Jimi Hendrix Asked Paul McCartney to Play Bass on Record With Miles Davis
One of the great “what-ifs” in rock history just got even greater. A newly uncovered telegram shows that Jimi Hendrix had asked Paul McCartney to play bass in a proposed recording session with legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and drummer Tony Williams.
Billboard is reporting that, on Oct. 21, 1969, Hendrix sent a telegram to McCartney at Apple Records in London, which read, “We are recording and (sic) LP together this weekend in NewYork, (sic). How about coming in to play bass stop call Alvan Douglas 212-5812212. Peace Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams.”
Unfortunately, Hendrix’s usually impeccable timing was off. Peter Brown – the same man referenced in the Beatles‘ ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ – informed Hendrix that McCartney was on vacation and would be back in two weeks.
Coincidentally, Hendrix contacted McCartney on the same day that the infamous “Paul is dead” hoax was first mentioned on New York radio. The story had started in the Midwest a month earlier, but it wasn’t until that morning that it broke nationwide, forcing Apple to issue a denial. However, the story freaked out McCartney enough that he retreated to his farm in Scotland.
Hendrix and Davis became friends in the late-60s, at a time when the jazz great was looking to incorporate rock and funk into his sound. The duo jammed together on a number of occasions, but scheduling conflicts made it impossible for them to record the album they frequently discussed making before Hendrix’s death in 1970 put a permanent end to the plans.