imageThe Jade Fly On Strange Wings, 1969

I played bass on all the tracks of this album which was released the fol­low­ing year: I used a Gib­son EB0 which I played a lot back then…as well as my Jazz. This was right up there as one of the favorite ses­sions I have ever played on. The band “Jade” con­sist­ed of Mar­i­anne Segal (beau­ti­ful folk singer and writer), Dave Waite (ex Coun­try­men) and Rod Edwards (Pic­cadil­ly Line). Ter­ry Cox from “Pen­tan­gle” also played on the ses­sions, and Elton John’s man­ag­er Jon Miller pro­duced the album. I played all the bass as a ses­sion musi­cian (that’s me sit­ting back on the left with some stub­ble and a joint stick­ing out of my mouth). Some of the oth­er ses­sion musi­cians includ­ed Micky Waller (Jeff Beck), Pete York (Spencer Davis), Michael Rosen (Eclec­tion), Jimi Lither­land (Jon Hise­man’s Colos­se­um). If you can find one of the orig­i­nal LPs in good con­di­tion today they sell for quite a bit of mon­ey. An updat­ed ver­sion of the album was released sev­er­al years (I was liv­ing in the Cal­i­for­nia by then) lat­er that includ­ed a cou­ple of bonus tracks that I did­n’t play on.

“One of the great albums of the British folk rock boom of the late 60’s is this sole 1970 album by Jade. Com­pa­ra­ble to Sandy Den­ny’s solo albums and record­ings by folk rock con­tem­po­raries, such as The Trees and Mel­low Can­dle, this lost mas­ter­piece has been restored and re-mas­tered from the orig­i­nal tapes with the addi­tion of bonus mate­r­i­al and detailed his­tor­i­cal notes.”

I was talk­ing with var­i­ous bands about pos­si­bly play­ing with them. Mitch Mitchell who was still with Hen­drix asked me to play bass in a band he was get­ting together…said he’d seen me play with Sam Gopal Dream. Mitch took me back stage to a Roy­al Albert Hall show they did…I remem­ber this beau­ti­ful woman dressed in an ele­gant 1920’s style dress yelling at the guard out­side Jim­i’s dress­ing room “I’m his old lady, let me in!”.
I’m sure she was his old lady…but the guard wasn’t impressed; he took his orders direct­ly from Jimi.

I knew Jimi a bit from my meet­ing with him in Eric Bur­don’s kitchen when Chas Chan­dler first brought him over from the USA, and lat­er when Sam Gopal Dream played some of the same shows in 1967…he once sat in with us. I’m fact this is how I knew Mitch.

I found out years lat­er that they were hav­ing trou­ble with Noel Red­ding at the time…hmmm? No…couldn’t be, no way.

I remem­ber watch­ing the show from the back of the hall…Jimi was play­ing as won­der­ful­ly as always, but seemed a bit sullen. The audi­ence was call­ing out for their favorite songs as usu­al. One guy kept yelling , “Foxy Lady!”

Jimi stopped and told the audi­ence he was­n’t going to play any more hits that night. “I just want to play the blues” he said.
He pro­ceed­ed to play some of the coolest blues gui­tar I’ve ever heard.
Mitch was an amaz­ing drum­mer who helped bring a jazz sen­si­bil­i­ty to rock…it always aston­ish­es me that he nev­er real­ly went on to do any­thing else after the “Expe­ri­ence”. I know he lived in Jamaica for a while. I spoke with Mitch in Lon­don a cou­ple of days after Jimi died…it hit him hard. They were very close.

I played a show on piano with Dave Hidal­go of Los Lobos at Yoshi’s in Oak­land a cou­ple of years ago and we talked about Mitch. Dave had just got off the Jimi Hen­drix trib­ute tour, of which Mitch was a part. Dave was say­ing what a cool per­son he was. Mitch passed away soon after.
I had oth­er irons in the fire in 1969. I hung out a bit with John Mark (John May­al­l’s gui­tarist) and we talked about me play­ing bass in a band he was putting togeth­er with John­ny Almond; and my friend Pete Brown (Cream Lyri­cist) had put me in touch with Jon Hise­man’s Colos­se­um who were look­ing for a bass play­er. I also start­ed rehears­ing on bass and Ham­mond B3 with orig­i­nal Fair­port Con­ven­tion vocal­ist Judy Dyble and Jack­ie McAuley from Van Mor­rison’s “Them”. That band became “Trad­er Horn” which end­ed up mak­ing a very cool album. I was recent­ly inter­viewed by “Clas­sic Rock Mag­a­zine” for a piece they did on Judy.

I also walked through the streets of Lon­don to a small back street rehearsal room just south of the riv­er Thames to jam with Arthur Brown (who used to light his head­dress on fire with lighter flu­id and sing his clas­sic song “Fire”) He was a great tal­ent and a cool fel­low. It was snow­ing and very cold that night. We had a good laugh a few years lat­er when he told me on the phone that he was liv­ing in a lit­tle vil­lage called “Pud­dle­town”. Now Pud­dle­town is actu­al­ly on the riv­er “Pid­dle” and used to be called “Pid­dle­town”, until the local vil­lage coun­cil vot­ed to change the name offi­cial­ly to “Pud­dle­town”. This was due to the embar­rass­ing and undig­ni­fied nature of the name. Pid­dle in Eng­land is slang for uri­nat­ing. Very Mon­ty Python.

How­ev­er, Cal­i­for­nia was call­ing and I gave it all up and went off to the USA for the first time to join up with Leigh Stephens (Blue Cheer) and Micky Waller (Jeff Beck) to form Sil­ver Metre in Venice Beach, Los Ange­les, Cal­i­for­nia. I stayed above the Mer­ry Go Round on San­ta Mon­i­ca Pier for a while…foggy old Lon­don town to the boil­ing hot Cal­i­for­nia sum­mer of 1969, it was all very surreal.

Rod Edwards, Dave Waite, Pete Sears, Child?, Marianne Segal.