December 1

So, what’s your song?

You know… that tune you heard somewhere, sometime, that just knocked you on your ass!  That song that made you really take notice… question everything.

That song that changed everything for you.

Mine was released 48 years ago today:

Little Wing by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from the album axis Bold As Love*.

Although it wasn’t Hendrix version I first heard, it was Sting! Morrison Colorado, Red Rocks Amphitheater, August 17th 1991.

The tour was for the Soul Cages album, but after the intermission, guitar player Dominic Miller came out in a big floppy purple hat and laid down some awesome Hendrix juju!

Sting had done Little Wing on his Nothing Like The Sun record and, where some covers fail miserably, his soared to heights previously unknown! (and although I don’t remember it being in Spanish, I was pretty drunk…)

Next I heard what turned out to be the ultimate cover version from Stevie Ray Vaughan (RIP):

Derek and the Dominos version was occasionally played on classic rock radio:

But I had never heard the original version until the Jimi Hendrix Experience remastered CDs released in 1997.

Wow! Just, wow!

(edit 12/2: what has really struck me after listening to a dozen different versions of this tune yesterday and mulling it over and over in my head all last night was how much of a punch this song packs in it’s short minute-and-a-half on Axis. It walks in, punches you in the gut and leaves so fast… Even the live version on In The West only clocks in at three-and-a-quarter! Where he could’ve stretched this song out to a half-hour jam, he seems to know that the song conveys just what it needs to in such a short time. Brilliant!)

Now, having the remastered CD, the vinyl Axis album in two different formats, and the live version on the In The West album is just fantastic.

“It’s butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairy tale. It’s alright, take anything you want from me.”

*why isn’t there a decent live video of the Hendrix version???

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