Sound guys are a very important component of live shows, however, they are easily overlooked or taken for granted. But maybe not in this instance. In a recent interview with Prog Magazine, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour casually revealed that he helped to mix Jimi Hendrix’s set at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970. It’s awesome to think that these two legends shared the same space, even if they didn’t meet face to face.
“They said ‘Help! Help!’ so I did.” Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour has revealed that he helped to mix the sound for Jimi Hendrix at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970.
In the interview Gilmour stated that he went to the festival as a simple punter, camping in a tent along with 600,000 others, a situation slightly difficult to envision. The Pink Floyd guitarist found one of his roadies, Peter Watts hanging out backstage where the whole crew was daunted with the task of mixing Hendrix’s live sound.
“I went backstage where our main roadie guy, Peter Watts, was trying to deal with all the mayhem, with Charlie Watkins of [amplifier company] WEM. … They were very nervous, they were going to have to mix Hendrix’s sound. I did some mixing stuff in those days and they said, ‘Help! Help!’ So I did.”
Gilmour then persisted to help mix Jimi Hendrix’s set, which included classics like Purple Haze and Dolly Dagger. The crew encountered a string of technical issues, like radio signals transmitting through Hendrix’s fuzz-loaded amp, but the team managed to fix the sound and the show went down in history as one of the best ever performances of the guitarist’s career.
“I helped mix the sound for Hendrix at the Isle of Wight in 1970, Not a lot of people know that,” said Gilmour. The performance was particularly significant as it was Hendrix’s last performance in the UK.
The full interview can be read in Prog Magazine’s latest issue.