Little Butter’s Jimi Hendrix Experience. 50th Anniversary.

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Little Butter’s mind was blown by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. 50th Anniversary today. June 25, 1967–2017.

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Legendary DJ Tom Donahue at KMPX-FM radio studio. Green Street, San Francisco.

Tom Donahue mentioned my request letter for Country Joe & the Fish and Purple Haze on KMPX airwaves, April 15, 1967. Donahue was the first DJ on the West Coast to play Purple Haze, the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single, released in US on Reprise. I heard that first play on the earphone of the transistor radio Caron Palese brought when she visited me at San Francisco County Jail. I was doing 30 days for “inciting a riot” and “failure to disperse” on Haight Street after the Human Be-In, January 15.

I was guilty of being high on the special edition Owsley LSD my friend, Jaime, handed out at the Golden Gate Park Human Be-In and guilty of being too high to realize all I needed to do was go inside the Psychedelic Shop to avoid the SFPD TAC Squad who arrived to break up the after Be-In party that filled Haight Street from Stanyan to Diviz.

Another tale for another post. Yesss…Purple Haze was the best thing that happened while I was down San Bruno way for a few weeks. I sent Tom Donahue a letter, which he very dearly acknowledged on the air and played Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Country Joe all night.

 

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June 24, 1967. 844 Page Street, Frisco. Top floor, wood-paneled, gas-lit, 5 bedroom Victorian flat with hookah lounge on roof overlooking the city. A red-headed teen runaway, Mary, and I are lounging, clothing al fresco in my room listening to KMPX-FM. Tom Donahue has Jimi Hendrix in the studio for a live interview. Tom says “call in if you have any questions for Jimi.”

I had a phone. Got through on first dial. I had seen the Experience at the Fillmore the night before. I asked Jimi what the pedal thingy was onstage?

“That’s called a Vox Wah Wah.” It was, as far as I know, the only effect Jimi ever used, live. “and picking the (Strat) tremolo springs.” Gee thanks Jimi! He asked if we were coming to see the free show in Panhandle Park the next day. YEAH!

When I got off the phone, Mary said, “We should go down there to KMPX and see him.” One smart red-head. Jumped in the 1948 Ford woody and headed to the Embarcadero. When we were on Divisadero, Mary yelled STOP! Pulled over at Star-Ell Liquors and she ran inside, emerging with a big bouquet of flowers. Another smart move by Mary.

Entering the KMPX lobby, we were surprised nobody was there. Just the Donahue/Hendrix interview On Air speaker. Receptionist emerged and Mary handed her the flowers “For Jimi.”

The receptionist came back with a big smile and took Mary back to meet Hendrix in the studio. Jimi asked her name, she gurgled “Mary,” he thanked her for the pretties on the air which I heard in the lobby. When the interview was over, Mary, Jimi and Tom came out and I got to meet him and Tom Donahue, whom I reminded of the jail request letters months before, thanking him for the great radio he was pioneering where we stood.

Jimi sat on the couch between Mary and I and shot the shit with us for about 10 minutes. He was spectacular. His playful, even mischievous eyes mixed with a shy, quiet, genuine humility. I didn’t know he was only 19, just a year older, but already, yeah, experienced. Absolutely the kind of kid you’d bring home after school for a jam session in the garage.

We parted with Jimi asking if we were coming to the free show in the park, Yes we were going to be there. Funny about that day. No problem getting through on the live phone-in, no kids hanging around the station. We were exclusive!

June 25, 1967. Sebastian and I are hanging in the undefined backstage area at Panhandle Park, between Fell and Oak streets. The stage was a flat bed trailer by then standard for free park shows in SF. On it were the first Marshall amps I ever saw, waiting for the Jimi Hendrix Experience to plug in.

A yellow Ford Econoline van pulls into the space next to us backstage. The side door rolls open and out pops Jimi. “Hey man! You made it.” he says to me with a big smile. He remembered me from KMPX! That’s how groovy a cat he was. My room mate, Sebastian was impressed.

Wild Thing it was.

I was standing not far away from Jim Marshall when he took one of my favorites below, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding just before showtime. They had just emerged with Jimi from the Econoline Van behind, driven to the park by Bill Graham.

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jimiJim Marshall’s greatness on display here. A great photoJOURNALIST. I met him a few times over the years. Looked at his contact sheets from the Hendrix Experience, 6/25/67, primarily to see if I, me, me, me was in any of his shots. Amazingly, no. I wish I’d bought a print of Mitch and Noel from him that day. It is, however, beautifully reproduced across two pages, double-truck in Marshall’s posthumous book, The Haight.

