Jimi Hendrix Chelmsford Corn Exchange
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This page has been added for your fun and has some great crowd shots and video from the Chelmsford Corn Exchange who were these people and where are they now if you can identify anyone please contact me at email Chelmsford Rocks chelmsfordrocks@yahoo.co.uk The video is from 25.02.1967 filmed by dutch tv, Soho, London and Chelmsford Corn Exchange features ,'Like A Rolling Stone', and 'Stone Free'.,



This Video Footage From Carnaby Street London & Chelmsford Corn Exchange
This is the earliest known film and sound recordings of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in concert from February 25, 1967 before a packed audience in Chelmsford, England. Songs featured are "Stone Free" and "Like A Rolling Stone." . 
. Recorded & filmed for "Telixer: A Thing Of Beat Is A Joy Forever" broadcast by KRO, The Netherlands, 21 July 1967. Although filmed for television the audio is not taken from the mixing desk (and shot with just one camera).
Jimi Hendrix Live Chelmsford, Article By Shaun Everett

Copyright 2009 remains with the author Shaun Everett.

Funny sometimes how your path crosses with a complete stranger that has something in common: the love of good music. No matter the age gap, once your preferences are in the open, your bond is secured. So when I crossed the path of another 'cyberstranger' the other day and just happened to mention I went to that Hendrix gig in Chelmsford in 1967, I had no idea it would end up in this belated review of that night.

I cannot say that I have constantly thought of it for the last 42 years, although it was on my mind a couple of years ago, but when it was mentioned that a DVD was out with some old film from the Chelmsford gig, I just had to find out more. The first place one always looks these days is on Youtube and sure enough there was the 'Corn'ole' stage vibrating away to the Jimi Hendrix Experience! The sounds and the smells came flooding back. Well when I say flooding, it was so long ago I can't say that I remember the whole gig and my recollections as they are, are slim on accuracy but immense on feeling.

The Corn'ole (that's what us local mods called the Chelmsford Corn Exchange on a Saturday night in the dark winters of the mid 1960s) became electric when sacks of corn and barley gave way to the sight of Marshall amps and the smell of the Hammond's hardwood surface as bands like Zoot Money and Geogie Fame belted out those R&B standards and we strutted our stuff to the bluest of beats. Those were heady nights and the place had a great reputation for pulling in the latest bands. It was well in tune with the forces of Ready Steady Go!


Then once in awhile there came a 'ten bobber' which basically meant the entrance went up to ten shillings (50p in today's funny money) and it was a large chunk of a then 19 year old mod's wages from doing as little as he could get away with at work. It probably meant going without that Ben Sherman for yet another week, but what the hell it's Hendrix. This February night was one of those nights. Hendrix was going to be 10 shillings! It also meant the crowd was going to be large so it meant a special journey after work Friday to make sure of getting a ticket for the gig. Internet sales there was not!

Thing with the Corn'ole was its smallness and closeness to the artists performing on that makeshift stage. That is clear from the old film clip how close you got to the acts. The promoters had a hard time keeping us mods from getting too close sometimes, but generally it went off in an orderly manner. I have often wondered how much the youth of today have missed since security and celebrity has taken gigs to the other extreme of today's far off stadium sound stages.

It was fairly full that Saturday night, but not overbearing I recall. I can't remember the supporting act, but have seen a poster since that claims to be 'The Soul Trinity', It could have been anyone though since we had come to see this Hendrix. I cannot say what Hendrix's play list was, but I do remember 'Purple Haze' to much audience appreciation. I am no Hendrix aficionado, but given the timing of the former song's release in March 1967, which was after this gig, I recollect we already knew that song at the time of this gig. He must have played it on the TV at some time before the gig is all I can think. If anyone knows better then I bow to your greater knowledge.

 


Hendrix gave two sets. That was the normal arrangement for the Corn'ole. Both sets usually 45 minutes to one hour each and there was absolutely no music to be had after 11.30pm. The promoters often pulled the plug at 11.30 on Zoot Money and others to avoid losing their music license for the venue. The film suggests this was post the break between sets, which would have been about 30 minutes maximum. It could though, have been the introduction, but usually that would have been a much bigger introduction than the one given by the MC as seen on that clip. I have spent a long time looking for myself on that film clip but to no avail. I was probably still at the rear of the venue or even more likely in the local pub for the break! I know I spent the last part of the gig by the wall you see in the background. That was the closest place to the cloakroom, which also doubled up as the act's dressing room. This was no O2 venue. Hendrix, at the end of the performance, walked straight up to a few of us standing just there and one of my mates lit his joint for him. They were so knocked out by that I recall. My recollection was more nasal. Rock musicians have this uncanny ability to harbour their own post-set aromas about themselves: in this case that unmistakeable aroma of cannabis. That's something you don't experience at a Stadium gig, unless you bring your own! I will always remember that part even if my music recollections are a bit sparse. I have also 'dined out' on that anecdote for many years since. I had passed close by the 'God'.

