Jimi Hendrix’s Negative First Impression Of Pink Floyd

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Psychedelic elements and the name that pops up is Jimi Hendrix. Psychedelic rock which was developed as a part of psychedelic culture, made a massive origin in the 1960s. Hendrix after moving to London attracted audiences with his music. And later on, he became a legend in the local scene.

Hendrix’s admiration was not easily passed. He even made comments about other artists’ and bands’ attention which seems unconvincing to him. As a talented guitarist, moving to England at the beginning of 1967, he rose to prominence in a nimble way. With his blend of blues, jazz, folk and British rock, his active scene in music made his way to a professional and successful musical career.

In a very harsh way, he once said that there is a group that sounds “Like Nothing”. While everyone indulged in their music, he felt like they didn’t really deserve such massive attention. This statement was made back in late 1966 after he had arrived in Britain.

The infamous band was Pink Floyd who formed in 1965 and had been in the psychedelic music scene. Hendrix and Pink Floyd happened at the same time. The band was there since 1965 with Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Write. And there were merging themselves in the music business. At around 67, they jumped into the limelight and signed with EMI.

Hendrix was critically successful during that time. And he totally wanted to affirm that Pink Floyd didn’t play psychedelic music. Not only that he surely pointed out how ‘psychedelic’ was wrongly recognized by the press and media. On January 1967, when Hendrix was interviewed by Steve Barker, he had things to say about the emerging psychedelic scene and Pink Floyd. He said,

“When these cats say, ‘Look at the band — they’re playing psychedelic music!’ and all they’re really doing is flashing lights and playing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ with the wrong chords. It’s terrible.”

He added, “I’ve heard they have beautiful lights, but they don’t sound like nothing.”

Later that year he was interviewed again by the same journalist. There he revealed that the experience everyone got with the music might have been caught up in the hippie scene. But he didn’t want everyone to label them as ‘Hippie’ or ‘Psychedelic’ like Pink Floyd.

He also had hesitation and said, “It bothers us because ‘psychedelic’ only means mind expansion anyway. I can’t hear one single word Pink Floyd is saying. It happens to us, but that’s just anybody’s opinion.”

While he did have those stuff to say about Pink Floyd, he surely had a change of mind later on. By the 70s, the band had a record-breaking pile of albums and that’s when Jimi saw their brilliance. He, later on, disclosed, “People like you to blow their minds. But we are going to give them something that will blow their mind. It will be druggy music. I agree it could be something along similar lines to what Pink Floyd are tackling. They don’t know it, but people like Pink Floyd are the mad scientists of this day and age.”

The band also opened for Jimi Hendrix months later after his comments. And seems like by then, he had totally grasped the proper Pink Floyd experience.

1 Comment

  1. Peter Fanelli Reply

    You mentioned that Hendrix changed his mind about Pink Floyd sometime in the 70’s. Jimi died in September of 1970. I was lucky enough to have seen him 3 times prior to that, the last being at Woodstock.

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