My wife and I have been going through boxes of stuff lately. You know, the kind of boxes that traveled from one residence to another but never got opened. It just keeps getting shoved aside for one reason or another, and gets forgotten until a cold day comes along and you begin to dig.
Within a shoebox filled with pictures and letters from my teens is a single of Hendrix covering “Gloria.” It is marked as first time available in United States with a release date of 1979. Weird that I should have no idea how I got it and where it came from. Side ‘A’ plays great with barely a hint of buzz or crackle, while the B-side (the unedited side) starts with a bunch of ‘pop and hiss’ before settling down and letting Jimi ‘take over’. (OK, that wasn’t funny)
I stare at it for a long time trying to see if it will stir a memory. I listen to it, and still nothing. In fact, I don’t recall even having heard Hendrix cover the old Them track. This lack of insight gets a little embarrassing as Hendrix starts taking extreme liberties with the lyrics while my kids are eating lunch.
It’s one thing to explain profanity in music and movies; I’ve gotten pretty good at explaining ’emphasis of anger’ or the decrease of IQ during moments of ‘jocularity’. BUT DAMN, I’m not ready to explain the sexual references and language of a 60’s rock god.
Fortunately, they miss the lyrics as they rock out to the grove being put down by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
So, is this worth owning? It is Hendix in his prime, although, that sounds redundant as Hendrix died in his prime. It’s just that, as a solo piece of work it doesn’t really add or subtract from his legacy. It’s three guys having fun playing a cover song that has ample room for Hendrix to do what Hendrix does.
You can still find it out on e-bay and Kijiji at all kinds of weird price points that start just under ten bucks and then sail to ten times that, but you know what. I’ll leave a youtube link below, you listen and decide. Me, I’ll file it under – “play only when the kids are at school.”