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CURTIS KNIGHT (& THE SQUIRES)


1967 Studio Recordings

These recordings were done over two days, 17 July & 8 August 1967, when for reasons never satisfactorily explained Hendrix returned to Studio "76" TWICE in spite of an ongoing breach of contract law suit initiated by Ed Chalpin / PPX. All track titles except "Ballad Of Jimmy", "I Ain't Taking Care of No Business" (aka "No Business") & "Gloomy Monday" are fictitious, the rest of the tracks are just segments of jam sessions that were given titles when Curtis Knight overdubbed vocals on them in 1967/ 1968.

Practically all of the reliable date & personnel information about these sessions comes from Jimi's 7 March 1968 PPX court case examination. Unfortunately Jimi mixes the two sessions up (and several pages of the transcript are missing), so it's not always clear which session he's talking about at any given moment. He says there was a guitar player, who's last name possibly was "Shears", present in at least one of the sessions, and that he himself also played 12-string acoustic on occasion.

Jimi maintains that he played bass and didn't do any overdubs during the 17 July 1967 jam session, and this is backed up by the recordings & pictures that we have. The people present match the instruments audible (see pictures) and there are no overdubs (by Jimi) to be heard. It is probable that the unknown person visible in the pictures is the guitar player that Jimi recalled was called "Shears", but this is unconfirmed.

Ad Tingle ID'd the strange looking instrument that "Shears" can be seen playing in the pictures from the 17th of July session. It's a Danelectro Bellzouki 12-string semi-hollow body electric guitar (model 7020). This is very likely the instrument that can be heard on the recordings and that Jimi says he also played during the course of the 1967 sessions. You can hear and see this model being played on YouTube:

About the 8 August 1967 session Jimi says that he repeatedly told Ed Chalpin that he can't use Jimi's name for the recordings, again this is confirmed by available recordings. During this second session Jimi played guitar, "sometimes lead and I played sometimes melody and twelve string, I think, sometimes" 1.


1. Session - 17 JuLY 1967

Day Tripper / Future Trip / Flashing
Composer ("Day Tripper"): John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Composer ("Future Trip / Flashing"): unknown
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Electric 12-string guitar: "Shears"
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Tambourine: Curtis Knight?
Vocals: Curtis Knight (1967 / 1968 overdub)

A long jam based on the "Day Tripper" -riff, cut in three pieces for the various lp releases, hence the three different titles. Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes. The instrumental mix has some audible leakage from the vocals. The longest available recording seems to be complete, the end fades out but it sounds like the band stopped playing at that point.

The 1967 copyright registrations 2, there of course is no registration available for "Day Tripper" as it was an already existing Beatles song, the registrations for the other two tracks are as follows (the Ed Chalpin -credits for the music are "questionable"):

FUTURE TRIP; w & m Ed Chalpin. 2 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 12Sep67; EU14244

FLASHING; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX
Pub. Co., a division of PPX Enter-
prises, Inc.; 12Sep67 ; EU14245.


GET THAT FEELING
Composers: Curtis Knight, Edward Gregory
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown 
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Electric 12-string guitar: "Shears"
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Vocals: Curtis Knight (1967 overdub)

Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

GET THAT FEELING; w Curtis Knight, m 
Edward Gregory. 2p . © PPX Pub . 
Co., a division of PPX Enterprises,
Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9706.


Love Love (AKA Happy Birthday)
Composer: Jimi Hendrix?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Tambourine: Curtis Knight?
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Vocals: Curtis Knight (1968 overdub)

It seems that Jimi didn´t bring a guitar along to the jam session, only the 8-string Hagstrom bass that can be seen in the pictures. He can be seen holding a guitar in just one of the photos taken during the jam session. But as the guitar strap is not over his shoulder even though he is standing up this may have been just a posed shot and not taken when Jimi was actually playing. The guitar may or may not be the only that he plays on "Love Love" & "Hush Now".

Take 1 - aka "Happy Birthday"
"Happy Birthday" is a different take of the "Love Love" -jam with overdubbed vocals by Curtis. Only available as vocal mixes. There is an almost instrumental mix of the track which still has faintly audible vocals.

