Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Days When Wor Jimi Was Buskin'

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Days When Wor Jimi Was Buskin'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ray Marshall

He was discovered in a little New York City club, but it was not long before he had reached the considerable heights of busking on the streets of Heaton, Newcastle.

What was the name of the man described by many as the world's greatest-ever rock guitarist? Jimi Hendrix, of course.

I wonder how many unsuspecting Geordies got their first sight of Jimi, headband and all, twanging the guitar strings with his teeth, around the Chillingham Road area?

Jimi often came up north with Chas Chandler, his mentor and one half of his management team, when Chas, of The Animals fame, came home to his mother in Heaton.

The other part of the team was another Geordie, Mike Jeffery, former manager of The Animals.

It was during Chas' final tour with The Animals in the US, in 1966, that he was told about the strange new guitarist.

One look and Chas knew immediately the way forward for Jimi ( and that meant coming to England.

Jimi took some persuading but was impressed by the Geordie's straight talking and there was, from the beginning, a bond of trust between them.

Jimi was already working on his Hey Joe classic, and Chas wanted him to record it.

Once in London, Chas swiftly formed a band around Jimi, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and brought in Mike as co-manager.

Mike was former boss of the Club AGo-Go, in Percy Street, Newcastle, as well as the Downbeat and Club Marimba, in the city's Grey Street.

Many people tried to manipulate Hendrix, but this is a charge that could never be laid at Chas's door.

Chandler risked nearly all his money to launch Jimi's career. He funded the Hey Joe session before Hendrix had even signed a contract and let the guitarist live at his London flat and even use it for rehearsals.

Chas encouraged Jimi to start songwriting and also made sure he got some publishing royalties. …

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