Historic live set marks the moment before Jimi Hendrix achieved international fame; recording has never been released officially or bootlegged
Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. in partnership with Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, is releasing “Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967” this November 10 on vinyl, CD and all digital platforms.
This live concert performance, captured just five days before the US release of “Are You Experienced”, their album debut, is notable for being one of the last times the band performed in front of an audience as relative unknowns.
Having already conquered the band’s UK base as well as Continental Europe over the previous ten months, the vast majority of the 17,000 plus Los Angeles concertgoers were there to see headliners The Mamas & The Papas and were caught off guard by Jimi Hendrix’s electrifying musicality and showmanship.
Finally, the set can be enjoyed by the rest of the world for the first time ever; amazingly, not a single second of this unique, two-track live recording has ever been released before in any capacity, either via official channels or else wise.
In advance of the November 10 release of “Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967”, the track “Killing Floor” has been made available.
After the Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix moved to London in September 1966, the Experience was formed with a British rhythm section consisting of drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding.
The new band promptly enjoyed commercial success in the form of three top 10 singles and a string of performances that overwhelmed audiences and won praise from the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.
Word of these achievements reached Reprise Records chief Mo Ostin and a US deal for Hendrix was confirmed in March 1967. Two months later, at the urging of McCartney, the Jimi Hendrix Experience made their triumphant US debut at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June.
However, the immediate prosperity the band enjoyed in the UK was not replicated stateside. Their first two US singles were flops — “Hey Joe” didn’t chart at all, “Purple Haze” only reached #65 — and Are You Experienced wouldn’t be released domestically until late August.
In their attempt to crack America, the Experience did a five-show stint at the Fillmore in San Francisco followed by a US tour opening for The Monkees that only lasted nine dates before Hendrix dropped off due to unappreciative teenybopper audiences who were strictly there to see the headliner.
In a scramble to book dates after this debacle, John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, who co-produced the Monterey Pop Festival, invited the Experience to open for his group at the Hollywood Bowl on August 18.
“Monterey Pop To The Hollywood Bowl” is a new mini-documentary which details Jimi Hendrix’s tumultuous journey upon his return to the US in June 1967, through August of that year. Featuring new interviews from The Mamas & The Papas vocalist Michelle Phillips, longtime Paul McCartney guitarist Brian Ray and others, the impact of Hendrix’s Hollywood Bowl performance by eye witnesses is discussed, and is placed in historic context.