Jimi Hendrix – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

I have a confession…every time I look at this song my mind wants to read “Morman” not Merman. It’s an interesting song by Hendrix. Anything he did I will listen to…even songs still coming out to this day. The guy must have lived permanently hooked up to a recording console.

This song is basically a scifi story. A merman is a male version of a mermaid. In this song, Hendrix sings about how he wants to escape the war-torn world and all the horrible things going on.

This song was recorded in 1968 for the Electric Ladyland album and it featured  Chris Wood of the band Traffic.

Sometimes Hendrix would play bass himself and he had many guests such as drummer Buddy Miles of The Electric Flag, Traffic’s Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper and Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady amongst others into the mix.

The went into the studio in February 1968 and the album was released on October 16th of that year. The final complete studio album ever recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and their only one to top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Electric Ladyland is Hendrix’s most experimental album and most musically varied.

Jimi Hendrix on going into the studio for Electric Ladyland: “We’ve been doing new tracks that are really fantastic and we’ve just been getting into them…“You have these songs in your mind. You want to hurry up and get back to the things you were doing in the studio, because that’s the way you gear your mind….We wanted to play [the Fillmore], quite naturally, but you’re thinking about all these tracks, which is completely different from what you’re doing now.”

Jimi Hendrix – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)

Hurrah i awake from yesterday
alive but the war is here to stay
so my love catherina and me
decide to take our last walk
through the noise to the sea
not to die but to be re-born
away from a life so battered and torn….
forever…
oh say can you see its really such a mess
every inch of earth is a fighting nest
giant pencil and lip-stick tube shaped things
continue to rain and cause screaming pain
and the arctic stains
from silver blue to bloody red
as our feet find the sand
and the sea is strait ahead..
strait ahead…..
well its too bad
that our friends
cant be with us today
well thats too bad
“the machine
that we built
would never save us”
thats what they say
(thats why they aint coming with us today)
and they also said
“its impossible for man
to live and breath underwater..
forever” was their main complaint
(yeah)
and they also threw this in my face:
they said
anyway
you know good well
it would be beyond the will of God
and the grace of the King
(grace of the King yeah yeah)

so my darling and I
make love in the sand
to salute the last moment
ever on dry land
our machine has done its work
played its part well
without a scratch on our bodies
and we bid it farewell

starfish and giant foams
greet us with a smile
before our heads go under
we take a last look
at the killing noise
of the out of style…
the out of style, out of style

Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic

“Crosstown Trafic” was recorded at the Record Plant in 1968. Traffic’s Dave Mason was a guest vocalist on this song. This song includes a famous kazoo riff, which Hendrix originally performed using a comb and a piece of cellophane.

This song peaked at #52 on the Billboard 100 in 1968. The album was Electric Ladyland and it was Jimi’s only number 1 album in Billboard.

Hendrix wanted a Linda Eastman photo for the album cover… A photo of the band and some kids at Central Park on an Alice In Wonderland Statue… he wrote  “Please use color picture with us and the kids on the statue for front or back cover — OUTSIDE COVER,”  but Reprise ignored his request…this is the photo he wanted.

Instead, they used this one

Image result for jimi hendrix electric ladyland

The UK cover was of 19 nude women which again…Jimi didn’t want or ask for… The public opinion was that the cover was tasteless. Hendrix agreed. He distanced himself from the photo in interviews and proclaimed disdain for the photo.

 

From Songfacts

This song is about a girl who is hard to get rid of. Getting through to her that she’s not wanted is like getting through crosstown traffic.

The lyrics are similar to many Blues songs in that they are filled with sexual references in clever metaphors: “I’m not the only soul, who’s accused of hit and run, tire tracks all across your back, I can see you’ve had your fun.”

Dave Mason from the group Traffic sang on this. That’s him singing the high part on the word “Traffic.”

Chas Chandler produced the original tracks, but Hendrix remixed them when he started producing his own music in 1968.

 

Crosstown Traffic

You jump in front of my car when you
you know all the time
Ninety miles an hour, girl, is the speed I drive
You tell me it’s alright, you don’t mind a little pain
You say you just want me to take you for a drive

You’re just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you
Crosstown traffic
I don’t need to run over you
Crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I’m tryin’ to get on the other side of town

I’m not the only soul who’s accused of hit and run
Tire tracks all across your back
I can, I can see you had your fun
But, darlin’ can’t you see my signals turn from green to red
And with you I can see a traffic jam straight up ahead

You’re just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you
Crosstown traffic
I don’t need to run over you
Crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I got better things on the other side of town