From time to time, I come across some crazy old documents and pictures as I'm walking through the Haze Guitars Archive Rooms. As I do, I’ll share some with you. Maybe you’ll find these entertaining.
Back in the ‘60s, A&R men (and it was always men, in those days) had quotas to fill. The folk revival was beginning to wane a little and, as Dylan appalled fans at Newport by playing with an electric band, the young, record-buying public were going nuts for a new, blues-inspired, ‘electric’ music. Never quite cutting-edge, the Dylan fans.
One day, as I repaired a guitar for a popular beat-combo of the time, their record company exec heard me play a few bars of one of my own songs. Before I knew it, I was in a studio trying to persuade a producer that backmasking a message in the middle-eight was a good idea.
Anyway, twenty six hours later, we had a couple of songs on tape. Next thing you know, there’s a single and Luthier’s Blues hit the stores.
Unfortunately, Brian Jones had left in a bunch of guitars for refrets and I was unable to tour to promote the single. It did relatively poorly although you might still catch it occasionally if your AM radio receiver can pick up WKZY (The Krazy Wind) out of Des Moines — I think the night-time jock likes me.
So, it’s a couple of years later. I’m chatting with Jimi and the Experience guys. I was explaining that, if he keeps insisting on setting his guitars on fire, there might be a longer turnaround for setups.
Chas Chandler is going through my record collection and finds a few unsold copies of Luthier’s Blues. He pops one on the turntable. Needless to say, Jimi and the boys were impressed but it was the B-Side that really caught Jimi’s ear.
Some negotiation with Chas and, next thing you know, Jimi’s recorded his own version of it. He changed the title a little but he kept the Haze reference at least.
I should have seen some money from that — Noel Redding said he’d collect royalties for me but he was always busy when I phoned looking for him.