Alice in Wonderland

Photo by Baron Wolman.

Lynn Goldsmith: “Through Iggy’s [Iggy Pop] connection to Russ Gibb, or “Uncle Russ,” as he was called, we got a gig to be one of the opening acts there. Russ was a major player in the Motor City music scene. He’d been a high school teacher and local radio DJ. Now he owned the Grande. We weren’t very good, which is probably why he had us open for the opening act. After one gig, we went to a party in someone’s apartment. I was wearing a fedora that I wore in the Walking Wounded poster. It had a band I’d made from the circular chrome rings of my belt. Looking unique back then was a sure sign you were an artist. As I entered the dark room where music was blasting, I could see a hookah pipe being passed around. Sitting in the corner, to my utter astonishment, was rock god Jimi Hendrix. He nodded for me to come over and sit down. He whispered in my ear that he liked what I’d done to my hat. I took it off and gave it to him. He smiled, or I should say grinned. It was a sly look, like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. It scared me. I was a virgin. I was afraid he’d find out I was not cool. I left the party. I never knew till years later when I saw Baron Wolman’s photograph of Jimi on the cover of Rolling Stone that he actually wore my belt on his hat.”

From: Rock and Roll Stories by Lynn Goldsmith (2013)