What do the albums: Jimi Hendrix – Are you experienced, Axis Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland and Led Zeppelins – II, Houses of the Holy, The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet, and The Beatles “All you need is Love” have in common? One man recorded all these albums; Mr Eddie Kramer.
A while ago I was asked to be part of a panel of jurors at the Harris Institute by Doug McClement. Thanks Doug!
The students presented to the panelists their proposed idea for a successful recording studio business (not an easy task!).
One of the panelists was none other than producer/engineer extraordinary Eddie Kramer. The albums that Eddie worked on in the 1960’s and 70’s floored me. I listened almost exclusively to Jimi Hendrix from the ages of 16-20. From the moment I put on a set of headphones in the living room and dropped the needle on my parents Hendrix albums, I was transported, carried away. In the 1960 and 1970’s, Eddie worked in some of the coolest studios…
The Record Plant
Jimi’s own Electric Ladyland studios
In the Harris Institute teachers lounge, he spoke of recording Woodstock behind the stage with an 8 track recorder. The chaos of it, having no real communication with the stage hands, the stage not looking finished only hours before show time etc…
So much history and so little equipment!
Later in the evening over beer and pizza, Eddie broke out the new Electric Ladyland Box set. It’s obvious to anyone that chats with this man that he really does love Jimi. Flipping through the booklet, he excitedly showed off some photos he had taken. “Here we are at the pool, Mitch is about to jump in and what you don’t see is Linda McCartney off to the side there”. “This one’s Jimi playing at The Hollywood Bowl and there was a pool in front of the stage.Kids were going crazy, jumping in and Jimi is yelling ‘Get out of the pool, you’ll be electrocuted!”.
I said “Hey, wouldn’t it have been Hendrix’s birthday today?”.
“It was yesterday” while raising a fist in the air for a pound dog. Eddie said “Here’s to Jimi!”.
Hey Ma and Pa, it’s like I’m 16 again! Oh, and I’m gonna need that new Hendrix box set for Christmas!!