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Did Hendrix know?

valdaevaldae new orleansNew
Since discovering Django in 1975, I’d often wondered if Hendrix had ever heard any of Django’s recordings. What makes me curious is the mere fact that he hung out with a number of guitarists in the UK who I know were exposed to Django’s music; Clapton, Beck, Towndsend, and McLaughlin, to name a few. This speculation was stirred even more when I listened to “Gypsy Eyes” from Electric Ladyland. Hmmm? What makes this idea all the more interesting is that Jimi was pretty much a Gypsy himself at the time.

I’m not trying to imply that Jimi was influenced by Django, but given his love of various forms of music I’d bet money if he did hear the great man he would have loved him.

Any thoughts?
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch


  • steven_eiresteven_eire Wicklow✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    yes apparently he had heard django and it influenced him to call the woodstock band 'band of gypsys'
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    WOW! That explains a lot. I'm willing to bet he identified with Django in some respects. As it was, Jimi was a wanderer and when famous a citizen of the world. Once he left Seattle till the day he died he seldom, if ever, had a fixed address. Just to know that bit of "trivia" gives some of his music new meaning. Thanks
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    yes apparently he had heard django and it influenced him to call the woodstock band 'band of gypsys'


    I've read many biographies on Hendrix, and I am holding Jimi Hendrix Electric Gypsy in my hands right now which is by far the definitive biography and there is no mention whatsoever of Django Reinhardt in that or any other for that matter. There is no connection.

    If Jimi named his band 'Band of Gypsies' because he heard Django he must have heard a Wild Blue Angel also as he named his last project/concert (perhaps a greater possibility!). BTW, Jim Morrison had no fixed address either, and at least he wrote 'Spanish Caravan' so perhaps a better case can be made for him over Hendrix if you wanted to get silly.

    I would be delighted to be proven incorrect.
  • steven_eiresteven_eire Wicklow✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Elliot wrote:


    although i think i originally read it elsewhere, can't remember exactly where so i googled it and found it on the wikipedia page
    Elliot wrote:
    I've read many biographies on Hendrix

    me too, i read the one by mitch mitchell recently. interesting take on it.
    Elliot wrote:
    I would be delighted to be proven incorrect.

    im afraid i can't prove it myself Elliot, as the source does not appear to be cited in the wiki article. That's why i did say "apparently" in my original post.

    if you are really interested you could try raising the question under the discussion tab in the wikipedia article. you might get your answer from whomever wrote the article.

    cheers, ste
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    edited February 2008
    Sorry, but I tend to trust real biographers over anonymous wiki contributors. I also trust first hand accounts out of Hendrix's own mouth:
    "The fact of callin' it Gypsys means it could even expand on personnel or so forth...I might not even be there all the time. Buddy might not even be there all the time, but the core, the whole, the child will be there."
  • steven_eiresteven_eire Wicklow✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    I tried a google search but the results were inconclusive, there are plenty of articles where this connection is mentioned e.g.


    but again there is no references, so no hard evidence to back it up. which could suggest that it may be nothing more than a rumor.
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Years ago, Guitar Player Magazine published a list of albums that were in Hendrix's collection, none of which were recordings of Django. Still, I think he must have heard or heard of Django through one of the guitarist previously mentioned. I'm convinced that Jimi fancied himself a Gypsy, whether he heard Django or not. Still, Jimi had big ears, and I'm willing to bet he would have definitely loved Reinhardt if the opportunity presented itself.
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • waldenjazzwaldenjazz Thoreau, NMNew
    I saw Hendrix in Rhode Island in 1968... amazing concert and I can't imagine anyone being further removed from Django than Jimi... and seeing him on stage with what was a white strat, the only influence I saw was maybe that can of Zippo lighter fluid he used to ignite his guitar. He did smoke like Django however as was evidenced by the long line of cigarettes stretched out across the top of an amplifier...
  • steven_eiresteven_eire Wicklow✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    While we are on the subject of the Band of Gypsys, unfortunately some sad news. Buddy Miles has just past away. RIP Buddy

  • waldenjazz wrote:
    ...the only influence I saw was maybe that can of Zippo lighter fluid he used to ignite his guitar

    LOL: back in the Pre-BIC days!

    I remember reading an interview in some magazine with Hendrix after he died where they asked him if he ever listened to Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys... his reply (if we are to believe any postmortem interview) was typical Jimi, "Yeah, man, those cats were out of sight!"

    Which, of course, they were but I just can't picture Hendrix glued to a stereo, listening to Eldon Shamblin's break on 'That's What I Like 'Bout the South'!

    Norman CT/USA
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