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Hendrix: The Gigs That Changed History – #6 Blaises club

London, December 21, 1966

“Come and say hi to Jimi…" Chas Chandler led me through the crowd here to celebrate Chas’s birthday. We were partying in Ringo Starr’s flat, in Montague Square. And crouched on the floor, looking sad and lonely, was the future of rock’n’roll, Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi held out his hand but looked confused, surrounded by all these noisy English guys. Chas, the ex-Animals bassist who had become Hendrix’s manager, had set him up with a group to rival Cream and The Who, and told me excitedly: “They’re called The Experience, man. You’ve gotta see them. And Jimi is fan-tastic.”

Jimi and his new friends Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding began jamming at London clubs soon after I met Jimi at the party, which took place just two days after the release of Hey Joe, on Sunday, December 18. Also welcoming Jimi were Eric Burdon, Zoot Money, Andy Summers, Brian Auger, Alan Price and Bill Wyman. Chas had invited “just a few friends” and 40 people had turned up. (Chas got thrown out of the flat the next day.) 

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