Appreciating all that makes America special

“Purple Haze”

Purple Haze, www.greatamericanthings.net

Whether or not it was a paean to drugs - and Hendrix said it wasn't - it's still an amazing song. Uploaded by vectorfree.com.

This is one of those things that make you go, “Hmm.” “Purple Haze” was a groundbreaking single written by Jimi Hendrix and found on his smash album Are You Experienced? Rolling Stone named it the number 17 song of all time, and Q Magazine anointed it number one in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. And yet…in the U.S., “Purple Haze” spent only eight weeks on the charts, and never made it higher than number 65.

Purple Haze, www.greatamericanthings.net

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Chas Chandler, formerly bassist of The Animals, became Hendrix’s manager in 1966. He heard the legend playing this riff one day, and suggested he put lyrics to it. Hendrix did, and the times being what they were, a “purple haze” was taken as a drug reference. Hendrix always denied it, however. Regardless, it’s often considered one of the first heavy metal songs, and is clearly in the psychedelic arena as well.

Can’t write about this song without mentioning one of the all-time greatest misunderstood lyrics. Hendrix wrote, “Excuse me, while I kiss the sky.” People ever since have sworn that he actually sang, “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy.” Hendrix was ahead of his time, but I don’t think he was that far ahead…

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