My funny valentine

Recently I received requests to shed some light on the date of the launching party for Mary Hopkin’s debut album Postcard, held at the London Post Office Tower in February 1969. In my book One Last Experience I claim that the Hopkin party was held on 14 February 1969, and not on 13 February, as all other sources claim.

After careful research by Luigi and myself, we came to the conclusion that it was definitely held on 14 February. I have no idea why all other media have it as 13 February. I suppose someone published that date long ago, and – as with most incorrect information – all the later other publications copied that (incorrect) date, which is why it is now the general accepted date for the event. However, there doesn’t seem to be any proof of this assumption: no printed invitation has surfaced, no mention of the exact date in the press of that month.

There are several indications that the Hopkin event took place on the same day as the Disc & Music Echo Valentine’s Award event, which was held at the Seymour Hall in London. We know for sure that the Disc event took place on 14 February, because the Disc issue of 22 February wrote: “...but the highlight of Disc’s night with the stars – Valentine’s Night Poll Awards Ball last Friday [14 February]...”
Jimi Hendrix and Kathy Etchingham were present at both events. First the couple went to the Hopkin launch, and after that they went to the Disc event, which was only a mile down the road.

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If we look at the photos of Jimi taken at those two parties (left the Hopkin party, right the Disc party), we see he’s wearing the exact same outfit. Although anything is possible, but Jimi was not the kind of person to wear the same outfit for two consecutive days.

NME febr 22 1969 pg 12 kopie 2 luluhopkin
The same goes for Mary Hopkin (left the Hopkin party, right the Disc party): she wears the same dress at both events. Very uncommon for any female singer to wear the same outfit for two consecutive days.

NME febr 22 1969 pg 12 DISC 22-2-69A
Another person who was at both events was radio DJ Kenny Everett (left the Hopkin party, right the Disc party); he can also be seen wearing the same outfit.

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According to this website both Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker were at the Hopkin party, as well as the Disc party. (Personally I think Clapton and Baker were only at the Disc party – see photo above – and Hopkin is confusing the parties).
A learned friend wrote me in 2017: “Well done for being so sure! I checked with Mark Lewisohn [leading authority on The Beatles], who told me the Hopkin launch was on the 13th… but when I forwarded your email to him, he had a proper look and it turns out it WAS the 14th.”

So that, my children, is how it’s done.

(With thanks to Paul de Bie).

Electric Coverland

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I would like to say something in support of trade colleague Ed Thrasher, the art director of the original USA version of the Electric Ladyland album. I may get hate mail for doing this, but it is my opinion that Reprise made the right decision to overrule Jimi’s wish to put the photo of the JHE with the kids (now used for the 50th anniversary release) on the front cover of the album. If anything, the final front cover of the original LP has become an iconic image, which – to me – captures the mood of the “Voodoo Child” and the whole vibe of the album better than the kids photo. It stands out from a thousand miles. Thrasher used the photo without any text (except for the Reprise logo) with a stunning result. A wise decision, both artistically as well as commercially. Jimi, as a musician and performer, could have had ideas about the way the record had to be presented to the public, but art direction and marketing are a trade, which needs vision and many years of experience. Now, with the 50th anniversary release of this album, we can see that the kids cover has nowhere near the impact the original one has.

It seems there was no real plan for the cover in 1968, as Jimi’s instructions were made at the very last moment, perhaps a consequence of Chas Chandler not being in the seat anymore. A sign of this may be the fact that they used photos on the back and front of the ELL cover that were more than a year old. Talk about good management! The inside of the fold-out cover was done as Jimi had suggested (possibly a gesture from Reprise to meet the artist halfway): A frame of small photos, with the LP info in the white space in the centre. The frame of small photos is a nice concept, but frankly an obvious choice, and not one that has the same impact if compared to the inside cover of the UK ELL album, or even the inside of the UK Axis album. Reprise chose to print the inside of ELL in black & white only (Jimi wanted them mixed with color pics) but the end result is not very good, as the printing quality is inadequate.

Jimi didn’t like the UK cover of ELL, which is understandable, as the photography of the naked ladies is terrible, most people agree on this, then and now. But here again: it was all marketing by Track. The cover may not have been what the art director had in mind, but all the papers talked about it. Artistically a bad choice, but commercially a wise one.

Out now: Foxy Papers 6

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OUT NOW! FOXY PAPERS VOLUME 6. This book presents an almost complete collection of Jimi Hendrix press clippings from the period January 1969 (part two) to April 1969: 178 pages of extensive interviews with Jimi Hendrix, comments by his peers, concert advertisements and reviews, record company promo ads, and many photos. Especially for this publication almost all of the European articles have been translated into English.

Also available (for those of you who missed out on the hardcover version) the budget-priced softcover version of “ONE LAST EXPERIENCE – The Jimi Hendrix Experience live at the Royal Albert Hall – February 1969”. Combined shipping optional.

To order Foxy Papers 6 go here.
To order One Last Experience Softcover go here.


Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition Box

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Originally released on October 16, 1968, Electric Ladyland features such legendary tracks as “All Along The Watchtower,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Crosstown Traffic,” and “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.” The only Hendrix album to hit #1 on the Billboard charts, it is, indisputably, the crowning achievement of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Read more here.

Manhattan’s Lighthouse

by Kees de Lange

At 2180 Broadway in New York City, on the corner of West 77th Street, until a few years ago you could find the
Manhattan Diner.

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Manhattan Diner at 2180 Broadway, NYC.

In the ‘60s it used to be the Lighthouse, and Jimi Hendrix played there with the Squires together with Curtis Knight, Ace Hall, Ditto Edwards and sometimes Lonnie Youngblood. According to
Ace Hall it was the Squires second gig after their debut at George’s Club 20 in Hackensack, NJ. As Ace reminisces Jimi was the absolute star, attracting all the girls first while their boyfriends were won over in their slipstream. The Squires made quite a name for themselves there. CONTINUED HERE.

Brasil experience

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'One Last Experience' gets around: pictured here is Valdir Ramos, publisher of the Brazilian Jimi Hendrix fanzine 'Fatherzine'.

A lavish tome

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Review in the Record Collector of May 2018!

Oh yeah... ★ ★ ★ ★

Review in the Mojo of May. [insert photo of a happy Ben here]

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Jimi in Vancouver

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Avid Jimi Hendrix fan Jordan Roberts wrote a very nice story on Jimi's connection with Vancouver. Roberts: “In this story I will outline and describe the factual story of Jimi Hendrix’s small but very significant connection to Vancouver. Over the years since Jimi’s death there has been many references to Jimi’s connection to Vancouver in the dozens of books written about him. But the story has always been under represented and full of factual inaccuracies. In this story I will describe in full detail the true story of Jimi Hendrix in Vancouver.” Full story here.

A satisfied customer

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From a satisfied customer:

“A really great read. The only negative was, I knew how it ended. Never the less It was good to be able to see the whole thing thru your eyes having never gotten the chance to see Jimi live myself. The book had a bit of the "You Are There" feel to it. To be that close , see a sound check and witness Jimi in concert is some thing I can only imagine. To have heard (and felt) those sounds up close must surely have been life changing. Your photos were very interesting too and the color shot on the cover is one of my favorites from the RAH gig. The book is a great addition to the Hendrix history books.”