Read Paul McCartney’s Unearthed 1967 Review Of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

Visting Britsh music paper Melody Maker in February 1967, Beatle Paul McCartney provided several ‘Blind Date’ guest reviews of singles by contemporary artists.

Of the 12 releases reviewed, Paul reserved his highest praise for the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The song?

Purple Haze‘.

Must be Jimi Hendrix,” Paul McCartney states.

So, Jimi freaks out and sounds all the better for it!” he continues. “It’s breaking out all over the place, you know.

This is high praise indeed, especially from someone who was at that very moment putting the finishing touches on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I thought it would be one of those things that people might keep down but,” he shares, “it’s breaking through all over. You can’t stop it. Hooray. This is a good record too.”

I really don’t know whether it’s as commercial as ‘Hey Joe’ or ‘Stone Free’,” Paul McCartney then confides. “I bet it is though. Probably will be. Fingers Hendrix. An absolute ace on the guitar. This is yet another incredible record from the great Twinkle Teeth Hendrix!”

Here, Paul, no doubt references Hendrix’s most memorable stage tricks, playing guitar with his teeth.

At the time the feature was published, McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison had only recently caught Hendrix at London’s Bag O’Nails club on January 11.

It would be one of his first gigs in London,” McCartney recalls in biography Many Years From Now. “Jimi was a sweetie, a very nice guy.”

When Sgt. Pepper’s later arrived in June Hendrix would be one of, if not the, first artist to perform a song from the record before a live audience.

“I remember him opening at the Saville on a Sunday night, 4 June 1967,” Paul later shared. Brian Epstein used to rent it when it was usually dark on Sunday. Jimi opened, the curtains flew back and he came walking forward, playing ‘Sgt. Pepper’, and it had only been released on Thursday so that was like the ultimate compliment.

McCartney was also instrumental in getting Hendrix onto the bill of the Monterrey Pop Festival later in June, a move that is widely regarded to have broken Hendrix in the USA.

In his Melody Maker feature, Paul McCartney would review songs by Lee Dorsey, Dusty Springfield, the Lovin’ SpoonfulAlan Price, The Action, The Byrds, Gene Pitney, Paul & Bary Ryan, the Small Faces and The Move.

You can find Paul McCartney‘s full thoughts on these other acts by subscribing to the internet’s foremost archive of music journalism Rock’s Backpages here.

Paul McCartney 2020 Tour Dates
05/23 – Lille, FR @ Pierre Mauroy Stadium
05/26 – Paris, FR @ Paris La Défense Arena
05/29 – Nijmegen, NL @ Goffert Park
05/31 – Bordeaux, FR @ Stadium Matmut
06/04 – Hannover, DE @ HDI Arena
06/07 – Lyon, FR @ Groupama Stadium
06/10 – Naples, IT @ Piazza Plebiscito
06/13 – Lucca, IT @ Mura Storiche
06/17 – Barcelona, ES @ Olympic Stadium
06/21- Werchter, BE @ TW Classic Festival
06/27 – Pilton, UK @ Glastonbury Festival

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