Jones in a purple haze
QUESTION What became of the songs Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix
JIMI HENDRIX and Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones were good friends, but recorded little together.
Jones flew from London to California to announce Hendrix’s June 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, proclaiming him to be: ‘The most exciting guitar player I’ve ever heard.’
In October 1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was at Olympic Studios in London finishing off their second album Axis: Bold As Love. Hendrix was encouraging his bass player Noel Redding to record his own material.
Jones played sitar on a rare version of Redding’s song There Ain’t Nothing Wrong (Little One), an inconsequential blues number that was raised above the average by Hendrix’s fine solo.
And Jones briefly appeared on one of Hendrix’s greatest tracks, his cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, which was recorded in Greenwich Village, New York.
As sound engineer Eddie Kramer recalled: ‘Brian Jones stumbled into Electric Lady Studios out of his mind and started to play the piano on All Along The Watchtower. The piece was totally out of tune.’
Hendrix was too polite to ask him to stop so had to wait for Jones to pass out before the track could be completed.
However, Hendrix later revealed Jones did feature on the track: ‘That’s him playing the thwack you hear at the end of each bar in the intro on an instrument called a vibraslap.’
Jones and Hendrix were members of the 27 Club, succumbing to the pitfalls of addiction and excess at the age of just 27, dying in 1969 and 1970 respectively.
Andrew Males, Malvern, Worcs.
QUESTION Who was J. D. Wetherspoon, after whom Tim Martin named his nationwide chain of pubs?
TIM MARTIN was inspired to become a publican by George Orwell, the author of 1984 and Animal Farm. In 1976, he read an article Orwell had written 30 years earlier describing his perfect pub, the fictitious The Moon Under Water, which was free of music, sold cheap and nutritious food and served draught beer in pewter tankards.
When Martin moved to Muswell Hill, North London, he could find only one pub serving real ale. It was for sale, so he bought it.
Opened on December 9, 1979, it was called Martin’s Free House, but was quickly renamed J. D Wetherspoons early in 1980.
J.D. was in honour of Jefferson Davis Hogg, the greedy, corrupt county commissioner in the 1980s U.S. TV series The Dukes Of Hazzard, of which Martin was a fan. Wetherspoon was the name of his geography teacher in New Zealand.
Martin said: ‘I decided to call it Wetherspoons not because the teacher in question had said I would never make it, as some people think, but because he was too nice a fellow to be running our particular class and he couldn’t control it.
‘So I thought, “I can’t control the pub, he couldn’t control the class, so I’ll name it after him”.’ Paul Wilson, Hayes, Middlesex.
QUESTION Who devised musical notes?
MUSICAL notation is the product of centuries of innovation and refinement.
Western musical theory begins around 500BC with Ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras discovering the numeric basis behind acoustics and intervals by measuring the vibrations of different lengths of lyre strings.
The Greeks also gave us the octave and the idea of a tetrachord — four notes of a musical scale.
The 6th-century Roman senator Boethius wrote the influential De Institutione Musica (The Principles Of Music), bringing the Pythagorean understanding of music to medieval Europe.
Pope Gregory, during whose papacy Gregorian chant was codified, established the first music school in Europe, the Schola Cantorum in Rome.
At this time, the melody of sacred music had to be memorised and was passed down orally from one generation to the next.
In 650 AD, St Isidore of Seville developed a system of writing music using a notation called neumes. Vocal chants would be written on parchment above which various squiggles and rectangles would be notated.
These neumes contained general information about the shape of a melody. This system could not record the pitches of a melody so singers remained reliant on oral memory when learning a song.
Around 1000AD, Italian music theorist Guido d’Arezzo created the accurate notation system that has become the basis of modern music.
Each of four rows, and the spaces between, corresponded to a musical pitch. D’Arezzo explained: ‘The sounds then are so arranged that each sound, however often it may be repeated in a melody, is always found in its own row.’
These became the five staff lines used today.
D’Arezzo pinned down pitches by giving them letter names, A, B, C, D, E, F and G, then starting over again at the octave. He added time signatures and invented solfege — the framework we know as ‘do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do’.
In 1250, Franco of Cologne invented a system of symbols for different note durations, which consisted of square or diamond black noteheads without stems.
In 1320, Philippe de Vitry built on this, creating a system of time signatures for minims, crotchets and semiquavers.
By the late 16th century, composers were still using D’Arezzo’s system of staves and notation, but there was not enough information for increasingly complex orchestration.
Barlines, dynamic markings and performance directions were introduced to complete the picture.