Last time we counted there were at least 45 live Jimi Hendrix live albums, and while many have been exercises in musical barrel-scraping, a newly released version of Killing Floor suggests that there's hope of the 46th.
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967 was recorded at the 17,000-capacity venue as the Jimi Hendrix Experience returned to The US after their all-conquering first trip to The UK, and finds the trio playing for an audience who have gathered to see headliners The Mamas & The Papas.
The recording comes from a previously unreleased (officially or otherwise) two-track recording made on the night, which has been restored for release by Hendrix’s longstanding recording engineer Eddie Kramer.
"The audience was there to see The Mamas & The Papas,” says future Paul McCartney guitarist Brian Ray, who attended the show as a 12-year-old. “They haven't heard of Jimi Hendrix. I'd never heard of Jimi Hendrix, and he couldn't be more opposite of The Mamas & The Papas as an act, culturally, physically, in every possible way he was the opposite.
"Here comes this guy and there's only three of them on stage and they have these afros and these wild, ornate, very theatrical clothes. Jimi proceeds to shred, and it's loud but it's musical, and then it becomes so physical. He starts playing the guitar under his leg, and now it's behind his back, and now he's playing it with his mouth, and now he's on the ground on his knees and he's like humping it, and it, to me was mind blowing.
"It was sort of every human characteristic; it was beauty, grace, it was sexual, violent, gentle, it was just everything all at once in one band coming out of this one guy. I wouldn't say that the audience response was quite the same as the response I was having. My sister [Jean, from folk act Jan & Dean] and I were going bananas, and the audience was like [soft clapping] and they were trying to figure it out."
The show would be The Mamas & The Papas last, while Hendrix would return to the Hollywood Bowl the following year as headliner. A two-track recording of that show also surfaced recently, and was included in the 50th Anniversary deluxe box set of Electric Ladyland in 2021.
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967 is released on November 10 and is available to pre-order now. Full tracklist below.
To accompany the album, a new mini-documentary, Monterey Pop To The Hollywood Bowl, has been released. The 12-minute film tells the story of the build-up to the show, and features new interviews with Brian Ray and Mamas & The Papas vocalist Michelle Phillips.
"We had never heard of him,” Phillips says of the legendary Monterey show. “I had absolutely no idea what to expect. And when I saw him perform I was mortified. I had never seen anything like this, I'd never seen anybody treat their instruments like this. He was pouring lighter fluid over his guitar and then setting it on fire and – I really was shocked. I had no experience with this kind of rock and roll theatre. And that was the first time I had ever seen it."
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967 tracklist
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Wind Cries Mary
Like a Rolling Stone