Did You Know Paul McCartney Recommended Jimi Hendrix for the Monterey Pop Festival?
Yes, McCartney was partly responsible for having Jimi Hendrix play at the Monterey Pop Festival which turned out to be one of the best live performances by the epic guitarist.
Did you know that the Jimi Hendrix Experience came to play at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 because Paul McCartney suggested it to the producers? That’s right, McCartney had seen Jimi Hendrix’s band in England and was highly impressed with the trio. Originally, the music festival wanted the Beatles to play in it, but the English giants had already finished a tour and could not make it. So, McCartney came up with a great idea.
The producers of Monterey Pop got the bad news that The Beatles could not participate in the music festival that was bringing all the popular rock bands under one stage. So, they asked The Beatles if they could contribute something to the festival. The Beatles did by providing an illustration done with a felt marker. It said “Peace to Monterey” at the top of it along with other illustrations that they drew on it. Eventually, this was used as the official program for the event. McCartney contributed one more thing to the music festival.
While the festival wanted The Beatles to be a part of this giant rock event, the English band backed out because they had just finished touring and were not up to play since rest was needed. The Beatles were also getting ready to start recording their album “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Clubs Band.” The busy schedule kept the English band from going, but McCartney came up with a good idea. He told the festival’s producers to check out some cat Jimi Hendrix and his band.
See the Experience, as everyone should know, was already popular in England, but were not big in the US. So, when the festival was being put together, McCartney suggested to the producers, who were running short on artists, to bring over Jimi and his boys.
Paul McCartney had seen Jimi Hendrix in England and was blown away by the guitar playing. The Experience was actually blowing away a lot of the big artists in England. See, Hendrix was solely brought to England to become a massive rocker alongside Noel Redding, bass player, and Mitch Mitchell, drummer. Together they were called the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and they took off very quickly.
Rockers of that era like Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and McCartney praised The Jimi Hendrix Experience because the band was simply breathtaking. The Experience took the blues to another level at the time, and they were also very explosive with their first two singles “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze”. Though “Purple Haze” was not a very bluesy piece, it did resonate the music scene hard in England because it was very psychedelic and heavy at the same time.
The Monterey Pop Festival was the first music festival to bring a bunch of big bands together. The event was massive, and of course, they wanted The Beatles to be a part of it. However, due to a strenuous schedule for McCartney and the boys, the only thing to do was to listen to McCartney’s advice. Other bands that played at the festival were Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin), Eric Burden and the Animals, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, and the Mamas and the Papas.
Just think, if it wasn’t for Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and his band might have not ever shined in the US! It was this music festival that made Hendrix and the boys big in America. The show that Jimi Hendrix Experience displayed that night is considered to be one of the band’s best live performances.
By Bazooka Teaches