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Baker's Dozen

These Gifts: Mark Arm Of Mudhoney's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , May 26th, 2015 15:35

As they embark upon a run of UK dates tonight, the Seattle fuzz merchants' frontman takes Nick Hutchings on a tour of his top 13 LPs


Jimi Hendrix - Hendrix In The West
I picked this mainly because most people are probably familiar with the regular three studio records that came out. I would hope they are. This record, Hendrix In The West, is a compilation of live versions. I think four songs are from this San Diego show in 1969 and shortly after that tour Noel Redding was out of the band so it was the last part of the Experience.

There's a version of 'Spanish Castle Magic' on the record that is just so incredible, and the bass is distorted and driving. That song alone is worth the whole record. And if you can get your hands on it, there's actually a bootleg of that whole San Diego show and I recommend that, but Hendrix In The West is a little more accessible. My friend Darren who was the drummer in Mr. Epp, we were in high school and he had one of those portable eight-track players. I think he pretty much only had three eight-tracks I can remember, and one was Jimi Hendrix's Smash Hits and another was The Who: Live At Leeds and we would play those constantly.

I've always been really impressed by Mitch Mitchell's drumming. It spoke to me. I think he's maybe the best drummer in rock & roll. I just love that kind of loose, fluid feel. It's not stiff, there's sort of a jazz thing going through it. It's really propulsive. Have you ever seen 'Message To Love', the Isle of Wight set that Hendrix plays? It's weird what happened to Mitch Mitchell over the years he was playing with Hendrix. In the early days he's sitting upright and playing like he does on the records but by that almost last performance he's got a double kick drum which he's just slumped over and his back is hunched and he's really low. It's like he isn't playing the beats at all, he's just playing around it. It's like he's become a rock version of Elvin Jones - it's crazy. Rock & roll has taken its toll on a lot of people. There's a bit in the Isle of Wight thing where a couple of songs in, Hendrix just goes behind the speakers and you can hear his guitar hitting shit. And he comes back out and he's on fire. The song ends and he says "I just woke up two minutes ago!" I was like: "Gee, I wonder what he was doing back there?"