Brian Chatton Recalls Jimi Hendrix’s Intimidating Offer To Speak To Him Through His Guitar

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Keyboardist, songwriter, and author Brian Chatton recently joined Ray Shasho’s Interviewing The Legends. During the conversation, Chatton remembered when Jimi Hendrix threatened him with his look and told him he would speak to him using his guitar.

When Jimi Hendrix was young, he was caught riding in stolen cars. He chose to join the Army instead of prison and enlisted on May 31, 1961. However, Hendrix had no interest in the Army and neglected his duties, playing his guitar instead. In the following years, the guitarist stated that he disliked being in the Army.

According to some sources, a medical officer in the Army told Hendrix that he could be discharged if he admitted having homosexual desires for an unnamed soldier. Although no resources mention this incident, it seems Brian Chatton believes this is true.

Speaking to Ray Shasho in a recent interview, Brian Chatton said Hendrix was a conscientious objector, and he made out that he was homosexual so that he wouldn’t have to fight. According to Chatton, Hendrix thought he shouldn’t be seen with a homosexual guy after he got out of the Army.

Chatton recalled that he was with the Marquee Club’s manager Jack Barrie then, and Barrie was homosexual. So, Hendrix saw them together and thought Brian Chatton was gay. Then, he told Chatton he would speak to him with his guitar in an intimidating manner. Chatton said he didn’t believe this was a compliment and was shocked at that moment.

In the interview, Brian Chatton recalled the following about Hendrix’s remarks:

“This was because of Jack Barrie. Hendrix fans will probably say, ‘What a loaded bollocks!’ Apparently, he didn’t join the Army because he said he was a conscientious objector, and I think he made out that he was ‘The Other Persuasion,’ and because of that, he didn’t have to fight. So,  when he got out of the Army and the war was over, he thought, ‘I’m sure people know about this, so I’d better avoid being with anybody who’s of that persuasion.’

So, when I sat with the guy, I’m not gay, but my boyfriend was at the time, but anyway, he carried away a little from all that. He saw me with the gay guy, and he must have thought, ‘Oh, well, Brian must be gay. He would walk on. Well, it could be true. I feel as though when he pointed at me and said that ‘I’ll speak to you with my guitar,’ people said, ‘That’s a compliment, man.’ I don’t believe it to be. So I was a little shocked.”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.