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CURTIS KNIGHT (& THE SQUIRES)


1967 Studio Recordings

These recordings were done over two days, 17 July & 8 August 1967, when for reasons unexplained Hendrix returned to Studio 76 twice in spite of an ongoing breach of contract law suit initiated by Ed Chalpin / PPX. All track titles except "Ballad Of Jimmy", "I Ain't Taking Care of No Business (aka No Business)" & "Gloomy Monday" (and possibly "Happy Birthday") are fictitious, the rest of the tracks are just segments of jam sessions that were given titles when Curtis Knight overdubbed vocals on them in 1967/ 68.

Practically all of the date & personnel information about these sessions comes from Jimi's PPX court case deposition from 7 March 1968. Unfortunately Jimi mixes these two sessions up with each other, so it's not always clear which session he's talking about. He says there was a guitar player who's last name possibly was "Shears" present in at least one of the sessions, and that he himself also played 12-string acoustic on occasion.

Jimi maintains that he played bass and didn't do any overdubs during the 17 July 1967 session, and this is backed up by the recordings & pictures that we have, the people present match the instruments audible (see pictures), there are no overdubs to be heard. It is possible that the unknown person visible in the pictures is the guitar player that Jimi recalled was named "Shears", but this is unconfirmed.

Ad Tingle ID'd the strange looking instrument that the 2nd guitar player can be seen playing in the pictures from the 17th of July session. It's a Danelectro Bellzouki 12-string semi-hollow body electric guitar (exact model number unknown). This is very likely the instrument that can be heard on the recordings and that Jimi says he also played during the course of the sessions.

About the 8 August 1967 session Jimi says that he repeatedly told Ed Chalpin that he can't use Jimi's name for the recordings, again this is confirmed by available recordings. During this second session Jimi played guitar, "sometimes lead and I played sometimes melody and twelve string, I think, sometimes" 1.


1. Session - 17 JuLY 1967

Day Tripper / Future Trip / Flashing
Composer: John Lennon, Paul McCartney & Unknown
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Electric 12-string guitar: "Shears"?
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

A long jam based on the riff to "Day Tripper", cut in three pieces for the various lp releases, hence the three different titles. Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registrations 2, there of course is no registration available for "Day Tripper" as it was an already existing Beatles song, the registrations for the other two tracks are as follows (the Ed Chalpin -credits for the music are "questionable"):

FUTURE TRIP; w & m Ed Chalpin. 2 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 12Sep67; EU14244

FLASHING; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX
Pub. Co., a division of PPX Enter-
prises, Inc.; 12Sep67 ; EU14245.

I Ain't Taking Care of No Business (aka No Business)
Composer: Jimi Hendrix
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Electric 12-string guitar: "Shears"?
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Vocals: Curtis Knight

Jimi signed a publishing contract with R.S.V.P. MUSIC, INC for "I Ain't Taking Care of No Business" on the 30th of March 1966. The contract was offered for sale by Lelands.com in 2002. He's credited as the sole composer for the song. A demo version of the track seems to have been recorded in 1966 but there is no known 1966 studio version. The track was later recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience during sessions for Axis: Bold As Love in May 1967.

According to Jimi, speaking of the 1967 PPX sessions:
"There was one time that Curtis started playing this song - I think it was No Business - and like he was playing an old version of it, some demo version or something, I don't know. And we were playing with it. But that old version was made like, you know, a while back" 1.

Available both in vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

NO BUSINESS; m Curtis Knight. 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9707.


Odd Ball

Composer: Unknown
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Electric 12-string guitar:  "Shears"?
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

Only available as an instrumental mix. The last part of the jam sounds like an existing song but I can't recognize the tune that the band is playing.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

ODD BALL; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX
Pub. Co., a division of PPX Enter-
prises, Inc.; 15Sep67; EU14698.


2. Session - 8 AUGUST 1967

Ballad Of Jimmy (AKA MY BEST FRIEND)
Composer: Curtis Knight?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Acoustic guitar: Unknown
Guitar (with wah wah): Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Unknown
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Fuzz bass: Unknown
Tambourine: Curtis Knight?

A re-recording of the song probably first done by the Squires (without Jimi) during the 1966 RSVP sessions. This could very well be the song that Jimi mentions in his court deposition as being recorded on the 8th of August 1967, referring to it as "an old song" and "so funny and so diabolical" 1.

Two versions of the vocals exist, the original 1967 one about Jimi stealing Curtis's girlfriend and dying in a car accident, and the 1970 version with re-done lyrics cashing in on Jimi's death where Curtis tells us how Jimi supposedly foresaw his own demise.

The version with new lyrics was released as a single all over the world in 1970. A version released in Germany even included a "reproduction" Studio 76 session log that supposedly came from the master tape of the original "Ballad Of Jimmy" recording session. It was offered as proof that Jimi foresaw his own death as the session date on the sheet was September 1965 and the new lyrics included the line "five years this he said, he's not gone, he's just dead".

The big problem here is that both Curtis Knight and Ed Chalpin have on many occasions stated that the first song Jimi recorded with Curtis Knight was "How Would You Feel" and the recording session took place on the 6th of October 1965, a day after Curtis and Jimi first met. Additionally the version with the original lyrics had already been released in 1968.

There are also two instrumental mixes available, on both of these very faint vocals can be heard suggesting that the vocals were cut "live" with the band in the same room with leakage remaining on the multitracks that can't be mixed out. The vocal that can be faintly heard is the one about Jimi stealing Curtis's girlfriend proving those to be the original lyrics as recorded in 1967.

Instrumental Mix 1 - Ballad Of Jimi (1)
The drums are mixed hard left and the bass hard right, the guitar is relatively low in the mix.
Available on: Lp "The Legends Of Rock" (Strand 6.28530)

Instrumental Mix 2 - Ballad Of Jimi (6)
The drums and bass are mixed closer to center, the guitar part is high in the mix.
Available on: Cd "Ballad Of Jimi" (SPV 085-44682)

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

THE BALLAD OF JIMI; w & m Curtis
Knight. 2 p. © PPX Pub. Co., a
division of PPX Enterprises, Inc.;
14Aug67; EU9708.


Get That Feeling

Composers: Curtis Knight, Edward Gregory
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Unknown
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

GET THAT FEELING; w Curtis Knight, m
Edward Gregory. 2p . © PPX Pub .
Co., a division of PPX Enterprises,
Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9706.


Gloomy Monday

Composer: Curtis Knight?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas?
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory?
Vocals: Curtis Knight

Takes 1 & 2
Two out-takes without any overdubs, only released on bootleg. These are preceded by the famous "You Can't Use My Name" conversation when Jimi tells Ed Chalpin that he can't use his name on the records and Ed replies "I won't, don't worry". The vocals are clearly being cut live along with the basic track. Listen to on YouTube.

Take 3
Several different mixes exist of this third take.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

GLOOMY MONDAY; w & m Curtis Knight.
2 p. © PPX Pub. Co., a division of
PPX Enterprises, Inc.; 16Aug67 ;
EU10283.

Hush Now  (AKA LEVEL)
Composer: Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Knight
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Unknown
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

Basically a jam around the riff of "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice".

Take 1
Incomplete, only available as an instrumental mix

Take 2
Available both in an instrumental and a vocal mix with vocals overdubbed by Curtis.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

HUSH NOW; w & m Curtis Knight. 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 9Aug67; EU8976.

LEVEL; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX Pub.
Co., a division of PPX Enterprises,
Inc.; 15Sep67; EU14697.


Happy Birthday / Love Love

Composer: Jimi Hendrix?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio 76, New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Tambourine: Curtis Knight?
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

Take 1 - aka "Happy Birthday"
"Happy Birthday" seems to be a different take of the "Love Love" -jam. Only available as vocal mixes. There is an almost instrumental mix of the track which still has faintly audible vocals. This suggests that there is leakage from the vocals on the multitrack that can't be mixed out which in turn means the vocals were probably recorded live.

Take 2 - aka "Love Love"
Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registrations 2:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY; m Curtis Knight 2 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9709.

LOVE, LOVE; w & m Curtis Knight 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67;
EU10134.


UNIDENTIFIED TRACKS
The following three songs were registered for copyright in 1967 but do not seem to circulate in any form. One of these, "Ooh-ah", was co-composed by Jimi Hendrix:

OOH-AH; w & m Jimi Hendrix & Curtis
Knight. 2 p. © PPX Pub. Co., a div .
of PPX Enterprises, Inc.; 18Aug67 ;
EU10730.

"Ooh-ah" could be a familiar title under a different name or an unreleased 1967 jam edit but what's note worthy about this one is that it gives partial composing credits to Jimi. There isn't a single other Ed Chalpin produced / registered track that gives Jimi writing credits so this song would appear to be a genuine Jimi Hendrix & Curtis Knight co-composition (or a Jimi solo composition with co-credit to Curtis added later). Either way it could be an unreleased proper song with lyrics. One possibility is that it could be a 1965 demo recording, please see the "1965 studio recordings" -section.

N0.1; m Curtis Knight. 1 p. © PPX
Pub. Co., a division of PPX Enter-
prises, Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9711.

"No. 1" could be a Curtis Knight solo recording.

SUDDENLY; w & m Curtis Knight. 2 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a div. of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 18Aug67; EU10728.

"Suddenly" very likely is a Curtis Knight solo recording as a previous registration from March 1965 (before Jimi & Curtis met) exists:

SUDDENLY; w & m Curtis Knight. 2 p
© RSVP Music, Inc.; 10Mar65 ; EU871253.




SOURCES:
1 Jimi's PPX court case deposition interview recorded 7 March 1968 in New York City, partially reproduced in Univibes issue #35
2 Library of Congress Copyright Office
Catalog of Copyright Entries 1967 Music July-Dec 3D Ser Vol 21 Pt 5