Thursday Inspiration #165 Red House

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word baby, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Red House’, or by going with another song by Jimi Hendrix, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘Red House was written by Jimi Hendrix and this twelve-bar blues song was one of the first songs recorded in 1966 by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.  ‘Red House’ was released on the Jimi Hendrix Experience debut studio album Are You Experienced in 1967.  Jimi worked on this song in New York City when he was still a struggling musician.  He was staying in a friend’s apartment that was decorated almost completely red, which gave him the lyrical inspiration for this song.  In late May of 1966, Linda Keith a strikingly beautiful twenty-year-old model who had been the girlfriend of Keith Richards from 1963, when she was just seventeen, and had witnessed the birth of The Rolling Stones went with her model friends to The Cheetah Club in New York, where Jimi was playing with Curtis Knight and the Squires.  After the set she invited Jimi to join her and her friends at their table and when the last set and asked Jimi to join them back to an apartment at 63rd Street.

Linda and Jimi quickly became good friends however it was said not to be a romantic relationship, as she would play a lot of music for him at this apartment, because she felt that he needed it.  She said that she felt silly being a middle-class white girl playing the Blues for him, but Hendrix stayed at what they called the Red House apartment because of its red velvet walls and decor where the rent was paid by Keith Richards for days on end.  Linda played Bob Dylan’s new album Blonde on Blonde for Jimi and he liked that a lot.  She was convinced that he would become a big star, so she asked him why he was playing with Curtis Knight, and he said, “I don’t have my own guitar”.  Linda promised to get him a guitar and she also introduced him to LSD.

‘Red House’ was inspired by blues songs that Hendrix had been performing early in his career when he worked as a sideman.  Some music critics have said, “Red House’ is very similar to the song ‘California Night’, which Hendrix performed with Curtis Knight and the Squires at The Cheetah Club and that this was originally recorded by Albert King in 1961 as ‘Travelin’ to California’.  It is a slow blues tune that features lyrics that follow the common blues theme of a rambling man that lost his love.  Elmore James recorded ‘The Sky Is Crying’ in 1960 which contains, “I got a bad feeling my baby don’t love me no more” and this may have also been an inspiration for Hendrix.

This song is about a guy who has been away from his girl for over three months, and he decides to return home to see her, where she lives in a red house.  When he gets there, his key doesn’t work, and he realizes she doesn’t live there anymore, and she probably doesn’t love him anymore.  He decides that instead of wallowing in his misery, that he will pay a visit to her sister, because he thinks that he can get some loving from her.  Noel Redding the bassist in Experience, said that Hendrix told him this song was about his high school girlfriend Betty Jean Morgan, and Jimi’s brother, Leon also felt that it was about Betty Jean, and he said that she had a sister named Maddy.

There’s a red house over yonder,
That’s where my baby stays
Lord, there’s a red house over yonder
Lord, that’s where my baby stays
I ain’t been home to see my baby
In ninety nine and one half days

9 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #165 Red House

  1. Marc Bolan really had a way with words.

    Slim lined sheik faced
    Angel of the night
    Riding like a cowboy
    In the graveyard of the night

    New York witch in the dungeon
    Of the day
    I’m trying to write my novel
    But all you do is play

    Mince pie dog-eye
    Eagle on the wind
    I’m searching through this garbage
    Looking for a friend

    Your uncle with an alligator
    Chained to his leg
    Dangles you your freedom
    Then he offers you his bed

    It seems to me to dream
    Is something too wild
    In Max’s Kansas City
    You a belladonna child

    Riding on the highways
    On the gateways to the south
    You’re talking with your boots
    And you’re walking with your mouth

    Baby Boomerang
    Baby Boomerang
    You never spike a person
    But you always bang the whole gang
    Thank you ma’am

    Source: LyricFind

    Songwriters: Marc Bolan

    Baby Boomerang lyrics © Spirit Music Group

    Liked by 2 people

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