Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

This song explosion is like an atom bomb going off. From the first words “Well, I stand up next to a mountain and I chop it down with the edge of my hand” you know Jimi means business. This is no boy band or pop song…Jimi is shooting to kill. This song is off of the great 1968 Electric Ladyland album. From the tone of the guitar and how he spits out the lyrics, the song is a masterpiece. The guitar riff is one of the best.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) did not chart in Billboard but did go to #1 in the UK and it was Jimi’s only number 1 single there.

From Songfacts.

This was recorded after Hendrix had finished the long, slow blues of “Voodoo Chile,” a 15-minute jam that appears earlier on the album. An ABC film crew came into the studio to do a piece on The Experience, and told them to “make like you’re playing, boys.” Jimi said, “Okay, let’s do this in E.” The TV footage was lost.

Steve Winwood played organ on this. He was a member of the band Traffic, and often played on the same bill with Hendrix. When Jimi was recording this in New York, he had Winwood come by and play.

This was voted the best guitar riff in rock’n’roll history, by readers of Music Radar. The website said “From its wah-wah into the the rhythm parts and the astonishing solo, this is still regarded by many as the high watermark of electric guitar expression.” Guns n’Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” came second in the poll and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” third.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
Well, I pick up all the pieces and make an island
Might even raise a little sand
Yeah

‘Cause I’m a voodoo child
Lord knows I’m a voodoo child, baby

I want to say one more last thing

I didn’t mean to take up all your sweet time
I’ll give it right back to you one of these days, hahaha
I said I didn’t mean to take up all your sweet time
I’ll give it right back one of these days
Oh yeah
If I don’t meet you no more in this world, then
I’ll meet you in the next one
And don’t be late
Don’t be late

‘Cause I’m a voodoo child, voodoo child
Lord knows I’m a voodoo child, baby

I’m a voodoo child, baby
I don’t take no for an answer
Question no
Lord knows I’m a voodoo child, baby

Oddest Concert Pairings

I have always liked odd mixtures. Anything out of the norm and I pay attention. That is why I blog about the past more than today. I liked the 60’s and 70’s era because houses, cars, and music were for the most part unique. I couldn’t tell a Ford from a Chevy today. A lot of new houses look just alike in cloned neighborhoods.

I would have loved to have been at one of these concerts.

Jimi Hendrix / Monkees 1967 – This is number one on my list. Can you imagine the young Monkee fans hearing the sonic volume of Jimi Hendrix? Jimi had to play while a bunch of 12-year-old girls screamed “We want the Monkees” and “We want Davy. ” It was the sixties and Peter Tork said: “It didn’t cross anybody’s mind that it wasn’t gonna fly.”

The Who / Herman Hermits 1967 – Smash your guitars and drums and Hope I die before I get Old and then Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter?… You can imagine Peter Noone tripping over shards of guitars every night.

Lynyrd Skynyrd / Queen 1974 – This one is a head-scratcher. The theatrical Queen and the southern boys from Florida just don’t seem a great match. Roger Taylor of Queen had some ugly things to say about Lynyrd Skynyrd later on.

Bruce Springsteen / Anne Murray 1974 – This one is baffling. Anne Murray’s managers demanded that Bruce open the show for Anne in NYC! They argued she was more successful and she was…but this was New York and Bruce Springsteen…what a fatal mistake…halfway through Bruce’s set Anne’s managers regretted their decision. Many of the audience had left by the time Anne took the stage.

The Ramones/Toto 1979 – This one doesn’t make sense at all…what promoter thought this through? The laid-back ToTo fans sat through the Ramones but Toto singer Bobby Kimball, came out and apologized to the crowd for the “horrible band” they had to sit through.

Cher/Gregg Allman 1977 – Yes they were married but what an odd concert to go to. You have Gregg who was one of the best blues singers at that time and Cher…who was Cher…Gregg Allman mentions in his book “My Cross to Bear” that the audience was mixed…some with tuxedos and some with denim jackets and backpacks and there were fights at each show on the tour between the two sets of fans.

Gregg Allman

“It was right after that—the tuxedos against the backpacks, because I think the Allman Brothers outnumbered the Sonny and Chers—that Cher came to me, and the poor thing was just crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me, “We’ve got to cancel the rest of the tour, because I can’t stand the fighting.” So we ended it right then, which was about halfway through it. We went home the next day, and that was the last time I ever played with her.”

The Ramones / Ted Nugent, Aerosmith 1979 – Bottles and debris were thrown at The Ramones from the crowd as Johnny Ramone was shooting birds at the audience. 

Johnny Ramone about this concert…

“About five or six songs into the set, the whole crowd stood up, and I thought it had started to rain. Dee Dee thought the same thing, but they were throwing stuff at us – sandwiches, bottles, everything. Then, all of a sudden, I broke two strings on my guitar in one strum. I thought it was a sign from God to get off the stage, because I’d rarely break a string, maybe once a year. So I just walked to the front of the stage, stopped playing, and gave the audience the finger – with both hands. I stood there like that, flipping them off, with both hands out, and walked off. The rest of the band kept playing for another ten or fifteen seconds until they’d realized I was walking off, and then they did too. I wasn’t gonna stand there and be booed and have stuff thrown at us without retaliating in some way. We had to come off looking good somehow, and there was no good way to get out of that.”

Johnny Ramone.jpg