The Studio Mistake Jimi Hendrix Wanted to Repeat
Jimi Hendrix collaborator Eddie Kramer recalled a studio mistake the pair wanted to repeat but couldn't.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience's final album, Electric Ladyland, was nearing completion at the time, with Chas Chandler producing and Kramer engineering. During a recent Q&A event (via NME), Kramer explained how the incident unfolded at the Record Plant studio in New York City.
"There was a period there where something was funky with the console and the phasing that I was doing," Kramer said. "Jimi was sitting next to me and we mixed together, as there were no computers in those days. But all of a sudden, there was a sound that by some accident, made a strange thing happen.
"Jimi's guitar went 'woooof' right behind our heads, and we thought, 'What the hell was that?'" he continued. "And Jimi looked at me, 'Can you do that again?' I said, 'No, mate – I have no idea.' It was a mistake which I tried to duplicate but could never recapture!"
Kramer said he and Hendrix had stumbled upon "the beginning of sounds travelling behind you," adding, "Had he lived, he would have been right in the middle of this amazing new technology, saying, 'Hey man, let's pan the guitar this way.' Or if it was a studio recording – because he was very sharp and really into the technology – he would have wanted me to pan overhead and around the room, which is what I loved to do."
In the same Q&A session, Hendrix's sister Janie recalled how the guitarist would sit in silence during family visits because he was more interested in hearing from them, even though they wanted to know about his adventures. "He was doing a lot of listening, more so than what we wanted because we wanted to hear from him," she said. "So that's kind of what his outside of music life was – just very quiet, shy, soft-spoken." She added that he enjoyed playing Monopoly with the family and preferred to play as the shoe.