Fillmore East was rock promoter Bill Graham’s rock venue on Second Avenue near East 6th Street in the (at the time) Lower East Side neighborhood, now called the East Village neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan of New York City. It was open from March 8, 1968 to June 27, 1971 and featured some of the biggest acts in rock music at the time. VAmong the notable acts to play the Fillmore East was Jimi Hendrix. His album Band of Gypsys was recorded live on New Year’s Day 1970. John Lennon and Yoko Ono sat in with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the theater. The Allman Brothers Band played so many shows at Fillmore East that they were sometimes called «Bill Graham’s House Band»; additionally, the Grateful Dead played a total of 43 concerts. Jefferson Airplane performed six shows and Taj Mahal played eight shows at the venue, while Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young did four shows. Led Zeppelin made four appearances in early 1969, opening for Iron Butterfly. Amateur film footage of their January 31 performance can be viewed at the Led Zeppelin website.
Band of Gypsys is a live album by Jimi Hendrix and the first without his original group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded on January 1, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, frequently referred to as the Band of Gypsys. The album mixes funk and rhythm and blues elements with hard rock and jamming, an approach which later became the basis of funk rock. It contains previously unreleased songs and was the last full-length Hendrix album released before his death.
After his appearance at Woodstock with an interim group that included Cox, Hendrix began developing new songs and recording demos. When Miles became involved, he and Cox agreed to record a live album with Hendrix to be used to settle a contract dispute with a former manager. The new material, influenced by Cox's and Miles' musical approaches, signals a new direction for Hendrix. Songs such as "Power of Soul" and "Message to Love" (originally "Power to Love" and "Message of Love") still maintain the dominant role of Hendrix's guitar, but show funk and R&B influences. Lyrically, they also explore new, more humanistic themes for Hendrix. The two numbers written and sung by Miles bear the stylings of soul music. The anti-riot/anti-war "Machine Gun", draws on Hendrix's earlier blues aspirations, but incorporates new approaches to guitar improvisation and tonal effects.
As the album's producer, Hendrix had a difficult time completing the task. Presented with the sometimes problematic recordings and resigned to turning it over to a different record company, Hendrix expressed his dissatisfaction with the final product. Shortly after its release, Band of Gypsys reached the top ten of the album charts in the US and UK as well as appearing in charts in several other countries. Although it was as popular as his albums with the Experience, it received mixed reviews. Some faulted the performances as tentative and underprepared; additionally, Miles' contributions on drums and vocals have been characterized as plodding and obtrusive. However, "Machine Gun" is generally regarded as the album's highlight and one of Hendrix's greatest achievements. The influence of Band of Gypsys is heard in the funk rock developments of the 1970s and has been cited as an inspiration by various later rock musicians. Reissues of the album on compact disc included three extra songs recorded during the Fillmore East shows, and additional material has been released on later albums.
In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was under pressure from his manager and record company to record a follow-up to his hugely successful 1968 album Electric Ladyland. He was also required to produce an album's worth of new material for Capitol Records in order to satisfy a contract dispute with former manager Ed Chalpin and PPX Enterprises. Capitol had released two misleading Chalpin-produced Curtis Knight albums with Hendrix on guitar, which competed directly with his own Experience albums. Additionally, Hendrix was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the limitations of bassist Noel Redding and the Experience format. During the recording of Electric Ladyland, he and producer Chas Chandler parted ways and Hendrix explored recording with new musicians and different musical styles. By the middle of the year, he had not completed any promising new material and Reprise Records resorted to issuing his April 1968 UK compilation album, Smash Hits, with some new tracks for the North American market. A concert film for which he had performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in February 1969 was wrapped up in legal disputes and its release was uncertain. In May, while en route to a concert performance in Toronto, Hendrix was detained and charged with illegal possession of narcotics. If convicted of the felony, he faced as many as 20 years in prison. On June 28, 1969, Hendrix announced he planned to work with new musicians, including a new bass player. The next day, after a potentially life-threatening riot following a concert in Denver, Colorado, Redding left the group to return to London and the Jimi Hendrix Experience came to an end.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the US Army, but was discharged the following year. Soon afterward, he moved to Clarksville then Nashville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, earning a place in the Isley Brothers' backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965. He then played with Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966 after bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals became his manager. Within months, Hendrix had earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze", and "The Wind Cries Mary". He achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and in 1968 his third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached number one in the US. The double LP was Hendrix's most commercially successful release and his first and only number one album. The world's highest-paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 before his accidental death in London from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970.
Hendrix was inspired by American rock and roll and electric blues. He favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in popularizing the previously undesirable sounds caused by guitar amplifier feedback. He was also one of the first guitarists to make extensive use of tone-altering effects units in mainstream rock, such as fuzz distortion, Octavia, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe. He was the first musician to use stereophonic phasing effects in recordings. Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone commented: "Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before him had experimented with feedback and distortion, but Hendrix turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began."
Hendrix was the recipient of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously. In 1967, readers of Melody Maker voted him the Pop Musician of the Year and in 1968, Billboard named him the Artist of the Year and Rolling Stone declared him the Performer of the Year. Disc and Music Echo honored him with the World Top Musician of 1969 and in 1970, Guitar Player named him the Rock Guitarist of the Year. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rolling Stone ranked the band's three studio albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, among the 100 greatest albums of all time, and they ranked Hendrix as the greatest guitarist and the sixth greatest artist of all time.
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