Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze

01/11/2011
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(Gibson) Before it became part of the soundtrack to the Summer of Love, before it became the musical representation of an acid trip, before it became one of the greatest rock songs of all time, before it became Jimi Hendrix's signature tune… "Purple Haze" was recorded by Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding on this day in 1967.

The song that was to become The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second single was reportedly written in late 1966. According to Hendrix's manager, Chas Chandler, Hendrix was playing the riff backstage at a gig and Chandler encouraged him to put lyrics to the music. But there is plenty of debate as to when that happened or what the original lyrics contained. It's been reported that Jimi penned the words while in the dressing room of the Upper Cut Club on Boxing Day in '66. Hendrix later said that the lyrics were shortened later, but Chandler claimed that the words were recorded as written.

As far as Hendrix's inspiration for the song goes, "Purple Haze" had nothing to do with drug use. In 1969, he told NME that the song "was all about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea." The guitar legend claimed that the phrase, "Purple Haze," came from a science-fiction story. He also said that the tune was really a love song, pointing to the key lyric: "Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me." more on this story

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