The City Hall , Newcastle Upon Tyne

Monday 4th December 1967

 
The Jimi Hendrix Experience returned to the City Hall on Monday 4th December 1967. This time as the joint headline act with The Move on a showcase tour which also featured Pink Floyd , Amen Corner, The Nice and two support bands called The Outer Limits and Eire Apparent. Once again there were two shows - a matinee and an evening performance.

Chas Chandler later told the story of the show: “Jimi had this guitar shaped like an arrow, known as a Flying V. It was one of those nights when everything was going wrong. No matter what happened, an amp was breaking down, there was crackling coming over, and at one point, half way through the act, he was getting so uptight because the world was falling down around him out on stage. He took his guitar and threw it at the amp, and this is where the good luck comes into it – the guitar went into the amp and stuck. It was just like an enormous arrow sticking out of this amplifier. The audience thought it was part of the act, the amp just went ‘rmmmmm’, and from that minute nothing else went wrong. It was just one of those little magic seconds. It just altered the balance of the act and he went on to just tear the place apart.”

Noel Redding said "During the show, one guy jumped twenty feet from the balcony to the stage only to be lobbed off by a roadie wielding a mike stand".

Both the above stories refer to the evening show.

Andy Fairweather Lowe (who was performing with Amen Corner), said that someone was taking cine footage of Hendrix in the dressing room. This footage has never become available.
This filming will most likely have been done using Jimi's own 8mm cine camera which he had with him on the tour.


The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second album Axis Bold as Love was released in the UK three days before the show on 1st December.

The band stayed at the Station Hotel in Newcastle.

Possible songs are Sgt. Pepper's, Fire, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze and Wild Thing all of which were played one week earlier at the Blackpool Opera House , a show that was filmed by the BBC. An alternative possible set list would include Foxy Lady, Fire, Hey Joe, The Burning of the Midnight Lamp, Spanish Castle Magic, The Wind Cries Mary and Purple Haze which were all played at the tour's opening night at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Two witnesses on this page have said that the band opened with Foxy lady at the City Hall so that part is certain anyway.

For your 15 shillings admission you were treated to a two-part show with the first half headlined by The Move & the second half by Jimi Hendrix, the running order & set times for the evening show being as follows :-
 

Outer Limits 8 minutes
Eire Apparent 8 minutes
Pink Floyd 17 minutes
The Move 30 minutes

Interval

The Nice 12 minutes
Amen Corner 15 minutes
Jimi Hendrix 40 minutes




The sixteen date tour had started on 14th November at the Royal Albert Hall in London and ended on 12th December at Green's Playhouse in Glasgow.

 

 

 


Evening Chronicle Advertisements

 

 

 


 

Photographs from Matinee Show

 

 
Thanks to Keith Johnson for these photos.

 

Photographs from Evening Show

 

Thanks to Keith Fisher for scanning and sending in his photos.

 

 
Thanks to Alan Walton for sending in these photos taken by a friend of his.

 

Official Tour Programme
 


 

 

Memories
 

Jeff Christie, lead vocalist and guitar player with the opening act The Outer Limits, remembered the Newcastle show in an interview for The Strange Brew….
“All the bands would hang out back stage to watch Jimi. I wasn’t really into Floyd. They were more interested in their light show. The Move were great. Roy Wood was an inspiration and Carl Wayne was a great frontman. He stood next to me backstage watching Mr. H at Newcastle City Hall when Jimi threw his Gibson Flying V at his Marshall stack and it exploded, as did the audience in disbelief, I think that was the true beginning of Shock and Awe! Lemmy was one of the roadies on that tour! Rock’n’Roll History.
There was a bit of a jam. One day, at one of the venues I can’t remember where it was. He was sat in the dressing room jamming and there were a few of us. I picked up a guitar for 10-20 seconds and played a couple of chords but I don’t think I added too much, it was enough to be there, a great memory. He filmed all the bands onstage during the course of that tour, I never did see Jimi’s super 8 film of the Outer Limits, maybe one day it’ll surface along with all the other bands – that would be interesting.”

 

Lemmy remembers spending the entire tour high on acid along with the rest of the road crew. LSD was not illegal at the time, there weren't any laws against it until the end of 1967.
 