The Panhandle Park show is legendary for many reasons, most are obvious. Even though I’d seen the Experience at the Fillmore two days before, the free-in-the-park Experience was over the top special. Many Brit bands heard about this show and they all wanted to play for free in the Panhandle soon after. George Harrison and Patti Boyd visited the site a few weeks later. SF Police wouldn’t allow the Stones to play there in 1969, forcing them into the Altamont disaster.

Hope you enjoyed this 50th Anniversary memoir. I did, I was listening to Jimi throughout. Recommended: Live performance films: Monterey Pop, two weeks before Jimi hit Frisco; Electric Church:Atlanta Pop with Jimi’s best Experience–Billy Cox, Jimi’s 101st Airborne pal, Band of Gypsies, on bass, Mitch Mitchell back on drums. This is the best full concert of Jimi Hendrix you will find. Very entertaining start to finish.

Seb-LandisSebastian AKA Jerry Landis, Haight Street, a few weeks after Jimi in the park. Fellow Albuquerquean, my SF room mate at the time. Butterphoto ©1967 Made with Pre-war Rolleiflex purchased that day at Adolph Gasser Camera/ Gene Saunders, salesman. God bless the man, he sent me on my way to a life of photography. Showed me how to load the 2-1/4 Rollei with Perutz 120 Black and White (bulk box of 20 rolls), “Don’t be afraid to shoot a lot.”  I took this later that day.  Too bad I didn’t have a camera two weeks earlier.

The Wind Cries Mary, flip side of Purple Haze single. Not on the British Are You Experienced  Track Records lp. My favorite early Hendrix masterpiece. First and only take.

exp lp                                                    My original Track LP. Only the two Reprise singles were available. Even The Gramophone Shop on Polk couldn’t get the album but a friendly clerk told me about an import store in Hollywood that had the British Are You Experienced Track Records lp. I called the place in Hollywood. They had two remaining copies. The only copies in the Western US! I asked them to hold a copy in my name. Had a friend drive me to SFO. Bought a $20 PSA round-trip to Burbank.

palese-palace                                 Palese Palace ©2017-1967 by DavidButterfield.com

Called Caron Palese (remember her? she gave me the transistor radio in SF County Jail. The magic radio that first played Purple Haze. ) Caron had moved back to her parents’ in Van Nuys. She happily agreed to pick me up at Burbank Airport, drive me to Hollywood to get the Hendrix record and returned me to airport. Her payment? Of course, the LAST Are You Experienced album in LA. And gas. And a smooch or two for old times….

When I got back to the squat, across Golden Gate Ave from the Pink Palace, I owned the only copy besides KMPX. Photo above taken today of that record, on Little Butter’s 50th Anniversary Jimi Hendrix Experience. 1967-2017. ©2017 ranchomantequilla.com/

 

#jimi,#jimihendrix,#panhandle,#kmpx,#purplehaze

Willie’s Manifesto

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Vinyl now playing at Rancho Mantequilla. Willie Nelson …and then I wrote, Liberty, 1962. My personal, autographed copy.

Willie’s shockingly original debut LP, introduces his jazzy vocal styling on Nelson originals– Touch Me, Hello Walls, Funny How Time Slips Away, Three Days, Crazy. Most were already hits for Faron Young, Carl Smith, Patsy Cline when Willie went into the studio to record his first album in 1961.

Aside from the occasional clutter of background singers, this has the sonic clarity of a Sinatra session. …and then I wrote brings a fresh, spare breeze into Country music. Like Sinatra, Willie Nelson’s vocal phrasing is riveting and casual at the same time. None other than Miles Davis credited Willie as an influence.

No one ever sang a Willie Nelson song better than Willie. Different maybe, radio hit maybe, but Willie broke the molds and crafted a whole new model with …and then i wrote. The record sucks you in like a Hoover. Never fails to satisfy. 55 years old and sounds like tomorrow.

#willienelson, #libertyrecords, #andtheniwrote,

Willie Nelson’s ‘God’s Problem Child’

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Just started streaming Willie’s NEW album. Hooray. NPR Music rocks. Trigger and Mickey Raphael get great workouts. Tony Joe White and Jamey Johnson co-wrote and sing on the title track, ‘God’s Problem Child.” Ends on a sad note, tribute to Merle Haggard.

http://www.npr.org/2017/04/20/524393534/first-listen-willie-nelson-gods-problem-child?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nprmusic&utm_term=music&utm_content=20170420

Rancho Mantequilla-creative content rating: FABO!

Most deeply satisfying Willie record in years. #willienelson

One year before the masthead.

