My first actual, experience if you will, with The Jimi Hendrix Experience was with this 1969 compilation, Smash Hits. It was played, quite frequently, at Jr. High dances some 25 years ago. Smash Hits is exactly what it sounds like. 12 of The Experience’s best-known hits: Foxey Lady, Stone Free, Manic Depression, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, All Along the Watchtower, and of course, Purple Haze. Not that anyone should, but if someone needed a one-stop-Jimi-shop, Smash Hits would certainly do the trick.
Ramatam’s 1972 debut album first caught my eye from an early 70’s Atlantic Records insert. The almost modern simplicity of the cover (red, white, and blue text over black background) stood out to me, mainly as I’d never heard of the band, but also because I thought the all-caps boldness of the art demanded some exploring. I filed that image away and went on about my day, which turned into a few months, then finally to little over a year where I (just recently) found a copy for a cool $4.98 at my local b&m (brick and mortar). This, their first album (of two) contained some heavy, early 70’s names (Mitch Mitchell, drums, having spent time with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Mike Pinera, guitar and vocals, from Blues Image). It’s sad that Ramatam’s stint only spanned two albums over two years (1972-1973), but with such a small discography, they’re certainly worth checking out.
Sex sells, and so do lottery tickets. Hendrix was. His legacy is. Fervent toils remain unraveled over the greatness of this 6-stringed beast. Let them toil and snare, grieving for future’s ears. The future was last week, as well as tomorrow. Let time prematurely leak its incessant novelties, and let the cautious remain cautious.
RIP Johnny Allen Hendrix.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Antique malls are time sucks. The alluring glow of buried treasure seems to boil the blood like a white-hot phoenix, and those of us who seek this 2nd hand treasure know exactly what I’m jivin’ at. These ominous voids (usually located next to a Subway or a Peet’s Coffee for some bygone reason) demand the archeological skills of a handsome, fedora-wearing ladies man named after the family dog, and the patience of a turtle-loving, detail-fixed hoarder of historic rubbish. Be it books, vintage clothing, old Look Magazines from the 1940s, or in this case, a banned UK copy of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 master work, Electric Ladyland, the junk drawers of yesteryear are spilled out for all to peruse and purchase at these, the greatest time-wasting five and dimes the world has ever seen.
Anyway, short story short, I was on one of my weekly trips to Times Remembered in Ventura, CA (a place my SO and I jokingly call Time Suck, but not too jokingly, you dig?), where I stumbled upon a tiny booth filled with doll clothing, baby spoons with crude pictures of horses on them, overpriced “I Like Ike” campaign buttons, and 2 records: The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, and this copy of Electric Ladyland. What struck me as odd was how no other records could be found within this seller’s little corner. I wondered, “Why these 2 specific records?” (Resting against a basket of thimbles and a child’s rocking chair.) Anyway, both records were marked $20, but that day, this particular booth offered a ½ off sale. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Well, do I really NEED a copy of Electric Ladyland?” Asinine to even consider, I know. I bought it, obviously, and now this hot little number fetches upwards of $450 on discogs.com.
Their Satanic Majesties Request had 4 pinholes in each corner, obviously punched to proudly display on the smoke-stained walls rented by the now levelheaded antique seller’s younger self. Had it been in better shape, I would have nabbed that guy as well. I’m still on the search for that little musical chalice.
300 days, 7200 hours, or roughly 432,000 minutes ago, I gave birth to The Prudent Groove. I sincerely appreciate all who have visited, and for the friends I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Now, I’ve got to go return some videotapes.