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Ron Wood Remembers Jimi Hendrix’s Last Night

Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie Wood
Graham Wood, Hulton Archive / Keystone, Hulton Archives, Getty Images

Guitarist Ron Wood recently recalled his friendship with the late, great Jimi Hendrix. Speaking on their friendship recently on his show on Absolute Radio UK, Wood said  “Jimi was a really sweet, well-mannered boy, and I’m very honored to have shared a little space of time with him back in the late 1960s.”

Wood and Hendrix were actually roommates at one point, both men establishing themselves in the world of rock and roll: Hendrix as a transplanted American impressing all of swinging London with his extraordinary guitar playing , and Wood, first as guitarist with the raunchy Mod band The Birds and later, as bassist with The Jeff Beck Group.

Wood also spoke of Jimi’s insecurity about a certain aspect of his own talent, “I used to say, ‘How was the gig tonight?’ and he’d go, ‘Oh, the guitar was okay, man, but my voice… I really can’t sing.’ I said, ‘Look, you’re not doing a bad job, man, don’t worry about it.’ I’d say, ‘Look, it’s all part of the side-effect. I think it goes great with the way you strum and play amazing guitar’.”

Wood was with Hendrix on his final, fateful night. “I was with him at Ronnie Scott’s the night he died. He was walking down the stairs with his arm around this girl and I said to him, ‘Jimi, say goodnight’ – and he didn’t turn round, I said, ‘Jimi, say goodnight!’ and he turned round really slowly, out of his brain, and just gave me a little stoned wave. And that was the last the world saw of him. Very sad, very sad departure.”

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