Vancouver Was Awesome: Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1968


A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.

This is a bootleg of the only Vancouver show the Jimi Hendrix Experience ever played, just before the release of Electric Ladyland. (Jimi undoubtedly played here before he hit the big time, but no gigs that were ever documented or advertised). The sound quality isn’t great, but is pretty good as far as bootlegs go. You can hear him mention that his family is in the audience, and dedicate the show to them. Jimi’s 84 year-old grandmother, Nora, was from Tennessee, but spent most of her life in Vancouver (and appeared on a Canada Post stamp last year). Here’s her review of the concert, from an interview she gave after Jimi’s death:

I went out there [to the Coliseum] and had a seat right down in the front, almost in the front, and it was so noisy, I said “well, I’ve got to get out of here,” and so in the meantime my daughter in-law, she came and says “Mama, you have to get out of this, it’s too much noise for you.” I says “yes, I was just gonna move if you hadn’t come and got me, I was gonna go anyway.” So I says this noise was too much for me. All those drums. And the way he was picking that guitar, my gracious life, I don’t see how he could stand all that noise … And I was so surprised, you know, to see him, he had grown up, you know, to be a young man, and all that musical talent … Well I knew he had music in him, because when he was small, his daddy bought him a guitar, an old guitar for him to play on, you know, ‘round with the boys and one night they had a little party somewhere and he played for this dance and they had a lovely, lovely time and everything, so I knew he was musical, but I didn’t know he had that much music in him, you see.

Despite the title of the disc, Nora says Jimi showed no sign of being on drugs during or after the show.

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