Brian Auger recalls rejecting Jimi Hendrix twice
British rock and jazz legend Brian Auger has recalled the two times he refused to work with Jimi Hendrix, saying he doesn’t regret his decisions.
Auger was already a household name on the London music scene when Hendrix arrived from the United States in 1966. The American manager, former Animals bassist Chas Chandler, wanted him to join Auger’s band, Trinity, which included singer Julie Driscoll.
“I declined because I was happy to have Julie on vocals and Vic Briggs on guitar,” Auger said. The Guardian in a recent interview. “So Chas asked if his guy could sit down with the band – we were playing at the Cromwellian, a very fancy nightclub – and I said I’d make a decision once I met him.” When Hendrix seemed like “a nice guy, quite shy”, Auger let him participate in the group’s second set. “As the Cromwellian was one of the few places where you could legally drink after hours, it was packed with musicians. When Jimi started playing, boy, he almost set the club on fire, and Eric Clapton turned unbelievably pale!
As Hendrix and Auger followed separate career paths, they met again in the United States in 1970. “His skin tone – and his girlfriend’s – was gray, really unhealthy looking,” said Auger about his friend. “He asked me to stay and help him with a recording project – his Electric Ladyland studio was under construction at the time. Unfortunately, I had to refuse. I had all these dates booked that I couldn’t couldn’t cancel. Then he took that sheet of money out of his pocket, took a puff and offered it to me. I declined, saying, ‘I don’t do any of that. Jimi said, ‘Brian , I should have more people like you around me.’ »
Auger has had some ups and downs in his career, and he just released an archival compilation after winning a legal battle for ownership of his catalog. “Today my son is my drummer and my daughter is my vocalist,” he said. “It’s a family affair, and we love going out and keeping the music alive.”
Top 100 Rock Albums of the 60s
Here is a chronological overview of the 100 best rock albums of the 60s.