Jimi Hendrix shook your left hand!

Hace poco la revista Cinco Centros publicó mi traducción de la anécdota que cuenta Robert Fripp, guitarrista de King Crimson, sobre la ocasión en que conoció a Jimi Hendrix. Puesto que considero que puede tratarse de un artículo de interés general, me tomo la libertad de reproducir en este espacio la transcripción que hice del relato y de la cual partí para trasladarlo al castellano. Considero que es uno de esos casos en los que el texto en inglés funciona mejor. Al final del presente apunte encontrarán el enlace al audio original.

“Jimi Hendrix shook your left hand!”

Yes, he did: Jimi Hendrix did shake my left hand. The gentleman has mentioned the time that I met Jimi Hendrix and, if you would indulge me, I will tell you the story of this, since, from time to time, whenever Hendrix anniversaries are being celebrated, various guitar magazines or MTV ask me to comment on Hendrix, and the single time I met Jimi Hendrix was at the Revolution Club in Mayfair, when Crimson were playing in 1969. It was the first time I sat down. I’ve always been a seated guitar player, and to work in a rock group you couldn’t sit down... No one sits down to play guitar! But I felt after, I think it was twelve performances by the 69 Crimson, it was impossible for me to stand and play, so I said: “Look, I’ve got to sit down.” And Greg Lake said: “You can’t sit down, you look like a mushroom!” My considered opinion was that the mushroom is a facility symbol in many cultures, and even if I were seated playing at least I could perhaps wave the flag. So, the management, EG-Management, bought a stool: a stool, which was painted black and was placed on stage at the Revolution Club in Mayfair. Then, after the first set, backstage, a man came up to me in a white suit with his right arm in a white sling. One of the most luminous people I’ve ever met. And he came up to me and said: “Shake my left hand, man, it’s closer to my heart.” Now, in 1981, which was then twelve years later, King Crimson were recording Discipline at Basing Street Studio, which is in the Portobello District in London, and we were staying in the Portobello Hotel, known for the very, very small size of its rooms and the paper-thin walls; if the phone goes next door, as it did with Jerry Marotta, Tony Levin in the next room said to me: “We don’t need to answer that, Jerry.” I was walking to the studio, Basing Street Studio, just off Portobello Road and there was a bookshop, and since I’m something of a bibliophile and eager to catch with my latest reading, I went in, and in the shop was Loretta Land. Now, Loretta Land was Michael Giles’s sister-in-law (Michael Giles being the first drummer in King Crimson). So, we hadn’t seen each other for twelve years and we said: “Oh, let’s have a drink tonight at the Portobello.” And she said to me: “Do you remember the time when Hendrix came to see King Crimson?” And I said: “Of course I do! It’s my Hendrix story.” And she said: “Do you know that I was sitting on the next table to Jimi Hendrix?” And I said: “No.” And she said: “He was jumping up and down saying ‘this is the best group in the world’.” In all due modesty, that is one of the best calling cards any working musician is ever likely to be able to present.

Enlace al audio original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woRhyl4k6sc

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