This had been my first and my last sighting of Hendrix in the raw. He was soft spoken on stage and just played liked to play the music. He paid his dues to the blues and that was all I could ever have asked. I desperately hoped that Hendrix would maintain his raw blues feel for a long time to come. That night was a raw night indeed. I believe he did a short rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner', well before it offended middle America in the later 1960s, but there was so much improvisation I may be confusing it with one of his many improvised riffs.

This was 1967 and the mod revolution was on the wane. Hendrix was not a mod act, he never was that. The audience of mods was home grown Chelmsford and surrounding towns with a sprinkling of the London 'set'. They always appreciated good music and Hendrix did not disappoint. I have specifically not mentioned the other members of the 'Experience'. They need no intro from me, but they did their thing. The night though, belonged to Hendrix and I will never forget it even though the distant past can sometimes be difficult to recall. I have done the best I can. Now where's that joint?

Dick Everett, February 2009 WARNING copyright 2009 remains with the author Shaun Everett

(First published in Jimpress, Issue 88, Autumn 2009)

CLICK ON IMAGE TO PLAY - Hugh Bullen bass guiairist with 'The Soul Trinity' and his brother Hugh guitarist recalls the evening they supported Jimi Hendrix in Chelmsford.

Barefootin' The Soul Trinity Live Chelmsford Corn Exchange 1967, this one song was filmed by the Dutch TV station before Hendrix took the stage That evening.

Hi Maurice,

Thanks for getting back to me, I was 16 and My memories of the 25th Feb 1967 was that of total amazement I was the bass player for the Soul trinity and my brother Kelvin Bullen was the guitarist.

I remember shearing the dressing room with Hendrix, and the experience, I spoke to Jimmy I don't remember what i spoke about but I'm sure it was about his music as you can imaging, it was like being on another planet, I am the young black boy standing next to Hendrix Marshall Stack I can still remember the awesome power that came from his amplifier.I is definitely one of the most fantastic moments in my live, I am now a producer my latest work you can check it out at www.adesuwabullen.com .

Hugh Bullen.

 

JIMI HENDIX CHELMSFORD CORN EXCHANGE Just fantastic what a buzz I was there 17 years old with my brother Hugh Bullen .as guitarist of the Soul Trinity the Reading based band,that was 43 years ago .What has stayed with me was backstage with Gentleman Jimi Hendrix coming to me and telling me he enjoyed my playing.what kindness humility encouragment and love.That evening Jimi won a special place in my heart forever.

Kevin Bullen.

Comments and Feedback
I have very fond memories of Chelmsford Corn Exchange, we used to go there every Saturday night. I remember Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Geno Washington, Bo Diddley, and many more I can't remember (it was a long time ago). There was no bar, just soft drinks and crisps so if you wanted a beer you had to go to one of the pubs in Tindal Street. Three I think, the Spotted Dog, the White Hart and The Dolphin. I remember meeting John Mayall in the White Hart. The back of your hand was stamped to show up under ultra violet light so you could go in and out. The place was always packed, standing room only as there were no chairs. When I think about it we were fortunate to have seen all those artists live on stage. Would they come now?

Sue.

I re-call seeing Jimi Hendrix at the "Corn Ole" on Sat 26 Nov 1966 - I remember the day as my sister got married that day and I was the only guy there wearing a carnation! what a gig, also saw The Who, John Mayals Bluesbreakers, Cream, Geno washinton and so many more, all for about 7/6d, a couple of drinks in the Sarecens Head first and then a hoping to get the last bus back to Maldon after the show, ended up walk the 10 miles a few times but worth it. Those were THE DAYS!

David Jones


I used to work at the CORN EXCHANGE when i was 15-16 in the cloakroom. The bands used to all get changed in there and i met all the groups but i didnt know then they would be famous. I used to work with my girlfriend , liz crighton. Iremember talking to most bands and i used to collect drum sticks and even a snare drum from Goldie and the gingerbreads wow lol. The group i remember the most were the yardbirds cos one of them told me to remember them as they were going to be famous, well how right. I worked for Bob Archer and his son Tony who lived in my road and used to run the Saturdaty Scene and they were also wreslers. Long time ago. Wish i was back there now.

John Baker.


Brentwood born, lived in Galleywood; Wow, what a trip down memory lane this site is!! I was there for nearly all of the concerts, missed the Who, but Jimi Hendrix, Steam Packet, Zoot Money, etc.. I was there, but for pure fun and a great night out, Geno Washington was the greatest. Left Chelmsford and the UK in 1970, never lived there since; but thank God I lived there when it was the best time and place to be; the Mod scene, the R&B coffee bar, Lyons tea house and my Lambretta. So many great memories.

Nigel John Cottam (Pro DJ name Paul Marshall)

pauljcottam@gmail.com


I was in the spotted dog prior to hendrix gig when he walked in bar and spoke to me.i m 62 now I still knocked out by it.I was in gig early got right to front.

Clive Mosley.


Click here to see all the Jimi Hendix and crowd photo's from the Corn Exchange from that evening in 1967





 

 

 

 

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Click here to see Chelmsford Corn Exchange gig listings history, compiled from archive local newspaper adverts and reports. Also comments and memories from people who played at the Corn Exchange and who had attended gigs at the now demolished venue.