After Jimi’s death on September 18, 1970, there was a gold rush on both Hendrix and “Hendrix” product. Some of those early posthumous releases were both official and pretty good, like Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge; others were official and horrible, like Crash Landing and Midnight Lightning. There were plenty of bootlegs around, too, all with authentic if sometimes poorly recorded Jimi performances.
And then there was another category: the low budget label releases that were neither official nor bootleg, and often contained very little Hendrix. They were a bit like the carnival poster portraying a gigantic rooster and promising a man-eating chicken inside the nearby tent. Pay your money and go inside and you’ll get exactly what you paid for: a man, eating chicken. Most of these low budget releases included tracks of Jimi backing King Curtis or Lonnie Youngblood. Rare Hendrix is the latter, at least for a couple of tracks. The rest of it is a man, eating chicken.
I consider them all part of the Hendrix story–the official releases, bootlegs, and carny sideshows. Admittedly, I rarely listen to Rare Hendrix or its siblings but it’s cool to have around, and the fact that my copy is on 8-track makes it even cooler to me. That’s two different conversations I can fire up by whipping this one out.
Want your own man-eating chicken? Expect to pay in the 5-10 dollar range. Happy hunting.