In some ways, Jimi Hendrix is more character than man. It’s a superpower from afar, from another planet where melody is a language and riffs can be summoned beyond the confines of six strings. Otherwise, how to reconcile the greatest guitarist in history and his unequaled talents?
Well, this mythologized notion is one that even humble Hendrix would have relished himself. Alongside the melodies, he sought to weave a second love into his music: science fiction. Anthems like “Purple Haze” are directly derived from this colorful realm.
The anthem was born when the guitar-hero had a dream in which he was walking under the sea in a plume of purple mist, directly inspired by reading Philip José Farmer’s book. night of light. The book’s synopsis reads, “Once every seven years, a world orbiting a binary star is bathed in bizarre radiation that rearranges physical reality.” This bizarre radiation is described in the book as a “purple haze”.
Thus, Hendrix was already blending his own otherworldly influences and spooky experiences into the song. However, there was one event that was too grand and awesome to fit into a six-minute track. And as such, Hendrix took care of a screenplay. The film would be called Moon dust, and it would tell the story of how Hendrix encountered a UFO as a child.
One night, Hendrix was staring out the back window of his old Washington State home with his brother Leon. What they saw that night will stay with them forever. Mysterious lights hissed in the sky and confused them both. With Hendrix being such a huge fan of Flash Gordon that he insisted on being called Buster Crabbe, this sci-fi apparition was manna from heaven.
Naturally, he moved on from that point on, but his impact never left him in a creative sense. He’s always been obsessed with going the extra mile with his music and tapping into a space beyond the norm. He sought to do much the same with the script which unfortunately never came to fruition, Moon dust.
The handwritten script was scribbled by Hendrix between 1969 and 1970. In a rock opera that combined the powerful effects of rock ‘n’ roll music with alien encounters, the truly original work had to be a film like no other. Featuring scenes where an “innocent little girl” hears a rock band for the first time while carefully sheltering behind the rock and envisioning the music as dragons and mystical beasts battling through the air, the whimsical storyline offers a great insight into the mind of Hendrix himself.
During the 38-page journey, lights flash across eerie fields, Arabian tents display mystical connections, and a host of other stratospheric developments unfold. Sadly, however, Hendrix would pass away before he could expand his vision beyond the bare bones of his imaginative thoughts. Nonetheless, it shines a light on the innocence and adventure that colored his rock with a healthy sense of depth that often gets lost amid high-flying tales of his harrowing life.
In what some might consider a mystical trend, Hendrix isn’t alone when it comes to megastars witnessing bright lights in the night sky – he joins Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Black Francis, Lemmy, Sun Ra, Keith Richards and more citing celestial observations. In fact, there is even a community that has wondered if any messages were transmitted in the music of these numina by the Martians they encountered.
Follow Far Out Magazine on our social networks, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The most popular