Purple Haze: Octavia With a Tele

January 14, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Just in case you thought Jimi Hendrix played the entire album version of Purple Haze with a Strat – as if anyone would think differently – apparently he didn’t, at least for the parts on which an Octavia was used. This just in, from an interview of Roger Mayer by the folks at PremierGuitar.com. Here’s the applicable exchange:

PG: How did you meet up with Jimi?

Mayer: I met him in a nightclub a few days after my 21st birthday. I just went up to him and I talked to him—everybody was there, you know, the Stones, The Who, McCartney. I just said, “Listen man, I’m really into guitar sounds and I’ve done a few for Page and Beck and these people.”

PG: And he was excited, I’m sure.

Mayer: Oh, yeah, obviously. We were obviously on the same page from day one.

PG: So did you just go into the studio with him after that?

Mayer: Well, I went to one gig at Chislehurst Caves about two weeks after I met him and showed him one of the first Octavias backstage. He played through it and said, “Can you do that to it?” and I said, “Yeah, Jimi, you know these things are improving week by week as we get more feedback on it.” And he said, “Right – I’m playing at a club called the Ricky-Tick at Hounslow in about another week. Why don’t you bring it along to the gig and after the gig we can go back to Olympic Studios. I gotta record a couple of solos for a couple of tunes I’ve got.”

[At] the gig—it was a very low ceiling at the gig, and he put the neck of his guitar through the ceiling. It basically fucked the machine heads on the top of his guitar, right? And we didn’t have a spare guitar then, so we went back to Olympic afterwards, and we had to send Noel around to the flat. He picked up his Telecaster, and that’s when we did the overdub for “Purple Haze” and “Fire,” using the Octavia.

And there you have it.

Category: Jimi Hendrix

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  1. Atomo says:

    Wow.. you would say Jimi was not pleased at all using Noel’s guitar because Jimi was not a fan of Telecasters.
    He thought you can only get two sounds of a Tele : a good one and a bad one.

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