Jimi closes his eyes with raised eyebrows that arch with heaven and steeples. His left arm reaching for breath and guidance from the angel; a purpled wing. My eyes now close with the aromas of someplace, of exploration and eruptions. From sleepy dreams and wisps of smoke that curl my hands, Purple Haze finds its way back. A piece of life in my corner of memories and favorites; my mantra of home to my heart.
By the time of his Band of Gypsys, the sound that exhaled my Star Spangled Banner disappeared. Anthem maker and Bold as Love warrior, Jimi slipped under. He died September 18, 1970 from massive amounts of wine, vomit and suspicion. James Marshall Hendrix lay in London deceased and I accepted another, just like the ones before and the ones in line.
The tickets were sold out long before anyone knew their departure. Death panted the living for space on the charts. It was my age and experience. The time of music painting the dark of my room was over and my dreams lay in repose. I didn’t know the feelings of change and soon had no one to explain the highs of dreams, skids and crashes and senseless experiences. Too much and not enough, answers the question; Are You Experienced.
My friends and I drove dark roads looking for the magic. We plugged in rhythms and tried to find the comfort of black-lit rooms and incense reminders. All was gone so quickly and soon replaced by silly priorities of the mature and the definition of insanity. However, the endurance of his angel still speaks with feedback and fuzz.
Under my eyelids, the sound brings a voodoo spell that is always welcome. My skin bubbles the beacon, the immortals and march of sensitives. Then with equal intensity, the sensation mutes like a Peter Bogdanovich film of the 1970’s.
Where are they buried, these dreams and hours I guard? I search for them in eyes I pinch into shapes and listen to the “montagery” online and in 99 cent purchases. I walk lifelong routes and see trees now 10 feet taller and hearts I carved out of reach. Criminal and sanitized “mainstreamer”, time is the persistent thief.
Time has immortalized and sanitized Jimi Hendrix and yet, magnified and romanticized my narrative. He channeled the genomes of wisdom and broke bread over the foreheads of the establishment. Conventional to our ears, his views of the spiritual enlightened those willing to feel.
Hendrix said, “When I was a little boy, I believed that if you put a tooth under your pillow, a fairy would come in the night and take away the tooth and leave a dime. Now, I believed in myself more than anything. And, I suppose in a way, that’s also believing in God. If there is a God and He made you, then if you believe in yourself, you’re also believing in Him. So I think everybody should believe in himself. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to believe in heaven and hell and all that stuff. But it does mean that what you are and what you do is your religion. I can’t express myself in easy conversation – the words just don’t come out right. But when I get up on stage – well, that’s my whole life. That’s my religion. My music is electric church music, if by ‘church’ you mean ‘religion’, I am electric religion.”
His words and music became holy transcendental, psychedelic puffs of god. Hendrix was not god, but he knew “the name” and played beautiful psalms. Every generation is granted greatness to show this gift, the special nature of being a human being. In the late 60’s, I touched the divinity of the Electric Church. This rare measure of time, savors my touch and exhales my corner of memories.
Near the 40th anniversary of his death, his music and influence still provides a feast to listeners and believers. James Marshall Hendrix steers with stars plucking fuzz and feedback. It is a joyous tremble of sound on its journey past a purple midnight.
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