The Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Little Wing”

ALBUM: Axis: Bold As Love

YEAR: 1967

WRITER: Jimi Hendrix

Never released as a single, but a staple of rock and classic rock radio.

The material for The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album, Are You Experienced?, was recorded in such a rush that the late drummer Mitch Mitchell claimed he never knew what the lyrics were before recording any of the songs. In a 1990s interview, he explained that things finally began to change around the time they recorded “Little Wing” for the second album, Axis: Bold As Love. “It’s really important for me to me to know what the lyrics are, because it does affect how you’re going to approach the song for playing. So by this time I was maybe getting Hendrix to go into the studio just with guitar and vocal to put down a guide track, so I could really have a listen to what was going on and what the feeling of the track was before attempting to put drums on it, ‘Little Wing’ being probably the first time that I’d really given serious thought to what we were doing as regarding the drums with the lyrics.”

48 years ago today (June 29th, 1969) The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their final concert on the closing day of the violence-marred Denver Pop Festival. Bassist Noel Redding quit rather than be fired and drummer Mitch Mitchell left, but ended up working with Hendrix on a semi-regular basis.


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