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May 22, 2008

Meeting Jimi Hendrix

A while back, local jazz bassist Slim Manicotti sent out an email blast.

In it, he casually mentioned the time he met Jimi Hendrix.

Yesterday, I emailed him back and asked him to tell me the story.

Here it is ... 

From Slim: 

In May, 1969, I was first in line at the Hendrix concert at the Baltimore Civic Center.  I told my friend (Jeff Thorsell, the light guy for my band) that I was walking right on stage. I did, he followed.

I went backstage and Mitch Mitchell asked me to hold a flashlight while he fixed his bass drum pedal. Then, I went to one side of the stage, and my friend went to the other.

I was watching the opening band, Cactus, when I felt a nudge on my shoulder. It was Jimi Hendrix.  He mentioned that he thought the guitar player with Cactus was good. We stood side by side, watching Cactus for a while. Hendrix did most of the talking.

Then Cactus finished their set, and Hendrix came out. I watched the whole show from side, backstage.


I think it was around that point that I gave up guitar and took up the bass.

And the next week I went to Merriweather and saw Led Zeppelin open up for The Who.

I was on my way...

(AP Photo) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:29 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff


Music was so much better then....Our generation needs revolutionaries!

Friday may 16, 1969. What a lucky guy meeting Jimi ! Did Slim Manicotti miss The Buddy Miles Express opening with Cat Mother in front of 13000 people ?

Keep rocking anyway and stay tuned !

There was an article in Baltimore Mag a few months back about a local photographer (whose name escapes me) who took loads of pictures of musicians from that era when they passed through the area. Had some nice shots of Hendrix which I believe were from the show mentioned above. Also had Zeppelin, The Who, The Doors, CSNY, Stones, etc. Great pics but he wanted way too much $ for prints...which is why I've forgotten his name.

Jimi certainly did like Jim McCarty, with whom he jammed one evening at the Record Plant in NYC...the jam has been available for years on the Hendrix collector circuit...McCarty, who had played for Buddy Miles--and before that, with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (remember that hectic, fiery guitar solo during "Devil with the Blue Dress On?!...yup, that was McCarty)....he didn't think much of his jam with Jimi, which has been titled "Jimi/Jimmy Jam"...Jack in Everett, Wash.

Thats a lie.

I was at that concert and cactus never played that day. cat mother opened, then buddy miles, then hendrix. i ran up to the stage and took some awesome pix with my kodak brownie camera which i cherish to this day.

Hmm. These shows tend to run together in my memory. I saw Soft Machine open for Hendrix at Merriweather in a nasty thunderstorm. I believe that was in 1968. A year later, at the old Civic Center show, I don't remember Cactus, but I seem to recall a band called Fat Mattress being on the bill. Doesn't matter, really. Those were amazing days for this young music fan.

fat mattress was actually noel reddings band. dont know if he would have opened up for and then played with jimi...nils lofgren used to do that in high school- played with a band called "shot" that would open for grin....those were the good old daze!!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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