Few months ago, 12 previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings from 1968 and 1969 were made available as People, Hell and Angels. The legendary guitarist was experimenting with new sounds and musical directions for First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the planned double-album follow-up to Electric Ladyland, and on "Somewhere," Hendrix sits down with Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass for a far-reaching psychedelic blues jam. Recorded in 1968, "Somewhere" rides signature Hendrix wails, long exploratory solos and free-flowing wordplay. Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarist of All Time shows why he's earned that title with unparalleled skill and eternally innovative sounds, but "Somewhere" suggests his most complex work may have only been ahead of him..
The year before his death in 1970, Hendrix was planning a Supergroup with Miles Davis and were hoping that Paul McCartney would join them on bass.
A telegram (complete with a typographical error, below) that Hendrix sent to McCartney at The Beatles' Apple Records in London on October 21, 1969, told him to get in touch with producer Alan Douglas: "We are recording and LP together this weekend. How about coming in to play bass stop call Alan Douglas 212-5812212. Peace Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams."
It's unclear if McCartney was aware of the request. The telegram advises him to contact producer Alan Douglas, and is seemingly an impromptu note asking McCartney to visit New York from London on short notice. Beatles aide Peter Brown responded the next day, telling Hendrix and Davis that McCartney was out on vacation and wasn't expected back for two weeks.
Davis said in his 1990 autobiography that he sometimes jammed with Hendrix at his New York apartment, but finances and busy schedules prevented them from entering the studio. Hendrix biographer Charles Shaar Murray and others say Davis sought $50,000 up front for the session. Davis also wrote in his book that he and arranger Gil Evans were in Europe planning to record with Hendrix at the time of guitarist's death in London.
The telegram, a part of the Hard Rock Cafe's memorabilia collection, was purchased at an auction in 1995. But it's received more attention with the March release of People, Hell and Angels.
"[The telegram is] not something you hear about a lot," said Hard Rock historian Jeff Nolan. "Major Hendrix connoisseurs are aware of it. It would have been one of the most insane supergroups. These four cats certainly reinvented their instruments and the way they're perceived." The telegram is now on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Prague in the Czech Republic.
And if you are into fan fiction give this What If Jimi Hendrix Didn't Die story a try!