Hendrix: The Gigs That Changed History – #3 Cafe Wha?
New York, August 3, 1966
It was folk singer Richie Havens who suggested Hendrix try his luck at downtown club Cafe Wha?, where Dylan first played when he hit New York in 1961. Havens called owner Manny Roth to tell him to expect this new guitar sensation. When Hendrix turned up at one of the afternoon hootenanny sessions, Roth suggested he play a solo spot during the house band’s break. Instead he found himself fronting its intrigued rhythm section, and blew the roof off. Roth instantly offered Jimi a regular stint, at six dollars for five sets a day. After years of uniforms, rules and frequent ridicule, he had found a place to develop his own audience.