Sunday, 8 May 2011

West Memphis Underground

Thanks to friend and master drummer Bob Fordyce for this gem. The late, and indescribably great, Jim Dickinson deconstructs the Memphis sound in under three minutes. And to think Memphians typically laugh about West Memphis...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Machine Gun

Tonight I once again watched, for the first time in 25 years or so, the Joe Boyd film about Jimi Hendrix, and caught sight of this piece of footage of "Band of Gypsys" in their immortal Fillmore East performance of New Year's Eve 1969/70. Back in Memphis, as a boy of 14 or so, I happily spent money earned from my paper route on this extraordinary record, which was part of a run of particularly good luck (I mean taste, obviously) at the record store, which would see me acquire in the space of a couple of months "The Who Live at Leeds," "Houses of the Holy," and the first Van Halen album. All of which I proceeded to listen to obsessively for months, and still listen to regularly today. But the Band of Gypsys record in particular, for me, is full of a unique imagination and energy, and even 41 years on, there is still nothing quite like it. Perhaps that's because it is a tantalizing suggestion of directions Hendrix would have explored had he lived, whereas with the other bands we know where they ended up - mostly in tragedy and disappointment. Hendrix, like this clip, checked out prematurely, with a lot left to say.