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Gone But Not Forgotten: Jimi Hendrix

Out of the Sandbox

By Robert Markoe

In 1968, the popular music scene was peaking both in talent and the amount of new artists arriving on the scene with record contracts being awarded to a wide plethora of new talent. I was going into my first year in high school and as the summer drew to a close, I was asked if I wanted to go to a Jimi Hendrix Concert. Without hesitation, I was given the details of when and where he would perform.

I was picked up at my parent’s house on a Monday in late August and was accompanied by four friends of the same age. All of us knew we were about to witness a new and sensational black guitar player who was stretching the boundaries of popular rock and roll, both in style and his reputed virtuoso guitar skills.

We arrived at the outdoor venue two hours early and there was absolutely no one there. My friends wandered off to the far reaches of the stadium to the top of the concrete bleachers, but I anticipated seeing an already living legend and stood completely alone at the entrance to the bleacher’s dressing rooms. Within ten minutes, a locked gate at the entrance of the track opened and down the track came a black Cadillac limousine. It stopped about twenty feet in front of me by the entrance of the bleachers. The front passenger door flew open and a tall black man with a large amount of hair got out and headed rapidly to the trunk of the limo.

Realizing that it was him, Jimi Hendrix, seemed unbelievable, but yes, it was him. He opened the trunk of the limo and took out a Fender Stratocaster guitar case and a case of Ballentine Scotch. He stopped in front of me and I waived to my friends to come down. They realized what was happening. I asked Hendrix if a Fender Telecaster was a good guitar and he politely replied that it did the job at an affordable price. I didn’t think to get his autograph, being awe struck of what was happening in front of me. My friends stood on the first steps of the bleachers and hastened Jimi’s departure, when one of them grabbed his hair thinking he had a wig.

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