 

Brian Jones who was at the evening show on the 4th december 1967 and remembers seeing Jimi throw his Gibson Flying V into one of his 6 Marshall cabinets. He recalls ...
"When Hendrix and the band came on I seem to remember there were three white strats & the flying v on the stage.
The p.a speakers consisted of 4 or 5 Vox column speakers on each side. Jimi`s guitar was way out of tune and he tried to re - tune it while he was playing, the first song i think was Foxy Lady. I think that somebody was playing a joke on him because all the guitars were out of tune.
The volume they were playing at was so, so loud, one of my friends who was with me couldn`t stand it and after two songs left and went outside. The p.a. systems of the day could not handle volume like that so there was a lot of distortion, my ears were ringing at the end.
He managed to get one of the guitars in tune and carried on. I cant remember all the songs he did but certainly did Hey Joe & Purple Haze.
I think he finished with Wild Thing.
I seem to remember that he used 2 or 3 Marshall stacks. Looking at one of the photographs I think the stacks behind Mitch Mitchell were maybe being used as a monitor for him.
In spite of the incredible volume I`m pleased I saw them, very enjoyable."

 

Brian Heneage was also at the evening show.....
"I remember it being cold and wet that night. Newcastle and good weather had never been bedfellows so it was of little surprise. I took the 64 Bus into the city centre from my parents house in Washington near Sunderland.  Pink Floyd, as you might suspect were quirky and unique in their performance. You couldn’t see the band on stage instead a white sheet was draped from the ceiling with light shone upon it. Their shadows took up the sheet which gave quite a haunting effect. It also made it a bit more difficult to connect with the band. They were going through what would later be called the ‘Umma Gumma’ stage, and while I was a fan of progressive (or prog) rock bands like ‘Yes’ I struggled to get into them that night.
At the time I knew what to expect from them, but for someone unprepared I imagine it was quite an experience. Their songs were long and flowed from one to the next which was the polar opposite of someone like Amen Corner, who were more of a pop band really.
Eventually the main attraction made his way on stage. He was wearing an all red costume and I was positioned directly in line with him, a few rows back. He played a white Fender Telecaster which against the backdrop of his clothes really stood out. To say he was unique would be doing him a disservice. Nothing he did felt like a gimmick. Playing with his teeth or above his head, it didn’t feel cliché like it might now.
For me ‘Hey Joe’ was the standout song. It was unlike anything I was listening to at the time and in my head (even 40 odd years on) I can still vividly picture it. I had no idea what I was going to get from Hendrix that evening, but I knew it would be special.
Now having spoke to other people who attended and even reading some stories, it seemed he was frustrated that night at some equipment problems. I personally can’t attest to seeing anything, but it may go someway to explaining what he did next.
By this point Hendrix had changed guitars to a white Gibson flying V, which as you might expect takes its name from its shape. After finishing the song, Hendrix turned around and launched his guitar at the amplifier. It pierced the speaker and stuck inside it like an arrow shot from a bow. The City Hall erupted. People didn’t know what to think, the room was filled with a monotone humming sound coming from the speaker. In that moment I knew I’d witnessed something wholly unique. It was like all the emotion was trapped inside this amp and he just set it free."
 

 

John Nelson was at the afternoon show. “I remember the first song was Foxy Lady. He started the song offstage and entered stage left girls started screaming couldn't understand why!. We were on row A of the balcony so had a great view. Still have program in the loft. He finished with Wild Thing (I think) having changed to a flying V.”
John saw all the bands. He remembers that Pink Floyd were boo’d by the crowd because their Interstellar overdrive lasted for ten minutes. He also said "The Move played Byrds songs and seemed bored. The Nice were loud and Amen Corner were decent."
 

 

Joy Askew was at the evening show, these are her memories...
"I was at the Monday 4th Dec 1967 evening show of Hendrix, Pink Floyd and others in Newcastle upon Tyne. I still hail this as the #1 show of all time for me....and I was only 14!

