Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

World's Greatest Rock Guitarist Played on This Day 50 Years Ago in South Shields

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

World's Greatest Rock Guitarist Played on This Day 50 Years Ago in South Shields

Article excerpt

Byline: The WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2017 NOSTALGIA DAVE MORTON recalls the people and places of the North East @

HE'S arguably the greatest guitarist in rock music history - and on this day 50 years ago he stunned a packed club audience in South Shields.

It was February 1967, and Jimi Hendrix wasn't the household name he'd soon become, but a red-hot talent discovered in New York's Greenwich Village recently by The Animals' Newcastle-born bass player Chas Chandler.

And if South Shields perhaps seemed a little bit out of the way, Jimi's first UK tour also stopped off at the likes of Oldham, Darlington and even Kirklevington Country Club in Yarm.

Brought over to England by Chandler in 1966, the reputation of the American guitarist spread by word of mouth like wildfire.

His explosive blues technique - and his party trick of playing with his teeth - was simply revolutionary and immediately had England's rising young guitar slingers quaking in their boots.

In later years, the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend all revealed how they'd been in awe of this new guitar wizard who seemed to have arrived from outer space.

On a cold Wednesday night in South Shields, the Jimi Hendrix Experience rolled into the New Cellar Club.

The three-piece group - featuring Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums - were flying high in the UK singles charts at the time with their first single, Hey Joe.

And they'd appeared a couple of weeks earlier on BBC1's flagship music show, Top Of The Pops, playing that same song.

One South Shields man recalls attending the gig with two mates.

The 69-year-old, who still lives in the town and wishes to remain anonymous, says: "The three of us were apprentices at Westoe Colliery and one of my mates said he had tickets to see Jimi Hendrix. …

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