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Rancho Mantequilla-creative content celebrates first anniversary. Thank you followers.

MY RULES – Glen E Friedman

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Jay Adams

Just got the new monograph, MY RULES by Glen E Friedman.

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Fabo, huge, important, big, coffee table book.

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Tony Alva at Dog Bowl. As seen in Skateboarder. 1978.

I was a devotee of Skateboarder magazine because of photos like this by Friedman and accompanying essays by Craig Stecyk. My wife (ex) never got it. 30 years old and riding skateboard….When Stacy Peralta’s Dog Town and Z Boys came out in 2001, I told my ex to go see it. She still didn’t get it and laughed when I told her I just bought a new longboard. I was 50, revisiting the stoke. The stoke is revealed in every Glen Friedman shot. Skate, Punk, Rap, from hardcore action to sublime, reflective portraiture. MY RULES rules.

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Garage band, Black Flag

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all photos © by Glen E Friedman

The Charlatans. The band that started the whole hippie ballroom poster bohemia thing.

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The Seed. 6/21/1965. Everything else came after. Art by Mike Ferguson, George Hunter–The Charlatans.

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George Hunter, Richard Olsen, Mike Wilhelm, Dan Hicks, Michael Ferguson.

The Charlatans emerged out of San Francisco State University in early 1965. They packed up and drove to Virginia City, NV, an early bohemian scene that came together in June, when the Red Dog Saloon opened with a two week residency, direct from San Francisco, the limit of the marvelous–Charlatans.

The band honed their chops playing mostly blues and early rock&roll covers. Pianist, Michael Ferguson and singer/autoharp, George Hunter brought their home grown graphics back to SF, just as the Kesey Acid Tests were conceived by the Merry Pranksters, Chet Helms Family Dog, Owsley LSD, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane. At Longshoreman’s Hall, California Hall, Fillmore, Avalon. The poster art, Victorian fashion revival and music scene that followed all owe a debt to The Charlatans.

They never had a hit, they were considered passe by the end of the so-called Summer of Love. Dan Hicks went on to great success with his Hot Licks in the 70s. Mike Wilhelm was active throughout the post Charlatans years.  His band Loose Gravel continued the Charlatans style into the early 70s. Mike was also in The Flamin’ Groovies.

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Early Family Dog. 1/8/66. Art by Ferguson/Hunter, The Charlatans.

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Triptych of Family Dog Avalon Ballroom posters, 1967. Herb Greene photos.

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The Charlatans 50th Anniversary Red Dog Saloon Reunion, Virginia City NV, 6/21/2015. ©DavidButterfield.com. Final performance of The Charlatans. Also one of Dan Hicks last performances.

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Earl Scruggs Revue at Thunderbird Bar, Placitas, NM. 1972.

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Randy Scruggs, Buck Graves, Earl, Jody Maphis, Gary Scruggs. The Earl Scruggs Revue. Thunderbird Bar, Placitas, NM. ©1972 by DavidButterfield.com. Earl Scruggs is a hero. In 1969, he broke with Lester Flatt and formed the revue with sons Randy and Gary. Dobro great, Buck Graves left Flatt and Scruggs with Earl.

The Revue, 1972 Live at Kansas State U. With VASSAR CLEMENTS fiddle, Bob Wilson, piano.

Earl Scruggs broke all the molds and conservative political ties in 1960s Nashville when The Revue played the Vietnam Moratorium in Washington, DC. He quietly paved the way for a more open-minded American music and was quickly followed by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Commander Cody and a tidal wave of hippies with banjoes.

My band, Heart, played several weekend dates at the Thunderbird, in the Sandia foothills east of Bernalillo, halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Steve, Barry and Peaches of the Placitas commune (Geodesic domes still there. Barry and Peaches still there) opened the Thunderbird in 1969. It was a wild place in the early 70s. Pappy & Harriet’s, my local saloon is very reminiscent of the T-Bird. Middle of nowhere road house with live music, hippies, bikers. T-Bird began to book national touring acts in 1972, after they enlarged the music room, seen in the photo. I also saw Freddie King on this stage. Sadly my photos were bad. Freddie had one of the best blues bands ever. Thunderbird Bar burned to the ground around 1975. Placitas is a ritzy McAdobeMansion suburb now but the dome people still reside surrounded by the upscale Pueblo Moderne.

Earl Scruggs Revue was a delight. I’ve always called Earl, The Country Gentleman. He was for the banjo what Doc Watson was for the guitar. Naturally one of my favorite records is Flatt and Scruggs with Doc Watson -Strictly Instrumental.