The first thing I remember when Hendrix came out was being aware of his left- handed guitar playing because his guitar was really out of tune. Jimi was having to try and tune it constantly during some of the songs. The strings seemed like elastic and I remember this as almost like a bad dream sequence (for Jimi) that he's trying to tune them up but the strings keep getting slacker and slacker! This was especially I think during Foxy Lady the first song.
Hendrix got into a bad mood during this show- maybe it was the strings but also an amp was bothering him. At this point in history we'd never seen so many amps and speakers on stage - or witnessed anything so loud!
He did a cartwheel and then I remember being transfixed by Noel's hair- which was such a big 'afro' that it was bouncing up and down as he played! I did pay a bit of attention to Mitch and Noel - probably during "Hey Joe" as I loved their contributions to that song! Mitch was busy, very busy....but I loved his style - and I didn't know then, that 12 years later I'd actually get to play and hang out with him in London!

When Hendrix threw the flying V into the speaker it seemed to cap his bad mood and also be such an artistic flurry with it! It felt like a special moment. I was embarrassed for him at first ( I must have been a bit prim!), but when it stuck there it turned into a triumph!


More than anything though, the effect of the show was the overwhelming sense that Hendrix 'initiated' us into his world - he pulled us in by his daring, expertise, innovation and extreme sexuality. I came away feeling that we, all as one in the City Hall lost our virginity that night! He was able to do that with 2000+ people. He was almost shamanistic in his potency! There was so much more out there in the world, Jimi knew it and was traveling in it and he picked us up and took us along for a while .

All of this was not my first reason for wanting to write about that night though!
The next night was my Schools Speech Night and as always, was held at The City Hall. 400 pupils from Dame Allan's School for Girls descended on the City Hall the very next morning for the rehearsal. We were told to file onto the stage in an orderly fashion. I was beside myself and ran over to the spot where Hendrix had been the night before and fell to my knees! I just wanted to touch the ground where he'd stood so I lay down and rolled around to the inevitable shrieks of 'Askew! What are you doing? Get up off the floor at once!"
"But miss! miss! - this is where he was standing- this is where he was!" "Hendrix miss!" others were chiming in. I didn't give a rat's ass about being in trouble- I was so overwhelmed.
At the end of the school rehearsal (I'd managed to get back on my feet) suddenly the doors to the left of the stage that opened directly onto the street flung open and men, a lot of young men were coming in fast! In seconds I recognised Roger Waters and then others and caught a glimpse of the tour bus outside.
It was all of the musicians come to pick up stuff they'd left in the green room the night before (supposedly) and within a minute they were surrounded by hundreds of screaming girls in school uniforms, the mistresses all crying out "Girls! girls!" like a scene out of "St Trinians."
I remember rushing up to Roger waters - fascinated to be so close to his face, which was so distinctive ...but then I started looking for Jimi. Where was Jimi? he wasn't there.
I can't remember what else happened, some girls may have got autographs- I think I was disappointed ....we had the afternoon off so i just went home.
But that night back at the City Hall for speech night the rumours started flying about 2 girls in my class.

Wednesday morning back at school I walked in to find 2 girls surrounded by the whole class while they told the story of what had happened to them with incredulity over and over again: Somehow in the melee at the City Hall, Noel and Mitch had invited them on the bus. They rode back to the Central Station Hotel (is that the right name?)with them but went straight over to one of the photo booths that were in the station and had their pics taken sitting on Noel & Mitch's knees (Bloody hell!). Then they'd gone over to the hotel and Jimi was coming down the stairs towards them as they came in the lobby and was filming everything! He shot some footage of them. They said he was super friendly and upbeat and just lovely!

We pored over the pics. I was sooooo jealous!

I could have forgotten some details of their story - but I think this is close.

To this day Hendrix is a big inspiration for me and my music. A few years ago I wrote a song "Walk Under Waterfalls" That I've recorded on 2 different CD's and is my most popular song. It is about 3 big influencers in my life whose names all start with J. The first verse goes like this:

When I think about the old concert hall
He had been playing there the night before
He was beautiful with his guitar
Green velvet and fringes

When I think about how he had us all spell bound
I couldn’t help it I let it go down
Initiated with his songs ringing all around
I lost it to a track of Wild Thing screaming back to

Walk under waterfalls
Cry when I want to cry
In one early London dawn we lost him
Say goodbye"

 

The Venue
 

Newcastle City Hall , City Road , Newcastle Upon Tyne

See page about City Hall gig on 21st April for venue information.

www.hendrixnortheast.co.uk