The hour when Chas Chandler "discovered" Jimi Hendrix - how the star of the legendary guitarist in history rose

It was the start of a wonderful and fruitful partnership that ended tragically too soon...

The Butterfly Effect by Chas Chandler: How The Animals Bassist Discovered Jimi Hendrix

Fascinated by the creativity of an idol - how often do fans wonder how his star rose? How did your career start? Jimi Hendrix? A few completely random moments in the history of rock and roll may indicate when music, art and society as a whole changed forever ... Although at the time it may not have seemed like a revolutionary moment, The Butterfly Effect by Chas Chandler - Bassist of the British band The Animalswho witnessed a Jimi Hendrix performance in Cafe Wha? in New York Greenwich Village — was a special moment in time that changed this world forever... Yes, that's a big statement! But once you remember the huge, grandiose upheavals that Hendrix brought to the music world (and, therefore, to society as a whole), it no longer seems like some kind of too loud statement ... Although it would be unfair to say that without Chandler Jimi Hendrix would never have become a star, definitely - his career as a guitarist would not have progressed as rapidly as he had hoped ...

How Linda Keith brought Chandler and Hendrix together

Linda Keith
Linda Keith

Before becoming a legend, for a while Hendrix progressed down the path of the music industry, working with artists such as The Isley Brothers and Little Richard. By providing them with an extra guitar, Jimi was fed and his name was heard, at least in one way or another... However, everything changed for Hendrix when he met Chas Chandler at Cafe Wha? in New York's Greenwich Village July 5, 1966. It was at this moment that both musicians went into the stratosphere ...

Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler at the Marquee Club
Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler at the Marquee Club

In truth, for this legendary meeting, the world should thank fashion model Linda Keith. She was the one who managed to convince the Animals bassist to go to Greenwich Village to catch a glimpse of the new guitarist everyone was talking about! Kate was dating at the time Keith Richards, guitarist The Rolling Stonesand saw Hendrix performing at the club Cheetah

“It was magical for me…” — Linda Keith said about her first discovery of Jimi Hendrix. “And I couldn’t believe that no one had noticed him before, because he was obviously in public a lot… He was amazing! The kind of mood he could bring to the music, his charisma, his skill and stage presence... And yet no one was thrilled. I just couldn't believe it..."

Through your connections in the world of rock and roll, Kate decided to give Hendrix the platform he honestly deserved. She turned to the manager for help. Rolling Stones Andrew Loug Oldhamwho came to watch Hendrix play in Cafe Au Go Go! However… he left the hall without much impression, thereby losing one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Decisive meeting in the cafe "Wha?"

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

The Animals were close to breaking up when they arrived to New York at the beginning of July. Ready to jump into production Chas Chandler immediately saw the potential of Hendrix:

“The night before we were supposed to play in Central Park, someone played a Tim Rose version of Hey Joe! I was so engrossed in it that I vowed, “As soon as I get back to England, I will find an artist to record this song…”

However, the performer found it himself. Chandler continues to plunge into the memories of that evening:

“Later that evening, we went to a club called Ondine's. When we entered, Linda Keith was walking towards the exit, and we stopped to talk. She told me that I should see some guy who plays amazing guitar... It was that night that I saw Jimmy James and the Blue Flames perform at Café Wha? And it just so happened that the first song Hendrix played that night was "Hey Joe"! It seemed that our meeting was destined by fate itself ... "

Chandler's impressions of playing Jimi

Jimi Hendrix and the burning guitar...
Jimi Hendrix and the burning guitar...

That evening, the event was attended by a producer Bob Kulickwho many years later recalled how Chandler was fascinated by the game Hendrix:

“I look at Chas and his mouth is wide open… And when Jimi started playing with his teeth during “Hey Joe”, Chandler’s drink fell out of his hand and spilled over his knees! I personally saw it happen! I knew what Chandler was thinking at that moment: there was no such person who saw Jimi play and did not think that he was God ... "

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

It was enough to convince Chandler in the fact that he found his star ... That same evening he discussed his plan with Hendrix: he will go in London and gather a band around his genius, using British musicians and cashing in on the explosion of swing subculture sweeping through the British capital...

“That evening at Cafe Wha? Jimi was just an explosive genius, whose potential amazed me!” Chandler recalled. “How much I was impressed with his version of “Hey Joe”… But what finally convinced me of his talent was another song – “Like a Rolling Stone”! I knew Bob Dylan well and loved his material, but "Like a Rolling Stone" was the first of his songs that I didn't quite understand. It was in the way Dylan sang that song. I never felt that he expressed it properly. When Jimi sang it, he did it with great conviction, and the words hit me right away!”


Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler
Jimi Hendrix and Chas Chandler

It was the start of a wonderful and fruitful partnership that ended tragically too soon... Chandler and Hendrix provided each other with a vehicle to get to the top of the music stack. Without each other, they would never have succeeded, and without them, the world would have really lost a lot ... Some moments in the history of rock are ignored by the public, but for a select few, this meeting was a moment that changed everything for everyone.

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