Billy Gibbons Recalls Jimi Hendrix’s Reaction When He Played ‘Purple Haze’ And ‘Foxy Lady’
ZZ Top icon Billy Gibbons spoke to Wyatt Wendels and remembered when his previous band performed opening acts for The Jimi Hendrix Experience during the late 60s. Gibbons also revealed what the late guitarist Jimi Hendrix said about his ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Foxy Lady’ performance.
Before becoming very famous as a ZZ Top member, Billy Gibbons played in a psychedelic blues-rock band, The Moving Sidewalks with Tom Moore, Don Summers, and Dan Mitchell in the mid-1960s. The band’s singles and their debut studio album entitled ‘Flash’ were very popular, which was a milestone for Gibbons’ career. The musician can’t still forget one of the memories from that time, even years after.
In addition, The Moving Sidewalks opened shows for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. During his recent interview, Gibbons stated that they were surprised to learn that they were supposed to play two Hendrix songs for their forty minutes supporting act. They performed Hendrix’s two hits, ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Foxy Lady,’ while Hendrix was watching them. Gibbons stated that he was nervous, but he saw the guitarist’s smile during their performance.
After their show, the late musician approached Billy Gibbons and reacted to his performance, saying, ‘You got a lot of nerve, man. I like you.’ Thus, it became an unforgettable moment for Gibbons, which he would tell for years. Considering the ZZ Top founder’s career full of success and popularity and being cited as one of the biggest influences by various musicians and bands, Hendrix was right about Gibbons.
Gibbons said in his interview that:
“Way back in 1968 when The Jimi Hendrix Experience was starting to make big waves, and somehow we were invited to join the tour, which was rather interesting in the fact that The Moving Sidewalks were contracted to join to deliver a good 40 minutes, preceding Jimi’s arrival. We knew 40 minutes, but it included two Jimi Hendrix songs.
The first night I looked to my left, the stage manager was tapping on his wristwatch, shouting more time to deliver. To my right in the shadows, there was Jimi Hendrix, arms folded, looking like ‘What are these guys doing?’ When we launched into ‘Foxy Lady’ following with ‘Purple Haze’ rather nervously, I should say but saw a smile coming across his face. When I came off the stage, he said, ‘You got a lot of nerve, man. I like you.'”
You can check out the interview and the songs below.