On This Day...

Madhouse History

On This Day in Madhouse History
May 12, 1967

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music. Jimi changed the world!

1. Purple Haze was about drugs
Don'y give me any of this B.S! It was 1967, the psychedelic era, the entire world was on drugs. Every rock song recorded during this time was about drugs. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was about drugs and so was Purple Haze. 

2. Chas Chandler Studio Time For Sex
New to management, Chas Chandler thought he could pay for the studio time after the record was completed and the album started selling. When the studio owners demanded payment immediately, Chandler was forced to sell his body in back alleys to strange men to come up with the cash. 

3. No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition
Purple Haze opens with a guitar/bass harmony in the interval of a tritone that was known as the diabolus in musica during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. The Catholic Church prohibited medieval composers of religious music from using the tritone, or flattened fifth, because as musicologist Dave Whitehill wrote: "to play it was like ringing Satan's doorbell." The opening riff has "become a permanent part of rock's vocabulary."

4. Wah Wah
“I Don’t Live Today” helped popularize the “wah-wah” guitar effect. But, at that point, the famous pedal didn’t exist. On the solo for “I Don’t Live Today,” Hendrix created the sound by paying poor Cambodian children a bowl of rice per day to manipulate the sound by hand. That sound inspired Vox to create the wah-wah pedal. Vox hired the out of work Cambodian children to work in their sweat shop factory for a bowl of rice a day assembling the wah wah pedals.

5. Fire on the Poop Deck
The song "Fire" was written about Jimi's stomach ailments. Jimi ate some cheap Mexican food and ended up with explosive diarrhea. He recorded most of the song in the toilet, and if you play "Fire" backwards you can hear Jimi farting into the microphone.
6. The Hendrix Chord
Jimi Hendrix is such a guitar legend that he has a chord named after him. Two songs on ‘Are You Experienced’ – “Foxy Lady” and “Purple Haze” – found Hendrix playing an E7#9 chord, something rarely heard in rock songs. Although jazz players had used the chord prior to Hendrix’s employment of it, the harmonic device became forever identified with Hendrix after 1967. Anyone playing this chord should send the Hendrix Estate $1.

7. Dick Rowe - The douche that turned down Hendrix
Decca Records A&R man Dick Rowe might be most famous for his blunders. After rejecting the Beatles a few years earlier, he turned down the newly formed Experience in October 1966. The band ended up releasing ‘Are You Experienced’ on Track Records, a new company formed by Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Dick Rowe was forever known as "Dick Bag" or "Douche Rowe". 

8. The Walls Come Tumblin' Down
When recording ‘Are You Experienced,’ the Jimi Hendrix Experience were so loud that they did damage to their neighbors. De Lane Lea studios was located under a bank, which was employing early forms of computers. But the band would play so loud that the machines would malfunction. Three tellers were killed and the bank lost millions of dollars. Complaints drove the sessions to another studio.

If humans survive for another 10 billion years or if aliens come down from Mars, there will never be another work of recorded music that will equal the brilliance of "Are You Experienced". 1967 was the peak of civilization. 

Track Listing
1. "Foxy Lady" 3:22
2. "Manic Depression" 3:46
3. "Red House" 3:44
4. "Can You See Me" 2:35
5. "Love or Confusion" 3:17
6. "I Don't Live Today" 3:58

Side two
1. "May This Be Love" 3:14
2. "Fire" 2:47
3. "Third Stone from the Sun" 6:50
4. "Remember" 2:53
5. "Are You Experienced?"

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