Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 216
Tues. Sept. 17, 2013

“Voodoo Chile”
The Jimi Hendrix Experience


“♫ I
taste the
from a
flower named

While many Jimi Hendrix historians believe that “Chile” was inspired by the night the guitarist witnessed an actually Voodoo ceremony while touring as a teenager in the deep south, I believe the best and most accurate depiction of “Voodoo Chile” comes from John Parry’s 33 1/3 tome on Electric Ladyland when the author described Hendrix’s explosive epic as “interstellar hootchie kootchie.” “Voodoo Chile” is more an incantation of the carnal art of intercourse, than the syncretic religion originally practiced in Haiti. I would agree that voodoo might have been the initial spark that inspired Jimi to record this classic, the songwriting/guitar genius that is Hendrix took the metaphysical concept two spirits joining together as the perfect analogy for his two naked souls becoming one within the act of orgasm.

In his book, Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky, with this eloquently written passage, author David Henderson perfectly described “Voodoo Chile” as, “Jimi explores his resultant powers. He can be impossible numbers of miles away and yet project himself in the same room as his love. His magic Sagittarian arrows transverse light-years from Jupiter’s methane sea to earthly bedrooms and, as those arrows are made of pure desire, he can enchant from other worlds. He can make love to a woman in her sleep and she will enjoy it because, in putting it mildly, he is such an amazing lover she would think she was “losing” her mind.”

While listening to “Chile” think of this quote Jimi gave when he talked about his sensualistic philosophy behind the songs he and his band created— “We plan for our sound to go inside the soul of somebody.” The experience of “Voodoo” Hendrix plays each riff like he’s intricately fingering, spreading her strings with his each willing guitar licks over his eager lover. The sensual peak between two entwined lovers can be viewed to be similar as the voodoo ceremony that Hendrix witnessed as a teenager but more personal in nature as both bodies, minds and souls become enraptured within each other while glimpsing spiritual ecstasy within this very intimate moment of climax.

Engineer Eddie Kramer talked about the instance Hendrix recorded “Chile” in book, Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts and Sessions, he collaborated with John McDermott and Hendrix’s bassist Billy Cox when he said, “The reason the sound was so open was that Jimi was in the room live, playing guitar at the same time in his vocal microphone. The track had such great atmosphere and tremendous dynamics; it went from nothing to full blast.” In Kramer’s description you can see how Hendrix was trying to bring the act of carnal climax to life within the lusty confines of “Voodoo Chile.”

Electric Ladyland’s most infamous “Voodoo” song “Chile,” is epic in length because it brings to life Hendrix’s elongated idea of love making in epic scope. It’s as if every minute Jimi is slowly seducing his lover, undressing her with layer upon layer of delicately placed guitar riffs, is his way, musically of showing the proper the way to pleasure his partner within the structure of a deliberate paced blues number that climaxes in one of the most memorable guitar crescendos in all Hendrix’s legendary song canon.

One of Jimi’s most legendary compositions “Here My Train A Comin’” was Hendrix’s lyrical metaphor for his waiting for railroad to take him down his road of success. Kramer once perfectly described “Train,” as the song that, “[…] shows a complete at-oneness with his instrument. Jimi had a thought in his mind, and in a nanosecond it gets through his body, through his heart, through his arms, through the fingers, onto the guitar.” If “Here My Train” was foreplay, than “Voodoo Chile” is the beautiful orgasm coming alive within the gloriously layered unison between Hendrix and his electric guitar chords.

Jimi Hendrix once said, “A lot of people think that what I do with my guitar is vulgar. I don’t think it’s vulgar sex. I don’t consider it anything like that. It’s a spontaneous action on my part and a fluid thing. It’s not an act, but a state of being at the time I’m doing it. My music, my instrument, my sound, my body — are all one action with my mind. What people get from what I do is their scene. It’s in the eye of the beholder.” Sometimes it’s not what you hear but how you feel when Jimi’s “Voodoo Chile” captures your inner essence.

Enough erotic conjecture; are you ready to fully re-experience Jimi Hendrix’s most carnally inspired creation? Turn down the lights, spark some candles and let your inhibitions be taken over by the seductive guitar licks of Jimi Hendrix’s interstellar hootchie kootchie classic. Oozing with riffs of climatic sensuality, you will never forget the seductive sensation of this electrically charged euphemism epic that is “Voodoo Child.”