WHEN YOU PUT TOGETHER A SONG, DOES
it just come to you, or is it a process where
you sit down with your guitar?
The music I might hear, I can’t get
on the guitar. It’s a thing of just laying
around daydreaming or something.
You’re hearing all this music, and you
just can’t get it on the guitar. As a
matter of fact, if you pick up your guitar
and just try to play, it spoils the
whole thing. I can’t play the guitar that
well to get all this music together, so I
just lay around.
For your own musical kicks, where’s the
best place to play?
I like after-hour jams at a small club.
Then you get another feeling. You get off
in another way with all those people there.
You get another feeling, and you mix it in
with something else that you get. It’s not
the spotlights—it’s just the people.
How are those two experiences different?
I get more of a dreamy thing from the
audience. It’s more of a thing that you go
up into. You get into such a pitch sometimes
that you forget about the audience,
but you also forget about all the paranoia—
that thing where you’re saying,
“Oh, gosh, I’m onstage—what am I going
to do now?” Then you go into this other
thing, and it turns out to be almost like
a play in certain ways.
Which musicians do you go out of your way
Nina Simone and Mountain. I dig them.
Do you dig parodies like the Masked
Marauders or the English radio program, The
I never heard it. I heard about it. The
Fugs—they’re good. I’ve heard they don’t have The Goon Show over here. They’re
the funniest things I’ve ever heard—
besides Pinkie Lee. Remember Pinkie
Lee? They were like a classic of a whole
lot of Pinkie Lees put together, and just
flip them out together.
You were a Pinkie Lee fan?
I used to be. I used to wear white
Have movie people tried to lure you into
films by saying you’d be a hell of a gunslinger
or an astronaut?
An astronaut! No, well, you know—
I’m trying to get the guitar together really.
Ever think about getting other guitar players
into your trip?
Oh, yeah. I heard Duane Eddy came
into town this morning [laughs]. He was
Have you played with people like Roland
Oh yeah, I had a jam with him at Ronnie
Scott’s in London, and I really got off.
It was great. It was really great. I was so
scared! It’s really funny—I mean Roland,
that cat gets all those sounds. I might
just hit one note, and it might be interfering,
but we got along great, I thought.
He told me I should have turned it up.
Have you jammed with Larry Coryell, Sonny
Sharrock, and people like that?
Larry and I had like swift jams down
at The Scene, but I haven’t had a chance
to really play with him. I sort of miss that.
Who’s the other guy? I think I’ve heard
some of his things.
Sonny Sharrock? He’s all over the guitar.
Sometimes, it sounds like it’s not too orderly.
Sounds like someone we know, huh
[Excerpted from a 1970 John Burks interview with Jimi Hendrix that was published in Guitar Player's Hendrix Special, 1975]