6 Dec 2011

Hey Joe, again

I must say that I have been inspired to make this entry by a French colleague called Jacques Berthomeau, who made my day last Sunday by posting a series of versions of this song which  was of course made famous by the one and only Jimi Hendrix when Polydor (I think it was) brought it out as a single back in 1966.

If a certain Billy Roberts is often credited with writing it, nothing is less sure. He was probably the first to record it though, in 1962. Then Tim Rose made a version in 1965 that inspired Hendrix when he came to England to start his meteoric career which had never really taken off in the USA until then.

I remember the time well, as I was a worker/student in London in those years. I heard Hendrix play this, his only hit at the time, amidst a mind-blowing and ear-splitting set (the room was small and Hendrix just didn't play quietly) at the Manor House club above the eponymous pub in Tottenham. I can still feel the blast in my solar-plexus!

Many other singers and bands have since made versions of Hey Joe: the Byrds, The Yardbirds, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (a parody version, naturally), