The Wild Black Man Of Borneo Conquer Sweden! (Watch Tower WT 2005151)
Stora Scenen, Grona Lund, Stockholm, / “Popside” Swedish TV, Stockholm, Sweden – May 24, 1967
Intro, Foxy Lady, Rock Me Baby, Hey Joe, Can You See Me, Purple Haze,Wild Thing, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze, Interview Part 1, Interview Part 2
The Wild Black Man Of Borneo features two performances from May 24, 1967 and documents one of Jimi’s earliest trips to Sweden. This comes just three weeks prior to The Experience’s first trip to America where they would give an astonishing performance at the Monterey Pop Festival and the set list here is very similar, however, just slightly more compact.
The tape from Stora Scenen starts with Jimi testing his microphone only to have the vocal cut out completely for “Foxy Lady”. The instruments are slightly distorted with The Experience sounding loud and powerful. The tape seems to drag a bit but it is difficult to tell as Jimi’s tuning would differ from night to night. Any crowd noise is mainly kept to between songs. The vocal returns for “Rock Me Baby” although muddy and distorted due to the inadequate PA/monitor system. A heavy sounding “Hey Joe” is dedicated to “everybody, all 13 of you” with Hendrix playing some great solos. Fired up versions of “Can You See Me” and “Purple Haze” along with a typically out of tune “Wild Thing” are also included in the set.
Watch Tower also includes the May 24, 1967 performance filmed for SVT Swedish television’s Popside that has been issued officially by Experience Hendrix on the Jimi Hendrix: Experience DVD released in 2001. A nice intimate “The Wind Cries Mary” is paired with a heavy sounding “Purple Haze” here and the recording is excellent soundboard.
Watch Tower fills out the disc with a very informal interview conducted by Meatball Fulton in May 1968 that was previously released in 1990 as part of Rhino’s Hendrix Speaks. Watch Tower’s version is missing Fulton’s additional comments from the Rhino title. The interview has Jimi getting silly at times and is more of a loose conversation that touches on where he’s from, women, frustrations with recording and dreams.
The front covers states New Concert Series (from the forgotten tapes) Volume 1 so we can assume more volumes are on the way. This is another nice Watch Tower title that features an outstanding early performance by Hendrix on his rise to stardom. It’ll be nice to see what future releases will bring.