|Jimi in London the day before he died|
With hindsight, the optimism he expressed about his future is hugely poignant given that only a few days later, aged just 27, Hendrix would be dead.
Whichever way you look at it, Jimi's death from an overdose of sleeping pills on September 18th was a sad and tragically sudden end to his story.
As the MM article said back then, Hendrix was rock's most influential guitarist. Then as now, he remains the guitarist considered by many as the greatest of all time.
But he was a troubled soul and by 1970 he had lost much of the creative momentum built up during the making of his masterpiece 1968 album Electric Ladyland.
|The MM interview, click to enlarge|
On the 50th anniversary of his passing, there will be plenty of speculation about what might have been - whether he would have gone in a more jazzy direction; the rumoured collaborations with Gil Evans and Miles Davis. In the same way that Jeff Beck reinvented himself as a jazz fusion player, Hendrix could easily have moved away from his blues roots - and he planned to.
In his own words, Jimi saw his return to the UK in the summer of 1970 as a new beginning. It was widely acknowledged that he had lost his way creatively and his life seemed to be increasingly a tale of drug busts and legal issues of one sort or another. Jimi himself said as much. "It's all turned full circle. I'm back to where I started. I still sound the same, my music's the same and I can't think of anything new to add to it in its current state."
|Jimi in his pomp, 1967|
As a new decade was beginning, he saw it as a cut-off point for the revolutionary 1960's music culture. "This era of music sparked off by The Beatles has come to an end. Something new has got to come and Jimi Hendrix will be there."
Jimi wanted a big band, he said: "full of competent musicians I can conduct and write for. It's going to be something that will open up a new sense in people's minds. They are getting their minds ready now. Like me, they are going back home, getting fat and making themselves ready for the next trip."
|Jimi looked increasingly unwell in 1970|
As Charles Shaar Murray wrote in his excellent Hendrix book 'Crosstown Traffic', "Hendrix's dope consumption, which was fairly monstrous even at the best of times, was escalating dramatically."
Jimi's perspective on it was that, in his utopian vision of "a new form of classical music", you didn't necessarily need drugs.
"You know the drug scene came to a big head. It was opening up things in people's minds, giving them things they just couldn't handle. Well music can do that you know, and you don't need any drugs.
"It's going to be a complete form of music," he said of his ideas for a musical reinvention. "It could be something along similar lines to what Pink Floyd are tackling. They don't know it, but people like Pink Floyd are the mad scientists of this day and age."
Hollingworth asked Hendrix when he would start to form this big band. He said people wouldn't have too long to wait and that his Isle of Wight performance might be the last of that type with the three-piece format.
The MM's review of Hendrix's performance late on the Sunday night at the IOW concluded: "We're convinced that Jimi's trouble stems from internal conflict between his blues roots and a desire to progress. He has the technique to play a mass of different sounds, but his confidence seems to ebb and he gets confused when he wanders into the freestyle freaky effects, so revolutionary back in 1967.
"All it needs is some nice new songs, some rehearsal and bingo. As it happened, the miracle and magic worked towards the end of his two-hour set, with the air of a medley of hits. The magic was there all the time with the talent of Hendrix, Mitchell and Cox. They just need a little time...and they'll get it all together."
Jimi's hair was a little tamer now, observed the interviewer, Hollingworth. Did he feel he was a tamer person? He said no, maybe now and then he got a spark of maturity, but he reckoned he was a better guitarist than he used to be. "I've learnt a lot, but I've got to learn more about music. With the big band, I don't want to be playing as much guitar. I want other musicians to play my stuff."
He said he would not be doing so many live gigs. "I'm going to develop the sound and then I'm going to put a film out.
"It's so exciting - it's going to be an audio visual thing that you sit down and plug into - and really take in through your eyes and ears.
"I'm happy - it's gonna be good."
Remembering Jimi - friends and associates talk about him