6. more mix in the city

hendrix 4

March 1969, the next day

This was a rare event--- Jimi had arrived at the studio before me. He was on time, for a change, and I was late. He was sitting next to a little Fender Twin amplifier, noodling around on his Stratocaster guitar at low volume. This was, in itself, a rare event--- hearing him play that way. Beautiful.

The girl from the club and I had made a lot of progress in one night. We had started making plans. 

I asked,  "Can I meet you here tonight?"


"And the night after that? Etcetera?"


So—— that's plans, right? I'm not exaggerating at all, right?

I floated in through the control room door, held aloft by heart-shaped love bubbles. Jimi looked up at me and there was that big grin. “Um, how did it go?” 

Oh. He knew something about the skinny girl that I didn’t. Just sitting there grinning. Then it hit me, all the little bubbles burst simultaneously, and I landed with a thud. What Jimi knew was that Kylie was a pro, a hooker, a doxy, a very expensive prostitute, and that he had hired her to pick me up in the club, and that she had already checked out of the hotel, and that her name wasn't even Kylie. It was the right moment for him to grip me by the shoulder in a big brother way, and tell me the facts; but now, suddenly, Jimi’s expression said enough. The other musicians filtered in with similar looks on their faces. They all knew, and were trying not to laugh too hard at the lame geek white kid with poor social skills who didn’t know anything about anything, who couldn’t even spot a hooker when he saw one.

Was it just a mean-spirited joke? I thought so then, and was fairly pissed off about it. But even so, somehow, a real bond had been created between us all. 

People communicate in different ways. It only took me about 30 years to realize it. 


When I was about eight, I was watching my dad at his workbench in the basement of our old house in Rochester. He's threading a pipe into a coupler— it's a teachable moment. Says my dad, in explanation mode: "Ok, this pipe is called the Male, and the other piece is the Female."

"Gee Dad., why do they call them Male and Female?"

 My father is clearly nonplussed at this. "Ah. I don't know!" He says awkwardly.

In all the years that followed, he never did answer the question, which probably accounts for some things.