There aren’t many musicians and bands that come close to what The Beatles were doing during the 1960s. At the height of their success and songwriting capabilities, they had focused their energy on creating what many consider now their magnum opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. By the time the album hit the charts at the end of May of 1967, The Beatles had conquered the world by endless touring. They had just started redefining what it means to be a studio band and, setting the tone with Rubber Soul and then with Revolver, bands could be now taken seriously as studio technicians and lab scientists, concocting new innovative sounds via tape manipulation and breaking new grounds with songwriting and composition. It seemed as though The Beatles were always on the front lines, pioneering new aspects of the industry.
With that said, it still doesn’t mean to say that there wasn’t a place for touring or live concerts anymore. In fact, this was still the golden age for live performance. It begs the question, did they know that people years from then would be gawking back at the sheer brilliance of the rock ‘n’ roll music from the 1960s going into the ’70s? One reason for the brilliance of Sgt. Peppers was that it defined the ‘Summer of Love’ as the beating heart of the hippie counterculture that was raging at the time and live performance still played an integral part in this phenomenon.
One other musician who very much contributed to this summer of love sensation, and who we cannot help but think about when the words, “hippie movement” are uttered, is, of course, the one and only Jimi Hendrix. An American, who, as a black guitarist, would tragically but thankfully find more success in Britain, was brought over to the rainy island in September of 1966 by his manager Chas Chandler who was also the bass player for The Animals at the time. Hendrix would quickly establish himself as a sensational live performer through his relentless gigging at London clubs and from touring around the country.