Take 2 - aka "Love Love"
Available in both vocal & instrumental mixes.

The 1967 copyright registrations 2:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY; m Curtis Knight 2 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9709.

LOVE, LOVE; w & m Curtis Knight 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67;
EU10134.


Hush Now  (AKA LEVEL)
Composers: Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Knight
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Guitar (with wah-wah): Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Unknown
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Vocals: Curtis Knight (1967 overdub)

Basically a jam around the riff of "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice". The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded the master take of "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" in New York City two days later on the 19th of July.

The booklet of the cd issue of No Business on Dagger Records reproduced a tape box from a vocal overdub / mixing session for "Hush Now" and "Love Love". The reel is dated 31 July 1967. You can`t overdub tracks that haven`t been recorded yet so if the date on the reel is correct then the two tracks must have been recorded 17 July 1967. 4

Take 1
Incomplete, only available as an instrumental mix

Take 2
Available both in an instrumental and a vocal mix with vocals overdubbed by Curtis.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

HUSH NOW; w & m Curtis Knight. 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 9Aug67; EU8976.

LEVEL; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX Pub.
Co., a division of PPX Enterprises,
Inc.; 15Sep67; EU14697.

I Ain't Taking Care of No Business (aka No Business)
Composer: Jimi Hendrix
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Electric 12-string guitar: "Shears"
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Vocals: Curtis Knight

Jimi signed a publishing contract with R.S.V.P. MUSIC, INC for "I Ain't Taking Care of No Business" on the 30th of March 1966. The contract was offered for sale by Lelands.com in 2002. He's credited as the sole composer for the song. A demo version of the track was recorded in 1965 but there is no known 1965/1966 studio version.

The track was later recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience during sessions for Axis: Bold As Love in May 1967.

According to Jimi, speaking of the 1967 PPX sessions:
"There was one time that Curtis started playing this song - I think it was No Business - and like he was playing an old version of it, some demo version or something, I don't know. And we were playing with it. But that old version was made like, you know, a while back" 1.

Available both in vocal & instrumental mixes. The instrumental mix of the track still has faintly audible vocals. This suggests that there is leakage from the vocals on the multitrack that can't be mixed out. Curtis can be seen behind a vocal mic in the pictures from the session, and he can also be seen holding what looks like a writing pad (with lyrics?).

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

NO BUSINESS; m Curtis Knight. 1 p.
© PPX Pub. Co., a division of PPX
Enterprises, Inc.; 14Aug67; EU9707.


Odd Ball

Composer: Unknown
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 17 July 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Electric 12-string guitar:  "Shears"
Fuzz bass: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory

Only available as an instrumental mix. The last part of the jam, led by "Shears", sounds like an existing song but I can't recognize the tune that the band is playing. The available recording sounds like an incomplete segment of a jam as it seems to cut in and out.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

ODD BALL; m Ed Chalpin. 1 p. © PPX
Pub. Co., a division of PPX Enter-
prises, Inc.; 15Sep67; EU14698.


2. Session - 8 AUGUST 1967

Ballad Of Jimmy (AKA MY BEST FRIEND)
Composer: Curtis Knight?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas
Acoustic guitar: Unknown
Guitar (with wah wah): Jimi Hendrix
Guitar: Unknown
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory
Fuzz bass: Unknown
Tambourine: Curtis Knight?

A 1967 re-recording of the song, first done by the Squires during the 1966 RSVP sessions. This could very well be the song that Jimi mentions in his court deposition as being recorded on the 8th of August 1967, referring to it as "an old song" and "so funny and so diabolical" 1.

The 1966 recording session out-takes (as released on No Business) confirm that the track was originally recorded under the title "Ballad Of Jimmy". Two sets of lyrics for the song exist, the original 1965 lyrics about Jimi stealing Curtis's girlfriend and dying in a car accident, and the 1970 version with re-done lyrics cashing in on Jimi's death where Curtis tells us how Jimi supposedly foresaw his own demise.

