“This is the record that started to change the direction for Jimi. We started it in 1968, when I first arrived in America. Very soon thereafter, Chas Chandler decided to part company with Jimi because he felt that Jimi wasn’t performing for him or the album – he was bringing in all of his buddies and friends and hangers-on from the Scene Club. There were 15 or 20 people in the control room, all of them Jimi’s friends.
“It was left to Jimi and I to finish the record, which was great because Jimi had the freedom to do what he wanted. It was a double album, and we were able to experiment and really stretch the boundaries. There are tracks that are jazzy, some that are R&Bish, some that are ethereal and experimental.
"On the song 1983, we tricked the thing out with every conceivable effect that I could think of. The way that track was mixed was Jimi and me doing a performance mix. It was all one take. We rehearsed it a couple of times, but essentially that whole song was mixed as one pass with no edits. It was the two of us at the board, four hands on deck. He had a lot of sensitivity, and he could mix. We worked very well together. We were a team.
“He loved Bob Dylan. We cut All Along The Watchtower in London before I left for New York, with Dave Mason and Jimi on acoustic guitars, and Mitch on drums. No Noel – Noel didn’t play bass because Jimi said that he was gonna do it. Noel got really pissed and went to the pub to get drunk. So Jimi played bass on it, and we brought the tapes to New York and continued working on it. That recording of Watchtower has become the de facto performance and arrangement of it. Today, Bob Dylan plays that arrangement.
“Jimi was so fun and funny in the studio, cracking jokes all the time. He was focused, but very relaxed. He had a sound in mind, a direction in mind, and I was just helping him realize his dream. Did I help change the sounds? Yes, of course. Did I make it more exciting for him? I’m hoping that he felt I did, which is why we continued to work together. He had a far-reaching vision, beyond most human beings. Trying to keep up with him was a challenge.”