Monterey summary

Here is a summary of the various releases of the recordings of The Experience at Monterey.

 

Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival
Released August 1970 (UK-Atlantic, US-Reprise)


Like a Rolling Stone (Dylan)/Rock Me, Baby (King)/Can You See Me/Wild Thing (Taylor)

This legendary concert was recorded in June 1967 but released over three years later, only just before Jimi died. There was only one vinyl side of highlights from the Experience's American debut proper (the other side of the album featured excerpts from Otis Redding's excellent set*). Jimi brought the house down of course (and nearly set fire to it as it happens), and the atmosphere of the event is well captured here. The band's label mates The Who were also on the bill that day and Pete Townsend refused to follow Jimi. The Who put on a characteristic explosive performance which only galvanized Jimi into going even further. He pulled all the stops, using every one of his attention grabbing tricks that had brought him so much success across Europe. His final guitar sacrifice is the stuff of legend.
Not all of the concert was on this album of course but it was a great selection, mostly avoiding songs that had already appeared on the bands albums. With "Rock Me Baby" , Jimi sang B.B. King's lyrics to his own music (he eventually wrote his own lyrics and the song became "Lover Man""). The band play their legendary interpretations of Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" and The Trogg's "Wild Thing" for the climax.
The video perhaps does more justice to the performance as Jimi concentrated more on putting on a highly visual show than actually really playing. Still, this is high energy rock 'n' roll its best.
This once precious album has since been overshadowed by the full set, released on record (and video) as "Jimi Plays Monterey" (see Live section-80s).

* On Side 2, Otis Redding is backed as usual by Booker T And The MGs, and their guitarist Steve Cropper was an old aquaintance of Jimis. It has been said that the two had even cut an acetate together in the mid sixties but
Cropper has denied this. The group would later issue an instrumental cover of "Foxy Lady" on one of their albums and much later Booker T. Jones recorded a version of "Red House" with John Lee Hooker (issued on the album "Red House: Variations On A Theme" - see Posthumous Live Releases >8Os).

Deleted in this form.

THE COVERS
The European release featured simply an adaptation of the festival poster with Hendrix and Redding incrusted below
- 6/10
The American version had a nicely structured montage with more festival action shots - 7/10


JIMI HENDRIX (Film Soundtrack)
Released 1973 (Reprise)

This "Best Of" live to accompany the theatre movie brought us the Monterey "Hey Joe" for the first time.


JIMI PLAYS MONTEREY
Released 1986 (Polydor)


SIDE 1: Killing Floor (Burnett), Foxy Lady, Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan), Rock Me Baby (King/arr. Hendrix), Hey Joe (Roberts)
SIDE 2: Can You See Me, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Wild Thing (Chip Taylor)

At last came the complete recording of Jimi's triumph at The Monterey Pop Festival 18/06/67. Some tracks had been available before on "Historic Performances Recorded At The Monterey International Pop Festival" and the "Jimi Hendrix" film soundtrack. I recently went back to my vinyls to compare the sound and on this release Mitch's drums are not as present but Jimi's vocals are stronger.
Unlike the vinyl release, the CD begins with about two and a half minutes of tuning up before Brian Jones makes his off-mike stage announcement (a good friend of Jimi's, he had flown over specially with The Experience to introduce them to America). The organiser John Phillips (of the Mamas And The Papas) had booked the band on the personnal recommendation of Paul McCartney.
The band hit the stage like a tornado and like in the aftermath of the first visits by The Beatles and The Stones, America was never the same again. As I said earlier, this was Jimi's big chance to "blow away" America and he certainly acheived it with this literally explosive show. One can imagine what this must have meant to him. After the years of hard work as an unknown backing musician, in an American record industry incapable of recognising his talents*, he came right back in their face, and triumphed.
A video of footage by D.A. Pennebeker (who made the famous film "Monterey Pop") was released at the same time as this album and is also recommended. See
DVD

* A few small New York companies had in fact signed the young Jimmy up in 1965/66 but as a session guitarist, rather than a potential star.
The legendary guitarist Les Paul once saw the unknown Jimmy in a club somewhere, was knocked out by his playing and later tried to track him down. He failed to find him, only to discover later that he had found fame in England as Jimi Hendrix. Let's be fair to John Hammond Jnr. also, who helped draw attention to Jimi in New York (1966), enabling him to be noticed by visiting British musicians, Chas Chandler being one of them (well, Chas saw Jimi without Hammond the first time in fact).

