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If they had actually got together, what do you think Jimi and Miles Davies would have sounded like? Did they ever talk?
I do believe they did talk, and there was always this idea of this concept of Jimi and Miles getting together. The story I told you is a small portion of what was going on between the management companies, and they just couldn’t get it together, which is a shame. But showing Jimi’s proclivity for fitting in, I think it would have been phenomenal, Lord knows where it may have gone. Those two huge egos in the studio at the same time? I would have loved to have done that one! I’m sure it would have been very challenging and very exciting, it could have changed the course of music but it just was not to be, sadly.
Were you a party to any other big-name musicians coming into the studio to jam?
Not on this particular batch, obviously there's the famous Steve Winwood Jack Casady stuff. Jimi was very clever about how he did his jams. There’s a wonderful story about Voodoo Chile. There’s a famous club in New York called The Scene, at the time it was the place, and Jimi would go there and jam virtually every night. Because, you know, we’d have to studio booked for 7:30, 8, 9, 10, 11, where the hell’s Jimi? He’s round the corner jamming! But he was jamming very specifically, searching for musicians who he felt he could rely on and would be up to his level.
This one night, he was jamming at The Scene, and Steve Winwood and Jack Cassady was there. We had the studio all set up, everything was ready, and at about midnight, Jimi comes out of the Scene club, walks down 8th avenue with the guitar, the hat, the pants, the whole deal, dragging like 20 people behind him – including Winwood and Casady – they walk into the Record Plant two blocks away, they plug in, do one run through, one take, and that’s it. That’s the master. It’s live on the floor, he’s singing live, and you can hear it – you can hear the amplifier resonating throughout the whole room. But that’s how clever he was, he would plan this out. He had this big yellow legal pad that he would write down all the instructions about where, when, how, what part of the verse was gonna be where – that man was prepared.
The picture painted in the media is of a man who, towards the end, was spiralling out of control. But in the studio that obviously wasn’t the case.
Jimi was in control, it was his album, he was the boss – you had to listen.
Will we see the Royal Albert Hall released before we die?
Before we die, yes. That’s all I can say!
There was talk of him doing much bigger projects – did he ever talk to you about these plans?
He didn’t specifically, but I know that he wanted to expand his musical horizons into big orchestral things. We mentioned the stuff he wanted to do but never got to do – the closest he got in terms of horns was that experimental thing I did at the Record Plant which is actually on the purple box set, and the stuff on this record. But Jimi, I think had he lived, would probably have had his own film company, his own TV company, and been a huge powerful force in the industry. He loved technology, and I always had this feeling that he wanted to make a movie and do all the music for it. He was a composer and a genius, to me that was going to be the next thing. Had he lived, he probably would have embraced every conceivable part of the music industry.