"Maybe I'll live in a tent, overlooking a mountain stream..."
                            interview with Keith Altham, for Melodymaker, summer 1970

 In June 1969 Kent born bassist Noel Redding discovered that Jimi Hendrix had decided to replace him with Billy Cox. In August, the new band "Gypsy Sons And Rainbows" headlined the Woodstock Festival, Bethel, New York. By November 69 Mitch Mitchell had a solo project. Jimi was working with Billy Cox, Juma Sultan and drummer Buddy Miles, a line up he came to call the Band Of Gypsys. On 31st December 1969 they played the first of four concerts at Fillmore East: rights to the live recordings cleared Jimi's contractual debt to Ed Chaplin. Jimi wasn't too satisfied with the album that was cut, (released shortly before his death) "From a musician's point of view it was not a good recording, and I was out of tune on a few things" By the end of January Jimi had walked off stage at another NY gig, saying the band "weren't getting it together", and that was the end of the Band of Gypsys.

       In February the Jimi Hendrix Experience reformed, but they never recorded or performed together again. After recording for the movie Rainbow Bridge on Maui in July, Jimi returned to the UK for the Isle of Wight festival, but a European tour was abandoned. On September 18th 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in his girlfriend's flat (under the Samarkand Hotel, Notting Hill, London). Band of Gypsys is the only live album released in his lifetime: it shows Hendrix moving away from special effects towards a "blacker", funk, soul and jazz oriented guitar. Despite the artist's own jaded opinion, and some uneven passages, it has become one of the highlights of Jimi Hendrix's hugely successful posthumous career.

   Every pitcher goes too often to the well, if you sup with the devil you should take a long spoon... Great politicial figures and legendary rockstars are alike in this, their careers end in failure; and they recover amazingly once they are dead.

  from "Hendrix, a biography" by Chris Welch, Ocean Books Ltd; London 1972  Not hagiography.

See also Fender UK; source of Woodstock image    


               In 1905, in less than seven months, Einstein wrote five history-making papers. He proposed the particle theory of light, developed a method to measure molecular dimensions, explained the long-puzzling Brownian motion, developed the theory of special relativity, and he finished his intellectual sprint by producing the world's most famous equation, E = mc2. Five papers that shook the world (Physics World January 2005)

Neurobombs are exploding all the time. In what sense do they change our reality? Did Einstein's papers start the domino fall of the certainties that led to the liberal sixties, radical politics, post-modernism, rock and roll? There is a complex interface between neuroscience and physics, I didn't make that up. Is there a barrier that might be broken? I don't know. It's been a hundred years. We may be about to settle into three thousand years of stasis, our present way of life involuting, maybe through the scarcities ahead, into a baroque neo-feudalism. More optimistically, you could say we're overdue for a big one.

Time Considered As A Helix Of Semi-Precious Stones (Samuel Delaney 1968) An sf classic, from one of sf's great literarti. " Yikes! I was looking for a science fiction story and instead got a longwinded literary description of a costume-and-name-changing Brooklyn street thug and how he unloaded a big score while evading the cops..." Disappointing to some, post-modern to others, it's true there's nothing in the story that explains the mystic charm or the proliferation of that poem of a title. Got to be a meme. Around and around we go, it'll take a lot to break us out of this attractor.