive 3/4 feel section at first sounding like the sharp 'bounce' of drumstick (or other object) on strings but ending with a slightly softer attack, more like knuckles on the guitar body. One of the best unaccompanied sections ever follows, with subtle wah inflections really giving it that 'vocal' sound and the 'up close' recording revealing every little tonal and stylistic detail. The 'full shred' chorus that follows starts with a whammy 'scoop' that sound like Jimi's gulping a huge breath, or downshifting before stepping on the gas! Even sounds like he does a few lines with his teeth, fairly unusual for RH. The 'In The West' mix sounds a little more balanced to me, but with more 'after the fact' reverb. Definitely a landmark performance.

'IDLT' intro'ed as from "1444" and Jimi says it's about "...misunderstanding between young and old..." but still dedicated to "..the American Indian, you and ourselves...". Mitch's intro for some reason here reminds me of the classic 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' drumbreak in a couple of spots and can't help but wonder if he was trying to crack up the band! Jimi changes the "I wish someone would rescue me" to "I wish someone would execute me" followed by an exaggerated chuckle. In the interlude Jimi appends "nothing but existence" with "nothing but misunderstanding" (a recurring theme?) and does a feedback section that touches on 'Star Spangled Banner' at one point. The last section reveals some persistent extraneous amplifier squeal but Jimi still manages to slip in a quote from the Beatles 'Tommorrow Never Knows' around 5:00. At the very end he throws in a couple of quick muted strums which would become familiar as the 'Machine Gun' effect. This song appeared on the Concerts' album with additional echo, esp. on the voice.

Jimi continues his slightly 'deeper' song intros of this night by explaining 'Purple Haze' as "...the same thing as 'Love or Confusion'... love will not be there unless truth and understanding come first...the one who sang this song didn't have it in the first place...". Replaces the usual "kiss this guy" pun with "kiss that guy"! Typically fast n' wild free-time solo before the final chord.

'VC(SR)' gets an opening remark about how it's "..something for everybody grab hold of, not coming from us to you...but just a feeling, a self assurance..". Coming out of the opening verses, the solo features some apparent pickup-switch manipulation around the 2:50 mark. Pulls back a couple of minutes later and comments "...wait till we finish..." just before starting the last verse. Possibly the crowd was getting rowdy down front (several news reports from the time report 'crowd vs. cops' problems at the show). Jimi again repeats the "see you no more in this world" line multiple times and stretches out the "meet you in the next one, don't be late" line, following the vocal line on the guitar. Some possible guitar problems at 6:15 and 6:45, the latter covered by a quirky descending 'swipe' on the neck. He flirts with a 3 note ascending variation at around 7:15, leading back to the opening line and finishes with a bit more 'dental' playing, descending to low on the neck and throwing in a little joke 'arpeggio' at the end....

-Chris

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