The version with the new lyrics was released as a single all over the world in 1970. A single released in Germany even included a "reproduction" Studio "76" tape log that supposedly of  the master tape of the original "Ballad Of Jimmy" recording session. It was offered as proof that Jimi foresaw his own death as the session date on the sheet was "9/18 1965" and the new lyrics included the line "five years this he said, he's not gone, he's just dead". 3

The big problem here is that both Curtis Knight and Ed Chalpin have on many occasions stated that the first song Jimi recorded with Curtis Knight was "How Would You Feel" and the recording session took place on the 6th of October 1965, a day after Curtis and Jimi first met. Additionally the version with the original "car crash" -lyrics had already been released in 1968.

There are also two instrumental mixes available, on both of these very faint vocals can be heard suggesting that the vocals were cut "live" with the band in the same room with leakage remaining on the multitracks that can't be mixed out. The vocal that can be faintly heard is the one about Jimi stealing Curtis's girlfriend proving those to be the original lyrics as recorded in 1967.

Instrumental Mix 1 - Ballad Of Jimi (1)
The drums are mixed hard left and the bass hard right, the guitar is relatively low in the mix.
Available on: Lp "The Legends Of Rock" (Strand 6.28530)

Instrumental Mix 2 - Ballad Of Jimi (6)
The drums and bass are mixed closer to center, the guitar part is high in the mix.
Available on: Cd "Ballad Of Jimi" (SPV 085-44682)

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

THE BALLAD OF JIMI; w & m Curtis
Knight. 2 p. © PPX Pub. Co., a
division of PPX Enterprises, Inc.;
14Aug67; EU9708.


Gloomy Monday

Composer: Curtis Knight?
Producer: Ed Chalpin
Recorded at: Studio "76", New York City
Engineer: unknown
Date: 8 August 1967
Drums: Ray Lucas?
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Ed "Bugs" Gregory?
Vocals: Curtis Knight

Takes 1 & 2
Two out-takes without any overdubs, only released on bootleg. These are preceded by the famous "You Can't Use My Name" conversation when Jimi tells Ed Chalpin that he can't use his name on the records and Ed replies "I won't, don't worry". The vocals are clearly being cut live along with the basic track. You can listen to the conversation on YouTube.

Take 3
Several different mixes exist of this third take.

The 1967 copyright registration 2:

GLOOMY MONDAY; w & m Curtis Knight.
2 p. © PPX Pub. Co., a division of
PPX Enterprises, Inc.; 16Aug67 ;
EU10283.






SOURCES:
1 Jimi's PPX court case "Examination Before Trial" given 7 March 1968 in New York City, partially reproduced in Univibes issue #35

2 Library of Congress Copyright Office
Catalog of Copyright Entries 1967 Music July-Dec 3D Ser Vol 21 Pt 5

3 the sheet of paper itself that the information has been written on is genuine. It is a generic session log sheet used by Studio "76", as confirmed by an identical authentic log reproduced in the booklet for the 2020 "No Business" Dagger Records -cd. The filled in information might also be genuine apart from the added date, but this clearly is NOT a log for an original 1965 master tape. Several of the tracks listed were recorded in 1967, so it`s at best a log for a 1967/1968 mixing session and in the worst case completely fabricated. The back of the sleeve of the 45 includes a long story (in German) about the song having the original 1965 lyrics (which it does not) that were censored because of drug references (which they weren`t) and that the included log sheet proves the recording date (which it doesn`t).

And finally, the log sheet includes notation of the instruments recorded on each track of the multitrack master tape. Two takes of "My Best Friend" aka "Ballad Of Jimmy" are listed and both are noted to include a "wow guitar" -track. Which clearly means a guitar part played with a wah wah pedal, an effect that was not available in 1965 but which Jimi did use during the 1967 sessions. So the log sheet is definitely NOT a reproduction of an original log for a 1965 recording session.

4 The liner notes for the lp issue of No Business state that ""Gloomy Monday," "Hush Now," and "Love, Love" recorded at Studio 76 on August 8, 1967". This can`t be correct for "Hush Now" and "Love Love" since they were being worked on at Studio "76" on 31 July 1967.