In my Humanities Survey class, we were asked to write a memo to someone from the 20th-21st Century who had advanced the world in the arts, sciences or socially. This was who I chose and what I wrote. It apparently warranted a perfect score. I hope you enjoy.
To: Jimi Hendrix
Gypsy Guitar God
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer
From: Luna Aquarius
Date: June 16, 2012
Subject: Inquiry Regarding the Original Release for the Album Are You Experienced?
In your time, you were considered a pioneer in the Rock and Roll world. You were revered by your peers, even invoking the envy of the likes of Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend. Guitarist from Prince, George Clinton, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Billy Gibson of ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughn have openly sited you as a major influence.
You introduced musical techniques that were not thought of before or popularized ones not typically used at that time. Your experimental use of the wah-wah pedal, reverb, stereophonic phasing, and amplifier feedback have become mainstream in 21st Century Rock & Roll.
You accomplished all of this before your death at age 27, a mere three years in the mainstream spotlight.
You released your first album in 1967, which is the subject of this memo. Musically, it feels like a psychedelic acid trip. This begs us to wonder if you were high when you wrote/recorded the songs. Yet you have said that you wished you could make love to your music. (Note: eww!) So which is it? Is this album a 40 minute journey through the paisley colored glasses of LSD, or is it a living breathing thing you would prefer over a woman? Is it both?
There is the matter of the songs chosen to be on the album. The UK and North American original releases have 8 of the 11 songs in common. How was it decided that American audiences got to have “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” while the Europeans were treated to “Red House”, “Can You See Me” and “Remember”? How was it decided that “Stone Free”, “51st Anniversary” and “Highway Chile” would not be released on either?
By the mere fact that there are different tracks and a different track order on these releases make the listening experiences…well, different. Is that what you were going for at the time? Is that the answer to the question “Are you experienced?” Was it that you felt that the releases were tailored to the listening styles of the two continents? Was it a record company ploy to sell more albums by making the fans buy the local and import release?
Please respond to all questions presented in this memo no later than the end of time. We thank you for your cooperation in advance.