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CURTIS KNIGHT (& THE SQUIRES)


AVAILABLE Demos
These four demos first surfaced on the cd "The Authentic PPX Studio Recordings vol. 3", released by the German SPV label in 1996.

The tracks sound like home recordings, probably dating from early 1966 as "U.F.O." was recorded for RSVP in around June 1966. Interestingly each of the songs fades out, probably to hide an abrupt ending, and all 4 tracks together time under 10 minutes. So more material like this could well still exist, or at least a more complete version of this tape.

U.F.O.
Composer: Curtis Knight?
Recorded at: New York City
Date: 1966?
Vocals: Curtis Knight
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix

Available on:
Cd Jimi Hendrix: Ballad Of Jimi - The Authentic PPX Studio Recordings vol. 3 (SPV 085-44682)

Better Times Ahead
Composers: Curtis Knight?
Recorded at: New York City
Date: 1966?
Vocals: Curtis Knight
Harmony vocals: Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix

Available on:
Cd Jimi Hendrix: Ballad Of Jimi - The Authentic PPX Studio Recordings vol. 3 (SPV 085-44682)

Everybody Knew But Me
Composers: Curtis Knight?
Recorded at: New York City
Date: 1966?
Vocals: Curtis Knight
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix

Available on:
Cd Jimi Hendrix: Ballad Of Jimi - The Authentic PPX Studio Recordings vol. 3 (SPV 085-44682)

If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (aka If You Gonna Make A Fool Of Somebody)
Composer: Rudy Clark
Recorded at: New York City
Date: 1966?
Vocals: Curtis Knight
Harmony vocals: Jimi Hendrix?
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix?

First released by James Ray with The Hutch Davie Orchestra on the 45 "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody / It's Been A Drag" (Caprice 110) in 1961. Probably the most recent version at the time of recording of this demo was by Maxine Brown released as the 45 "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody / You're in Love" (Wand WND 1104) in November 1965 1. Wand and Curtis Knight / RSVP were both operating in the same building (see the 1650 Broadway -section), Curtis Knight making a demo of a song that Maxine Brown released could be a co-incidence or the demo might have had something to do with Wand. Of the four currently known demo recordings only "UFO" was later recorded by Curtis Knight so these demos might have originally been made to demonstrate songs / arrangements to other artists?

Available on:
Cd Jimi Hendrix: Ballad Of Jimi - The Authentic PPX Studio Recordings vol. 3 (SPV 085-44682)


UNAVAILABLE Demos

There is a big possibility that more demos exist / did exists. Jimi did speak of one recording that could have been a demo he and Curtis had made:

I Ain't Taking Care Of No Business
Composer: Jimi Hendrix
Recorded at: New York City
Date: March? 1966?

Jimi signed a publishing contract with R.S.V.P. MUSIC, INC for the track "I Ain't Taking Care of No Business" on 30 March 1966. The contract was offered for sale by Lelands.com in 2002. He's credited as the sole composer for the song. The track was later recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience during sessions for Axis: Bold As Love in May 1967, and again recorded during the July / August 1967 Curtis Knight sessions (released as "No Business").

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" 2.

So apparently there wasn't a proper studio recording made of the track in 1966, only a demo recording which might still exist somewhere. Curtis Knight had signed with RSVP in February and the RSVP publishing contract for the song was signed in March so the demo probably was made in or around March 1966. Since Curtis Knight & Ed Chalpin seem to have had the tape in their possession in 1967 it could be one of the home demos made by Jimi & Curtis.


SOURCES
1 the Maxine Brown single "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody / You're in Love" (Wand WND 1104) was reviewed in Billboard issue 27 November 1965.
2 Jimi's PPX court case deposition interview recorded 7 March 1968 in New York City, partially reproduced in Univibes issue #35