The world of rock music was thrown into a bitter dispute today following claims that a hitherto undiscovered live bootleg recording of Jimi Hendrix has been unearthed where the legendary guitarist is said to actually be playing in tune throughout.
The thirty minute reel-to-reel tape was discovered by Derek Williams, an unemployed bricklayer, during a visit to a car boot sale in Monmouth last weekend, and if it can be verified as being the genuine article then Mr. Williams is sitting on a potential goldmine. He told Sky News, "I was just browsing through some odds and ends and other assorted junk when I spotted the anonymous looking spool. My hobby is old sound recordings so I gave the stallholder 50p for it on a whim and thought nothing more about it really. But when I loaded it onto my Revox later that night what I heard completely astounded me! It was obviously Hendrix playing at the peak of his powers at some club or other in New York, circa '68"
The tape has cuts of Hey Joe, Voodoo Chile and a twenty minute jam session loosely based around one of the star's biggest hits, All Along the Watchtower.
Hendrix who achieved godlike status in the rock world in the late sixties before his untimely demise in 1970, although undoubtedly a gifted guitarist, nevertheless had for many critics a tendency to play dreadfully out of tune on most of his live recordings, particularly the bootlegs. Fans who attended his gigs at the time were unaware of the flaw because he played so loudly that they were rendered almost totally deaf within twenty seconds of the show starting.
However not everyone who has heard the tape is convinced that it's the genuine article. Brian Selby, a celebrated music journalist and Hendrix contemporary commented, "If that's Jimi playing I'll eat my hat. I've analyzed the tape and the guitar stays in tune throughout its full thirty minute length. Everyone knows Hendrix was never in tune for longer than a minute, and as soon as he went into a solo then that was it. It became excruciating to endure any more than ten seconds of the infernal racket after that for all but his most diehard fans. The mangled cacophony that ensued was nothing short of brutal. It often reminded me of a bag of cats being strangled."
But one lifelong fan of the Seattle born axe man, none other than veteran hell raising Motorhead bassist Lemmy, is convinced that the tape is the real deal. He told Q Magazine, "That's Jimi all right and I'll chin any fu**er who says that it isn't!"