Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jimi Hendrix-Voodoo Chile

Three months before Jimi Hendrix died, I saw him play at the forum in Inglewood. It was a double date. The other guy in the car was a real good friend of mine from school. The movie, the Graduate, the Dustin Hoffman, Ann Bancroft, Academy Award Winning movie was filmed at his house.

I took out his ex girl friend. It was the first time in the history of Harvard School for Boys and The Marlborough School for Girls that a black boy and white girl went on a date together. It was a historical night. It took some creativity and ingenuity for us to pull it off but we managed to do it. The reason I know it was the first time is because I know all of the black guys that were at Harvard School before I. or should I say Harvard-Westlake. They all confirmed the fact that they would not have dared to ask anyone from Marlborough School to go out.
I must say Pam was a very courageous girl.

It was a night that I have learned so much even to this day. You have to realize that Jimi Hendrix was protesting the Vietnam War. He was protesting the Nixon Administration Policies. It just so happens that the Chief of Staff of the Nixon Administration, HR Haldeman lived a few doors from the girl that I took out that night. He was also a fellow alumnus of the school and his son was in the class in front of me.

We were listening to Hendrix. He was protesting the war in Vietnam. My uncle was in vietnam and he sent me the money so I could go to the concert. In fact the concert was in Mid March, around this time.

I was so excited to be with Pam. I thought she was the most special person on the planet. My uncle sent me a watch band from vietnam and a new watch to go with it and I kept looking down on it while I held Pam's hand.

Jimi Hendrix played for 3 hours and then he had an encore. He played for another hour and then he had another encore. We waited for over one hour before we got up and started to walk out of the Forum.

The maintenance crew was removing all of the chairs on the floor. The lights were on. I think maybe ten percent of the people were still in the building.

Suddenly, we heard the beginning of Voodoo Chile while walking through the parking lot. Everyone in the parking lot ran back into the building and there was Jimi
Hendrix on stage again for his third encore. Unprecedented. Jimi Hendix played Voodoo Chile for 2 hours. Amazing.

A few years ago, while training for the triathlon and changing my life, I used to listen to the Electric Ladyland version of Voodoo Chile. One day I looked at one of the versions on the album. It lasted exactly 4 minutes and 57 seconds. I was born at exactly 4:57 AM in the morning.

As is obvious, this song and the night and that girl is very very special to me. The story gets much deeper but for now you can see how intertwine with the times it was. Enjoy the song.

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