Monday, May 1, 2017

Jimi Hendrix appeared at The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on 3/23/68

After Elvis appeared at The Aud in 1957... before the famed Buffalo Memorial Auditorium AKA "The Aud" was the home for The Buffalo Sabres starting in 1970, The Aud hosted basketball games and wrestling matches and in 1968 the Legendary Jimi Hendrix (AKA: The Greatest Guitarist of all time!) made a stop in Buffalo on his Axis: Bold As Love tour in March of 1968, the 3rd show on a 11 day consecutive stint of shows. Thanks to Bruce Eaton, impresario of the Albright-Knox Jazz concert series, we have a first hand account of the performance.
According to Bruce the stage was only about 4 feet high and the Aud was filled to 1/2 it's capacity, only about 6000 people were there.
This was when the cheap seats were colored grey and way before The Aud was renovated to accomodate more people after the Sabres moved in.
Hendrix rocked out on "Fire", "Manic Depression" and "Purple Haze" etc. etc. "blah blah woof woof ...only cowboys stay in tune anyway".
Those songs and many more were inlcuded in the set and Hendrix violently smashed his equipment at the end of his performance, a trademark for Hendrix early in his career.

Bruce still has a piece of a smashed amplifier, which he politely asked 1 of the roadies for, that Hendrix graciously sacrificed for the Buffalo audience.
Upon learning that the scheduled opening act "Jesse's First Carnival" was stranded in a Cleveland snowstorm the concert promoter, Jerry Nathan quickly recruited his sons local band. After a emergency afternoon rehearshal Buffalos own "The Sinnermen" opened the show.
Before reading the recent article in Buffalo Spree http://www.buffalospree.com/
I learned of this show from the book, "Jimi Hendrix, Experience The Music" written by Belmo and Steve Loveless.
I also heard another first hand account from Phil when I was a member of the local Buffalo band "Wanted By The FBI" http://www.fbibluesrock.com/. Phil was in attendance.

A Big Thank You to "Buffalo Spree", the "Jimi Henrix, Experience The Music"book, Ed Adamczyk, Bruce Eaton, Tony Markellis, Jay Weisbeck, Jerry and Steve Nathan and Phil for sharing their "Experiences" with everyone and last but not least, Jimi Hendrix.
Oh yeah and all the bands I witnessed @ The Aud in the 80's and 90's.























Hendrix giving oral to his guitar, AKA playing with his teeth, was always an exciting trick Hendrix enjoyed and employed during his improvisational soloing.
"The cat in the blue hat" looks really excited.
Check out the spare sunburst Strat standing up against the Sunn cabinets.

Before James Hendrix became "Jimi Hendrix" Jimi was a sideman to many R&B touring bands, here's a rare pic from '65 when Jimi played McVans in Buffalo New York with Joey Dee and the Starlighters.
Photo courtesy of the book "Becoming Jimi Hendrix" by Steven Roby & Brad Schreiber.



4 comments:

GL Dempsey said...

I was there. It was my first rock concert. The Soft Machine was second on the bill after a local group I did not know opened the show. The Machine had a light show that looked like lava lamp images swirling on the curtains behind the stage. Hendrix was third and last on the bill. The Experience played much of the Are You Experienced album. He played an extended jam on Redhouse toward the end of the show, made the hair on the back of my neck stand. He had two Strats that he equally abused. Someone yelled at him to take of his hat. Hendrix replied, "Take off your pants." Noel Redding had the biggest bell bottoms anyone had ever seen. They were white. Mitch was flailing the living daylights out of his drum kit. The PA was pitiful, but Hendrix was glorious. Never heard anything like it before or since.

Anonymous said...

I was there. It was my first rock concert. The Soft Machine was second on the bill after a local group I did not know opened the show. The Machine had a light show that looked like lava lamp images swirling on the curtains behind the stage. Hendrix was third and last on the bill. The Experience played much of the Are You Experienced album. He played an extended jam on Redhouse toward the end of the show, made the hair on the back of my neck stand. He had two Strats that he equally abused. Someone yelled at him to take of his hat. Hendrix replied, "Take off your pants." Noel Redding had the biggest bell bottoms anyone had ever seen. They were white. Mitch was flailing the living daylights out of his drum kit. The PA was pitiful, but Hendrix was glorious. Never heard anything like it before or since.

Anonymous said...


I was there. It took me a few weeks to appreciate Hendrix music...having mostly been a Beach Boys fan. A friend asked me if I wanted to go. We were 16 and our seats were pretty bad so during the opening acts I convinced my friend to try to get "backstage". I knew it was an arena and the stage was in the middle so I told my friend that Hendrix would have to cross a hallway to get to the stage. We wandered around and found the opening to the stage and waited with about 5 other fans. We could see the stage from where we stood. Mitch Mitchell came out and I didn't recognize him. I asked if the 'Jimi Hendrix Experience' was coming out and he laughed and said "yes". A minute later, Hendrix came out, with a small towel over the neck of his guitar. those of us waiting asked him for autographs and he was very accommodating. He signed our autographs on the neck of his guitar, using his towel as a surface and then said "I have to go on now." I was ecstatic! I don't remember what else he said, but he couldn't have been nicer and easier. It's still one of the greatest thrills of my life. -Robert Decker

Roger said...

I was there. I was 15, 4th row, just left of center ... $5. My first concert. It a woman who called out "take you hat off", and with a sly smile, he responded, "take you pants off", she screamed in response. I vividly remember the Soft Machine's light show. When I got to Boston University in the fall of 1970, a guy on my floor had their double album, along with a ton of other interesting and off beat albums. Hendrix was so relaxed to start the show, but so amazing at getting sounds out of those strats. I restarted my guitar playing about 4 years ago. My instructor, who is about 30, is amazed to actually know someone who saw Jimi live. I remember most of the Experience album songs being played ... wish I could go back in time and do it again. When I was at BU, I ushered rock concerts at the old Music Hall where I saw some amazing shows, but none, not the Dead, Neil Young, Allman Brothers, Santana, not one is as memorable as Hendrix. - Roger Gregory