Hendrix Tribute Album: An All-Star Experience

New tribute record features talents of Jeff Beck, Slash, Clapton and more

November 11, 1993
'Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix'
'Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix'
Warner Bros.

Eric Clapton, Slash, Jeff Beck, Spin Doctors and members of Pearl Jam are some of the artists contributing to a Jimi Hendrix tribute album due out Nov. 9 on Warner Bros. Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix is an ambitious undertaking celebrating the songwriting of one of rock's most influential guitarists. Over a year in the making, the album finds a diverse group of artists, ranging from Belly to Buddy Guy, covering some of Hendrix's best songs.

"It's been kind of a dream come true," says Warner Senior Vice President Jeff Gold, a fanatical Hendrix fan who is an executive producer of the album, along with Hendrix biographer John McDermott and producer Eddie Kramer (who engineered such classic Hendrix albums as Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland).

Some of the album's highlights include Clapton doing "Stone Free" backed by Nile Rodgers and his former Chic comrades, Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson; Slash, Paul Rodgers and the reunited Band of Gypsys rhythm section (drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox) performing "I Don't Live Today"; Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy and former Chuck Berry pianoman Johnnie Johnson reinventing "Red House"; and Jeff Beck and Seal rocking through "Manic Depression."

"It just blows me out that we got two of the Yardbirds' guitarists on the album," says Gold. "You know, Clapton was out tooting Hendrix's horn before he even had his first single released."

Also included on the album are versions of "Spanish Castle Magic" by the Spin Doctors, "Purple Haze" by the Cure, "Crosstown Traffic" by Living Colour, "You Got Me Floatin'" by P.M. Dawn, "Are You Experienced?" by Belly, "Fire" by Nigel Kennedy, "Bold As Love" by the Pretenders, "Third Stone From the Sun" by Pat Metheny, "Hey, Joe" (the only non-Hendrix composition) by Ice-T's Body Count and "Hey, Baby" by Cookie, a studio group consisting of Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Mike McCready and Soundgarden singer-guitarist Chris Cornell and drummer Matt Cameron.

All of the musicians who contributed tracks are confirmed Hendrix fans: Slash stayed up all night working on his guitar overdubs for "I Don't Live Today," while Beck arranged to work at Olympic Studios, where Hendrix recorded his first two albums.

"I had this weird deja vu feeling," says Kramer, who produced the Beck-Seal collaboration. "The historical lineage was the reason Jeff wanted to record there. And Seal brought along a lot of friends, girls dressed in '60s garb. It felt like we'd gone back 20 years."

Gold says plans are being made for a Hendrix tribute concert, featuring artists who appear on the album. At press time, no artists had been contracted, but Gold has hopes that the concert will be scheduled for the end of November in New York City, Los Angeles or Seattle. "We're just in the preliminary talking stages," he cautions. "There's about a 60-percent chance it will happen."

Half of the artist royalties from the album will be donated to a variety of charities, including the United Negro College Fund (for scholarships in Hendrix's name, to be awarded to students attending African-American colleges). "It's a labor of love," says Gold. "Yeah, we'll make money on it, but it's a bunch of people who really care about this music and are proselytizing about it."

This story is from the November 11th, 1993 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »