The Most Legendary Rock Photo We’ve Seen This Year And The Story Behind It
via Psychedelic Lounge . Facebook
We’ve found the greatest photo on the internet this year, folks! And it’s an old groufie of the UK’s greatest rock acts in 1967 with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd taking the front. Just another iconic photo blowing internet minds more than half a decade later.
Take another look at this psychedelia fan’s ultimate fantasy, and see if you can identify some of the young stars in here:
UK tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice, Eire Apparent, The Move and Amen Corner, 1967. pic.twitter.com/kWeWZVAv2L
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) April 13, 2021
That is a photo of one moment in 1967 when the heavenly bodies aligned and the rock gods allowed the convergence of the luminaries of the British psychedelic scene.
From November 14th to December 5th that year, the Jimi Hendrix Experience embarked on a remarkable tour of theaters across the UK as part of a package tour.
And in this divine tour, Jimi and his band shared the bill with notable acts during that time, such as The Move (the band that would later become Electric Light Orchestra), Pink Floyd (led by Syd Barrett), Amen Corner, The Nice, Outer Limit, and Eire Apparent.
Why is this mind-blowing?
Of course, it was mind-blowing. Rock and roll’s well-known visionaries Hendrix and Barett touring with UK psychedelia’s seminal acts is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The fans who saw these guys perform on that tour probably cherished their experience more after the demise of these two musical geniuses years later.
More than just a piece of music history, the photo is a fragment of time frozen for these great acts. Jimi and his band were on a rapid rise while the others were either experiencing their own springtime or were about to hit it big.
Whether it was for publicity or just some sort of remembrance, it was such a cool moment. Just imagine your classic rock heroes crowding in front of a camera, taking such awkward poses. Just musicians being their awkward selves, trying to find their space in such a legendary lineup of fellow performers.
Jimi wasn’t even looking at the camera and got distracted. Mitch Mitchell was posing perfectly while Noel Redding, who was often mistaken for a young-looking Marc Bolan, was just his cool self hiding behind his sunglasses.
Roger Waters taking the lead as usual with the somber Syd Barrett at the back glaring (menacingly) at the camera. Keyboardist Rick Wright spacing out right behind them, while Nick Mason just standing stiffly beside the headliners.
Years before Jeff Lynne stepped into the picture, ELO was The Move with the grumpy frontman Carl Wayne standing beside Jimi. Other members Bev Bevan, Roy Wood, Trevor Burton, and Ace Kefford crowded around the other stars.
The other rockers from Amen Corner, The Nice, Outer Limit, and Eire Apparent were either stoked or bored and were all waiting for the photographer to complete the photo session.
See the photo again, this time, with names:
— ❗️ ♀️ (@poppymoppet) August 18, 2020
The legendary tour
The guys above are part of a big tour that went around the UK late in 1967. The headliners were the newly-crowned rockstars Jimi Hendrix Experience, coming off hot from their Monterey outing.
The guitar sacrifice at the Monterey Pop Festival was successful and the gods have heard Jimi. The legendary guitarist hammered fast while the iron was red-hot after the iconic performance and was able to quickly book a tour.
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In what became an unnamed tour in 1967, the bands took part of a UK package tour that spanned 16 dates and featured 31 shows across 16 cities. Each band of the stellar lineup delivered two performances per night, with Jimi Hendrix’s headlining act allotted precisely 40 minutes.
The Move, who took the stage before Hendrix, had a half-hour slot, while Pink Floyd had between 15 and 20 minutes.
The first show of this tour with (in order) Eire Apparent, Outer Limits, Amen Corner, The Move, The Nice and Pink Floyd, all supporting the Jimi Hendrix Experience – took place today, 1967. Other than the first night at London’s Royal Albert Hall, there were 2 shows each evening. pic.twitter.com/d4GEXSLbXU
— Pink Floyd (@pinkfloyd) November 14, 2021
Touring the UK in 1967 was far from luxurious, lacking the modern amenities enjoyed by today’s artists. Instead, they traveled in small vans or cars with inadequate heating (air conditioning wasn’t common in British vehicles at the time) and stayed in basic city hotels.
Hendrix was on his way to becoming a major star, with his first three singles, “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze”, and “The Wind Cries Mary” all achieving top-ten hits. His debut album, released in May of that year, maintained a top-20 position for 33 weeks.
Pink Floyd had also seen success on the charts with “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play” entering the top 20. The Move had notched up three top-ten hits, including “Flowers In The Rain”, and Amen Corner was about to score their biggest hit yet, “Bend Me, Shape Me”.
The guys touring are definitely the top-tier acts.
SOME TOUR ROADBLOCKS
But the tour faced some intriguing challenges. Following two Blackpool performances, the bands left their equipment, including guitars and amplifiers, on stage overnight. Upon returning the next morning to pack up, they discovered that intruders had broken in during the night and damaged some of the guitars and amplifiers.
It was also during this time that original Pink Floyd member and leader Syd Barrett started exhibiting erratic behavior. Barrett was not enjoying the tour, and would often go for a walk and not return to the venue until just minutes before Floyd’s performance.
Before being a top producer, John Leckie, a guest of ours soon, worked on Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett albums. He engineered Wish You Were Here and Meddle and was a tape operator on Syd’s second album and some unreleased songs. More on John and the event at https://t.co/9fnmwT8lp4 pic.twitter.com/FiDutuqSws
— The Space event (@The_Space_event) August 2, 2023
He’d play the show, disappear again, and reappear hours later, in time for the second performance. However, one night, he didn’t show up at all, leading Davy O’List (of The Nice) to stand in for him.
Jimi Hendrix himself did not escape the troubles hounding the tour.
During a performance at the City Hall in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Jimi Hendrix encountered equipment problems and, in his frustration, jammed his Gibson Flying V into his speaker cabinets. The guitar became wedged in the amplifier, creating an unexpected spectacle that the audience greeted as part of the performance.
Jimi Hendrix at The Royal Albert Hall in London, 1967. Photo by Val Wilmer. pic.twitter.com/3EQHvh73c2
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) December 21, 2022
Another head-scratching incident happened on the tour’s final night at Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow when Hendrix had the curtains abruptly closed on him midway through his set. The venue’s management deemed his guitar movements to have sexual undertones, effectively ending the tour.
Such a legendary tour with funny incidents not being known enough by rock fans continues to baffle people.
ALL EYES ON THE EXPERIENCE
Reviews of the tour consistently focused on the headline act, and not without reason. One review in the Coventry Evening Telegraph memorably said:
“More than 3,000 youngsters attended two houses at the Coventry Theatre. He [Hendrix] can play guitar with his teeth, lying on the stage, or behind his back – and do it better than most in a more conventional position. The result was a stunning, completely individual performance, which included hits like “Hey Joe”, “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Purple Haze” and the wildest version yet of “Wild Thing”. But the teenagers who stood on their seats for Jimi Hendrix were unmoved – and I guess somewhat bewildered – by the Pink Floyd, a group for whom the new wave is more of a spring tide.”
Yikes. Floyd being dismissed like that definitely should sting. The guys would later on fill stadiums around the world with their prog rock hits that continue to lure generations of rock fans. Definitely not your common ‘spring tide’.
#PinkFloyd on this day in 1967, at the Gyllene Cirkeln in Stockholm, Sweden; a recording of their performance was discovered, and was included on The Early Years 1965-1972 box set, in the 1965-67 section. https://t.co/I5y8K5CBRt pic.twitter.com/otOU8dmat5
— Pink Floyd (@pinkfloyd) September 10, 2019
The 16-date tour took Hendrix to Belfast for two shows at Whitla Hall, Queens College, coinciding with Jimi’s 25th birthday. Before the shows, the promoters presented the guitarist with a birthday cake. This marked the only concert The Jimi Hendrix Experience ever played in Ireland.
After the tour
Just a few weeks later, on December 22nd, the Jimi Hendrix Experience will once again reunite with The Move and Pink Floyd for a Christmas concert at Olympia in London. The event, dubbed as Christmas on Earth Continued also featured other top acts such as The Who, The Animals, and many more.
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
The Experience had just released their second album, Axis: Bold as Love, on December 1, 1967, only seven months after the release of the highly successful Are You Experienced.
And true to striking fast while they were hot, around that time, the band would also start recording tracks for their third album, Electric Ladyland. However, tensions during the recording would delay the release until October the following year.
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Electric Ladyland would go on and become the Experience greatest album yet, reaching no. 1 in the US. But the band would also break up months later, right before Jimi would climb up the stage at Woodstock.
Hendrix would headline the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969, his performance being his most legendary yet. He turned heads and became more popular after stealing his own spotlight at arguably rock music’s greatest festival ever.
However, alcohol and substance abuse would cause the demise of the great guitarist. At the height of his career, Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27.
In 1967, Pink Floyd finally landed a record deal and was steadily climbing to the top. One of their highlights that year was the Tour with Jimi. But it was also during this period that their leader Syd Barrett would unravel and start exhibiting changes in behavior.
They had just released their debut studio album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but Barrett’s erratic behavior had affected the band’s performances. After the Tour, the band knew they had to do something. In December 1967, they decided to invite Barrett’s friend, guitarist David Gilmour.
Gilmour would “cover for [Barrett’s] eccentricities”, while the former leader would become a nonperforming songwriter. After an increasingly difficult Barrett refused to cooperate with the band, Pink Floyd was left with no choice but to end their relationship with the creative genius.
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The band would release a string of albums that did not do well commercially and critically until the advent of their iconic eight offering, 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon. The concept album would become one of history’s best-selling records and would catapult Pink Floyd to international superstardom.
They had perfected the prog rock formula by this time, and came with releases that redefined rock music: Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).
The Move would achieve sporadic success after the Tour, with the 1968 song “Blackberry Way” being their biggest hit. They would also suffer from lineup changes as original members Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton left the band.
With their musical direction unsure and band members not getting along, Roy Wood would openly discuss with the other members his desire to establish a new band that would perform eclectic music. He tentatively called it “The Electric Light Orchestra”.
Frontman Carl Wayne would quit the band in an unfriendly manner in 1970. Jeff Lynne, who was invited earlier but turned down the offer due to being involved with his own band, finally decided to join and replace Wayne.
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They went with Wood’s idea of an eclectic band, a band that would create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones. Wood, Bevan, and Lynne would enlist keyboardist Richard Tandy to form the Electric Light Orchestra.
ELO would become a much bigger band than The Move, a rock band that would sell over 50 million records worldwide within its 13-year period of active recording and touring.