Jimi Hendrix and Tony Bongiovi

Jimi Hendrix is by far one of the most loved guitarist/songwriters of his time. My boss, Tony Bongiovi worked with him very early in Tony’s career. You will also notice that Stephen Stills is also in this photo. I spoke with Tony Bongiovi about Jimi Hendrix and this photo. Tony had worked with Jimi Hendrix on many things and he was not quite remembering this particular event. He did estimate that he was about 20 years old in the photo. Tony mentioned it was most likely about four in the morning. Man, what I would give to be a fly on the wall at some of these sessions! So, after our brief conversation I decided to do some digging. I found a track of Jimi Hendrix’s that Tony may have produced or engineered called, “My Friend”. Take a listen below.

This song was released as part of the “First Rays Of The New Rising Sun” album. You will see in the credits listed on Discogs dot com that Tony Bongiovi engineered many tracks on this record. Click here to check out the album credits. “My Friend” is track number 11 and it lists Stephen Stills as the Piano Player. So one can only imagine that this is why everyone is in the same room together here.

Tony Bongiovi’s career in Audio is one of calculation and focus. During our brief call I made a comment to the effect of how amazing the experience of working with Jimi Hendrix and others (like Aerosmith and Ozzy) must have been. He said, “These sessions were long and grueling and I was just doing my job.” I think many people would have been starstruck and unable to focus around such legends. It made me think of the first thing I worked on with Tony. My band, Mindlikewater was recording our sophomore album, Curving Toward The Sun. I knew less about Tony then. There was no denying that every suggestion he made for us to do in the studio ended up being what went to tape. So glad I am a part of his recording history. Even happier to be a part of his company, Bongiovi Acoustics. I wonder what Jimi Hendrix would say about these sessions and this photo? I wonder how he would feel about audio now? (MP3, the digital era, etc.) Maybe Stephen Stills will chime in one day? Time will tell.

*Thanks to Maurice for sending this photo to us. We do not own the photo. Just sharing it with all of you.

-Joseph Beaty

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