Deleted

Available today on: the 90s release "Monterey International Pop Festival" 4-CD set (Rhino) and the corresponding DVD. A couple of tracks ("Like A Rolling Stone" and "Rock Me Baby") appeared alternately mixed on the 2000 MCA box set. The set was also available in the 90s as "Live At Monterey Pop Festival (ITM-Media) and more recently on the unofficial and now deleted "No More A Rolling Stone"(Purple Haze Records).
This legendary concert must be in the pipeline for an official re-release soon with DVD in parrallel.

THE COVER
Jimi's Monterey performance is forever associated with the guitar sacrifice, so that act takes pole position here in a symbolic photo. A red Strat was used here and Jimi did in fact destroy a red one, the front of which he had sprayed white and hand-painted with psychedilc swirls and hearts. Nice typography
- 6/10


LIVE AT MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL
Released 1992 (ITM Media)

Can you see me, Hey joe, Purple Haze, The wind cries mary, Killing floor, Foxy lady, Like a rolling stone, Rock me baby, Wild thing

This Italian re-release of "Jimi Plays Monterey" rearranged the running order for some reason, so it gets but one star I'm afraid. The individual tracks are superb of course.

Deleted ? - This still crops up here and there

THE COVER
Two combined images of Jimi "performing" at the Monterey soundchecks. Better cover than "Jimi Plays Monterey"
- 8/10

 


MONTEREY INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL
Released 1994 (Castle Communications)


Killing Floor (Burnett), Foxy Lady, Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan), Rock Me Baby (King/arr. Hendrix), Hey Joe (Roberts), Can You See Me, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Wild Thing (Chip Taylor)

A 4 CD (and a vinyl box) various artists set, which contains The Experience's performance at the festival that was previously released as "Jimi Plays Monterey" in the eighties. Thanks to Pauli for the cover shot.

< 1997 re-release by Rhino/Essential

 

The legendary Experience set here was made widely available (and more cheaply) by the unofficial Purple Haze Records in 2004 as part of a double 1967 CD called "No More A Rolling Stone", surely much to the annoyance of Experience Hendrix who have taken too long in preparing a re-release (wasting time their time and ours with the awful "Blue Wild Angel" CD and DVD).


NO MORE A ROLLING STONE
Released 2004 (Purple Haze) - Unofficial

This unofficial release coupled the Monterey concert with the 1967 Swedish radio show which previously on "Stages".


Which brings us to…

 

THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE LIVE AT MONTEREY - NEW RELEASE
Release date October 16, 2007 (Universal)


Killing Floor (Burnett), Foxy Lady, Like A Rolling Stone (Dylan), Rock Me Baby (King/arr. Hendrix), Hey Joe (Roberts), Can You See Me, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Wild Thing (Chip Taylor)

After all the rumours that Albert Hall 69 was set to be the next official release from Experience Hendrix (see below), the estate opts for an update of the classic show that slew the States. We have already had some tracks remixed by Eddie Kramer which were included on the MCA 2000 box set and the "Voodoo Chile" compilation. So now, with the whole show, how does this new edition compare to the previous editions ? I compared it to the old releases and it went something like this :
1. "Historic Performances…" (Experience/Otis Redding) vinyl on Reprise - fantastic sound, drums very clear and crisp but perhaps too much stereo separation.
2. "Jimi Plays Monterey" vinyl and CD - a more central mix, Jimi's voice stronger but Mich's drums a bit duller than the previous.
3. MCA 20004 CD Box - Clearer drums this time though still not as sharp as the Reprise vinyl !

The new edition does have nice crisp sound, especially as far as the drums are concerned and almost as good as the old Reprise vinyl extracts. On "Jimi Plays Monterey", Alan Douglas had enhanced Jimi's voice which gave impact and presence to the recording but here the mix is normal with his voice a little back but more part of the whole.
This time we hear the master of ceremonies introduce Brian Jones to the stage for his own announcement and the inter-song chat from Jimi is now complete (edited down on "Jimi Plays Monterey").
Although this new release might be an anti-climax to veteran fans, it's great news that this explosive show is again widely available after such a long absence* and even better news is a the new DVD of the show ! - See
DVD section.

*This set had been available in 2004 on the unofficial release "No More A Rolling Stone" from Purple Haze Records and in a bizarre jumbled form from ITM Media in 1992. The show is also in the "Monterey International Pop Festival " 4 CD box set on Rhino/Essential Records.

THE COVER
What a fantastic cover photo. I discovered this side angled shot of the guitar sacrifice last year and fell in love with it straight away. Nice typography also. -
10/10 

Check this site for more details www.hendrixatmonterey.com