HIGH FREQUENCIES: What’s old is ... still old but somewhat new again

The Stones, The Beatles, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience — what year is this, anyway?

# 0 Stones
Photo credit: TONY PARIS
HACKNEY DIAMONDS: The Rolling Stones discuss their new album in a promotional video shown at Tower Records, Tokyo, Japan, November, 2023.

Yes, the great rock ’n’ roll joke has finally come to pass!

In recent years, as the Rolling Stones continued to gather no moss touring and touring and touring through six decades now, detractors have joked that the aging musicians’ tours should be sponsored by AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons). With the release of their latest album, Hackney Diamonds, a powerhouse effort and return to form after no new material from Jagger and company in 18 years, the Rolling Stones have announced a new, 16-city tour in 2024. And yes, it is being sponsored by AARP!

The Atlanta date — promoted by AEG Presents’ Concerts West — of Stones Tour ’24 Hackney Diamonds is scheduled for Friday, June 7, 2024, again at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, at 10 A.M. local time. Of course, AARP members get early access to tickets, with a presale that started at 10 A.M. November 29 through 10 P.M. local time Nov. 30

Stones Tour ’24 Hackney Diamonds will feature an all new stage show — and comes after much speculation that 2021’s No Filter tour would be their last. The new album is loud, brash, and almost irritating in it’s aggressive attack. It would have fit in nicely between 1978’s Some Girls and 1980’s Emotional Rescue. The twelve songs range from rockers to ballads, featuring an array of guests: Elton John, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder. The most surprising cut is “Bite My Head Off,” featuring Paul McCartney on bass. Much angrier than “Angry,” the first single from the album, “Bite My Head Off” is a direct rip-off from the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks... (“Liar,” anyone?) Or, is it some sort of homage to the Pistols? After all, bassist Glen Matlock was supposedly kicked out of the Sex Pistols for liking The Beatles.

The Beatles “Now And Then”

Speaking of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones aren’t the only band from the original British Invasion to be back in the charts. The Beatles have continued their string of hits, scoring their 35th Top Ten hit over fifty years after they last formally recorded together in August of ‘69, with the release of “Now And Then,” a new single featuring Paul McCarney and Ringo Star adding instrumentation to an original demo track by John Lennon, one that George Harrison had added guitar to in the ‘90s, when it was being considered for release along with “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love.”

If nothing else, perhaps a generation or two will learn from this song and it’s accompanying video that John Lennon was also in The Beatles — and not just a side man of no consequence. That “Now And Then” is being sold as the final Beatles song not only finally puts an end to the Fab Four’s recorded legacy, but does so ending their storied career with John rightfully in the forefront of the band he founded with Paul McCartney. There were four Beatles. Not three. Not two. Certainly not one. As for John’s original demo, it’s beautiful on its own.

Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hollywood Bowl, August 18, 1967

Just out in November, during the month that would have marked Jimi Hendrix’s 81st birthday if he hadn’t died in 1970 at the age of 27, is a new album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, capturing the band live at the Hollywood Bowl, August 18, 1967 — a moment in time that would not last for long.

COVER ART: The new album from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. PHOTO Credit: Experience Hendrix/Sony Legacy

Recorded only eight weeks after his American debut at the Monterey Pop Festival, the album is an anomaly in the Hendrix canon. Booked as an opening act for the Mamas And The Papas, the Experience finds themselves playing in front of an audience that, for the most part, has no idea who they are. And the band, despite having played incendiary shows in the U.K. and enjoyed the adulation of rock’s elite, finds itself somewhat out of sorts when there is little to no response between songs.

Indeed, the Experience may have set the night on fire during their Monterey set, but here, the audience still isn’t aware of the band, definitely not ready for it, and certainly slow to pick up on what the Jimi Hendrix Experience was about.

Nonetheless, it’s an extremely rare and revealing performance, one that captures the young band at an early stage in their meteoric career. And it’s important to note that “band” is the operative word here. The man with the guitar was not yet the focal point of the trio, with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell sharing equal presence onstage, which, at this point was nothing more than anonymity.

Hendrix, with his usual self-deprecating humor, is keenly aware of this. After a radio deejay announces The Jimi Hendrix Experience to the unsuspecting audience, Hendrix quips, “We don’t mind if you laugh, as long as you laugh in tune.” Brilliant!

The band launches into “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the lead track off The Beatles album of the same name, released less than three months earlier.

There is little or no reaction from the audience at the song’s end. At least, nothing audible on this release. The Experience follows it with Howling Wolf’s “Killing Floor,” and kills it. Again, no audience reaction.

The Experience follows the two opening covers with “The Wind Cries Mary,” from Are You Experienced, their debut album. Although  released in the U.K. in May, it wouldn’t be released in the U.S. for two months. Hendrix  flubs the lyrics. When they finish the song, one or two people clap. Noel acknowledges them with a “Thank you very much.” That Noel speaks to the audience after this song and throughout the performance confirms that in the early stages, the Experience was, indeed, a band, not just a guitar super hero with two back-up musicians, as the Experience would be perceived as Hendrix’s popularity soared.

The Hollywood Bowl set only lasts for 43 minutes. The Experience play what would become their hits — “Foxy Lady,” “Fire,” and “Purple Haze” — along with three other covers, “Catfish Blues” and reprising two — “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Wild Thing” — from Monterey.

And then it’s over. Those in attendance had had their minds blown and most probably didn’t even know it.

The performance is much like those who knew Hendrix, who really knew Jimi Hendrix as a person, claim him to have been: Warm. Gentle. Somewhat shy. Unassuming, yet focused.

Panhandle Slim, Pop Up Art Show Sale


ART FOR THE MASSES: Panhandle Slim selling paintings on Wylie Street. PHOTO CREDIT: TONY PARIS

Savannah’s Panhandle Slim returns to the ATL this Saturday, Dec. 2, for a pop-up show that starts at 11 A.M. He’ll be where he’s been found the last few shows, on the BeltLine at 912 Wylie Street S.E., much to the chagrin of the less cultured and civic-minded who are walking their dogs or running as if their lives depended on it. Get there early, as the self-styled painter, known for his poignant and uplifting artwork on plywood, usually sells out quickly, meaning he’s packed-up and gone within a couple of hours.  —CL—