Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and The Monkees: how did they become stars?

Playing with teeth and responding to The Beatles are the brightest stars that lit up in 1966...

Bands that came from 1966

1960s At that time, rock bands grew like mushrooms after the rain. But what is interesting: they did not copy each other, no, each brought something new to the world of music, something of its own. Rock was combined with blues, folk, hard rock was born, psychedelics flourished. Today - it's all a classic, and then - innovation.

Cream, Jimi Hendrix and monkeys...

Cream was not formed from newcomers. All of its members, among whom was guitarist Eric Clapton, were musicians with experience, but they all wanted something new and creative. Clapton's idea was to combine blues and rock, which later became his signature sound.

The group had its own characteristics, one of which was the tense relationship between its two members Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Oddly enough, to some extent this even contributed to success. According to Eric Clapton, at the performances between the two musicians, it was just “sparks flying”, each trying to outdo the other, and this spurred and stimulated each. Thanks to this, their concert performances were full of energy.

The group debuted in August '66 and made a splash with their first performance. In October, Cream released their first single "Wrapping Paper" / "Cat's Squirrel", but something unexpected happened: despite the resounding success of their live performances, the record did not make any noise at all. 34th on the UK hit list. It's good, but it's not a sensation. The thing was that the fans liked Cream's hard rhythm and blues, which they heard at the performance, and on the record they suddenly got soft jazz.

The group quickly realized their mistake. The first album "Fresh Cream" was recorded as close as possible to what sounded at concerts: energetic, bright, fresh rhythm and blues. And the popularity of the album quickly grew: 6th place in the UK, 39th in the US.

But Cream wasn't content with just rhythm and blues. The following entries revealed innovators in them. And that is how their success began. Today, all music lovers know about Eric Clapton. And although the group did not last long, she managed to participate in the development of hard rock.

Another founder of hard rock is none other than Jimi Hendrix. His role in the development of the genre cannot be overestimated. They say about him that he opened new horizons in playing the guitar in general. For example, it never occurred to anyone before him to play the guitar with his teeth ...

It all started with Chas Chandler playing The Animals and his desire to become a producer. Then, Keith Richards' girlfriend, Linda Keith, told him about a "terrific guy". They came to see Hendrix perform. According to Chandler, because of Linda's stories, he decided to take Jimmy before he first heard him. And he certainly wasn't wrong!

Hendrix accepted the invitation to move to England for one reason: he just really wanted to get to know Eric Clapten. Chandler answered him that when Clapten heard him, he himself would be the first to get acquainted.

Chandler left The Animals and stayed with the states with his new ward. They easily found a common language, they had a common passion: science fiction. In England, the self-taught drummer Mitch Mitchell and the resourceful Noel Redding also joined the group, who himself tells how he got into the group:

I was 20. I got a guitar and went to England with ten coins in my pocket. While looking for a job, I heard about an audition with Eric Burdon. I decided to go and went to The Phone Booth club. Chas Chandler was there. He asked me who I played with before and I said Johnny Kidd. I actually played once... with his guitar in the dressing room...

(Noel Redding)

The group debuted on stage on October 16, 1966. And on December 16, their first single and first hit "Hey Joe" was released. Hendrix's playing amazed (and still does) everyone who heard it. His concerts were attended not only by fans but also by stars like Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend. His success was simply inevitable.

Another band born in '66 was The Monkees. Initially, the group was created specifically for the sit-com with the same name. However, even after its closure, the group continued to exist. She survived the breakup, rebirth and death of some of the members.

The Monkees have been called the US answer to The Beatles. And they became one of the best selling bands in the world. Their self-titled first album spent 13 weeks at number one on the Billboard charts, for a total of 78 weeks within the chart.

And even today, not everyone remembers the old series, but they definitely heard about The Monkees, and their second single “I'm a Believer” is still popular and recognizable from the first notes!

This concludes our review of yet another star-studded year in musical history. If you, as a music lover, are given the chance to travel back in time, the 60s would be a great choice (just a word). Have a good day!

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