Hendrix/Davis/McCartney Supergroup?

supergroup

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the most epic of all supergroups that would have included:

Jimi Hendrix (Greatest guitarist of all time)

Miles Davis (Most well-known Jazz musician ever)

Paul McCartney (He was a Beatle, that’s all the cred he needs)

Tony Williams (Jazz drummer, dude’s legit, trust me)

Yeah, I must say that would have been quite ass-kicking indeed. Most Hendrix nerds like me know that he was looking to collaborate with Davis. A lot of stuff fell through and it never happened, even though the possibility was getting closer to reality right before his untimely passing. Recently, news has been swirling about a Rock ‘N’ Roll artifact that’s been around for awhile, but only recently has caught fire due to Hendrix’s “new album.”

Here’s the deal: Apparently Hendrix, Davis, and Williams were all ready to make some legendary tunes. They just needed a bassist, and who better to call upon than the most popular bassist in the world at that time? They sent Paul McCartney a telegram, which is basically an old school form of text message. It read:

“We are recording and LP together this weekend in NewYork. How about coming in to play bass stop call Alvan Douglas 212-5812212. Peace Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams.”

Like text messages today, there were a lot of typos, but McCartney was rocking a little vacation and missed the memo. The recording sessions never happened and the rest is not history.

The news is abuzz about what could have been, but I say, it never could have been, and here’ why:

1. Miles Davis wanted $50,000 to record a session. Hendrix of course wanted nothing more than to explore new musical ground, but that was quite the sum of money back then. Did I ever tell you about the time I found five bucks in my coat pocket by the way?

2. There were too many cooks in the kitchen. Or rather too many music legends in the studio. Hendrix was such an unreal guitarist there was never even a rhythm guitarist. Sure Davis had shared the spotlight with other equal legends like John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and John McLaughlin, but Davis was still the bandleader. Then you have McCartney, one of the most famous people in the world. Every band needs a leader, so who would have been able to take the reigns?

3. It would have been stylistically impossible. All of the musicians broke boundaries experimenting with different sounds, genres, and techniques, but could they have done that together? Collaboration calls for some sort of middle ground, which none of them really had.

4. They were kinda busy dudes. Scheduling would have been impossible. That was always the biggest hurdle for Davis and Hendrix, then when you toss a working Beatle  in there, you’ve got no chance.

I’m not a complete pessimist, we’ll say I’m a realist. I can see both sides of the argument. Look at how Miles Davis dabbled in Rock and basically invented Jazz Fusion with Bitches Brew. How about Jimi Hendrix heading down the Jazz route with “Tax Free” and “South Saturn Delta?” Paul McCartney was never afraid to explore new territory, and Tony Williams was a pioneer of Jazz Fusion. The possibilities would have been endless, but there’s no use thinking about the “could haves” and the “what ifs.” We have enough good music from all of these guys already, so excuse me while I pretend I’m smart by jamming to Miles Davis.

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