Artists

“I Hope That Dude Can Play”

Earlier, we posted a story regarding a long time Hendrix tribute band and their search for Jimi’s missing guitar from the 1967 show at the Imperial Hotel in Darlington, UK. We wanted to shed a little more light into the actual show because it was anything but ordinary. The show was only open to 200 people, although thousands have claimed to have been there, and the promoters marketed Hendrix as “Dylan, Clapton, and James Brown all in one” (we don’t disagree with that). “Hey Joe” had just been released and was climbing fast up the charts, yet the band and the club had already agreed on a contract of 75 pounds for two one-hour sets. Jimi’s record company then threatened to cancel the gig unless the band received 300 pounds. Well, those at the Blue Pad Club said no, and the show went on as planned. Here is just a quick rundown of how the show went.
The schedule had to be changed slightly as there were problems with the sound system which meant the gig had started late. So instead of doing two sets with an interval they played nearly two hours non-stop. There was no support band. Noel Redding said in his diary that two amplifiers broke down and also the mains fuses blew but that the crowd was fantastic. Photographer Ian Wright said “The performance lasted three minutes before his powerful amps blew all the fuses plunging the hotel into darkness.”
Nothing like playing a sold out show in absolute darkness. Many people who claimed to have been there dispute exactly which songs they played (“Like a Rolling Stone and “Hey Joe” were named by some), what Jimi was wearing, but the strangest thing about the show was what occurred after.

The Stolen Guitar – Black Fender Stratocaster

After the gig, the roady was loading up the van with the bands equipment when someone picked an opportune moment and stole one of Hendrix’s guitars. The theft was never reported to the Police. The identity of the thief and the wherabouts of the guitar remain a mystery though many claim a friend of a friend has seen it. Local stories say the guitar has changed hands several times , maybe even at one time being swapped for a stereo , and possibly even being stolen for a second time. It has also reportedly been repainted at least twice.
Upon hearing about the stolen guitar, apparently Hendrix said, “I hope the dude can play.” Awesome. To read more about this interesting evening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and stories on how the guitar was stolen, head over to Hendrix Northeast.
 

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