Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze”

Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Purple Haze,” off their debut album, Are You Experienced? Look at him. He’s dressed like a hippie! Look at the album cover below? They’re all full-blown hippies. It was released in May 1967, only a month before the famous Summer of Love centered around the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. This was peak hippie right around this time.

Album cover for Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Are You Experienced?” May 1967

I’m not quite sure what the lyrics are about, but Purple Haze was definitely a very strong brand of LSD that was going around at the time. You want  to know what “acid rock” was that all the parents back then were ranting about? Here you go. Acid rock, baby!

I believe Jimi Hendrix was a serious acidhead as were the other guys in his band. I knew a man who used to hang out with Hendrix and his entourage in the Seattle area where he came from. It was a group of about 200-300 people, mixed men and women, all full-blown hippies. Most of them were doing quite a bit of LSD too.

Black hippies were a thing back then, and Hendrix was absolutely a Black hippie. I’m sorry we hardly have any Black hippies around anymore. Either through self-selection or the general culture, Black hippies didn’t behave much worse than any other male hippies. This was the era of “Peace, Love, dope,” remember? Hippies freaked out if you even looked like you were getting angry. They tried to live their whole lives as free from “bad vibes” which included all forms of aggression and violence as possible. All of that was considered very “uncool.”

There were also some “Black hippie chicks” as we used to call them. Same thing, they acted pretty good too for whatever reason. The men and women both wore their hair in Afros. No Black women straightened their hair back then. An Afro was perfectly acceptable. The Black hippies lived hippie lifestyles, all the way down to the soft drug (pot and psychedelic) drug use.

I still have fond memories of Black hippies. This was a period when a group of both Blacks and Whites lived the same lifestyle without much bad behavior or racism. Racism was very frowned upon – keep in mind that all fellow hippies were your “brothers.” I don’t really like Black people having a separate culture. They’re not assimilating as long as they are doing that. And I would date a woman who was heavy into Black culture. All her friends and acquaintances will be Black and everywhere you go with her, it’ll be nothing but Black people and you’re the only White person around. Also I think assimilated Blacks act a lot better than the less assimilated, sort of like Jews in that regard.

I have no idea why Black people wish to have their own separate culture. I don’t get it. Isn’t ours good enough for y’all?

Lyrics:

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me

Help me
Help me
Oh, no, no

Hammerin’
Talkin’ ’bout heart ‘n’ s-soul
I’m talkin’ about hard stuff
If everybody’s still around, fluff and ease, if
So far out my mind
Something’s happening, something’s happening

Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh
Ooo, ahhh, yeah!

Purple haze all in my eyes, uhh
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind
Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

Ooh
Help me
Ahh, yea-yeah, purple haze, yeah
Oh, no, oh
Oh, help me
Tell me, baby, tell me
I can’t go on like this
You’re makin’ me blow my mind, mama
N-no, nooo
No, it’s painful, baby

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