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THE COASTERS

Carl Gardner, the leader of the Coasters had this to say about Hendrix during an interview published on the website www.classicbands.com:

Q - I was going to ask you about the history leading up to The Coasters in just a bit. But first, did Jimi Hendrix once back The Coasters?

A - Yes, he did. But at the time, it wasn't so interesting with me and I paid him no mind 'cause he wasn't there yet. So, I don't really know what year, what date. Somebody's gotta know and I didn't. And I'm the boss and I didn't know. But, he did sing with us. He played behind us. He wasn't famous himself then. Then later on, he became famous and I said 'wow! This man played behind us?' He became very huge.

Q - You don't recall the name he using at the time do you? Was he going by the name Jimi Hendrix?

A - Well, he could've been Jimi Hendrix, but I can't remember...he was just starting out himself.

So Jimi may have played with the Coasters, unfortunately the possible time and place remain a mystery so one can only speculate:


STUDIO?
In early 1966 Jimi participated in a recording session for Ray Sharpe as a member of the King Curtis Orchestra (21 January 1966). Five days later King Curtis recorded with the Coasters, only this time the tape log lists Hugh McCracken as the 2nd guitar player alongside Cornell Dupree. So apparently Jimi either didn't make the session or had already left the band but there could have been rehearsals previous to the recording session. The session info is as follows:

26 January 1966
Atlantic Studios, New York City, New York
The Coasters (with King Curtis) record "She's A Yum Yum" & "Saturday Night Fish Fry", released as the A & B sides of Atco 45-6407. Personnel included:
King Curtis - tenor sax, Paul Griffin - piano, Cornell Dupree - guitar, Hugh McCracken - guitar, Chuck Rainey - bass, Ray Lucas - drums plus brass section, probably Melvin Lastie or Ernie Royal - trumpets, possibly Willie Outerbridge - baritone sax and Robert Asher - trombone 1

King Curtis records "Quicksand", personnel included: King Curtis - tenor sax, Paul Griffin - piano, Cornell Dupree - guitar, Hugh McCracken - guitar, Chuck Rainey - bass, Ray Lucas - drums. The track is released on the single "On Broadway / Quicksand" Atco 45-6406.


Live?

Another possibility is that Jimi appeared with the band live. Their paths may have crossed many times when Jimi played on various package tours or King Curtis may have had live dates in January backing the Coasters.

The band definitely had several gigs in the Los Angeles area in early 1965 when Jimi was in town with Little Richard. The Coasters were booked at least for these dates:

Monday 8 February 1965 The 49er, 10715 East Valley Boulevard, El Monte
(ad published in Pasadena Independent 5 February 1965)
Friday 26 March 1965 Tony Ferra's Red Velvet Club, 6507 Sunset, Hollywood
(ad published in Valley News 26 March 1965)
Saturday 27 March 1965 Tony Ferra's Red Velvet Club, 6507 Sunset, Hollywood
(ad published in Valley News 26 March 1965)
Monday 12 April 1965 Skol Lounge, 19616 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana
(ad published in Valley News 9 April 1965)




SOURCES
1 liner notes for the cd "Greatest Hits" by The Coasters (Sequel Records RSA CD 869) 1997