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Jimi Hendrix engineer talks Band Of Gypsys live album

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix (Image credit: Getty)

Jimi Hendrix’s studio engineer Eddie Kramer says he was knocked out when he first saw the guitar icon’s Band Of Gypsys perform for the first time.

The short-lived outfit’s debut concert will launch on vinyl, CD and digital formats on September 30 under the title Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69.

It features Hendrix along with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, performing at the first of four historic shows at New York’s Fillmore East venue on New Year’s Eve 1969 and New Year’s Day 1970.

And looking back to when he saw the band at Baggy’s rehearsal studios ahead of their first performance, Kramer says he knew the public were in for something special.

He says: “In 1969, Jimi was evolving from the tail end of the original Experience into this new era. I went down to Baggy’s to hear the rehearsals and I thought, ‘This is just incredible stuff.’

“To hear this new material, for me, was a revelation. Here was a rhythm section that was so solid. Having had the great privilege of recording Jimi’s first three albums and have them emblazoned in my memory banks, to be confronted with this new direction was kind of shocking, but a natural progression.

“When I heard this music for the first time, I was knocked out.”

Kramer adds: “Having seen Jimi’s performance at Woodstock and heard what he was trying to do with the new band and the new direction, I knew something was coming down the pipe that was going to be pretty amazing.”

Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 was produced by Kramer along with Hendrix’s stepsister Janie and biographer John McDermott in collaboration with his estate.

The collection includes liner notes authorised by Rolling Stone’s senior editor David Fricke, who said: “Here it is, after 46 years, another revelation – a stunning essay in pain, rage and determined survival, fully formed in its initial outing.”

Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 can now be pre-ordered on CD and vinyl.

Jimi Hendrix Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 tracklist

  1. Power Of Soul
  2. Lover Man
  3. Hear My Train A Comin’
  4. Changes
  5. Izabella
  6. Machine Gun
  7. Stop
  8. Ezy Ryder
  9. Bleeding Heart
  10. Earth Blues
  11. Burning Desire

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Scott Munro

News editor for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. He’s been at the news desk since 2014 and when not writing, he can be found watching baseball and visiting whisky distilleries.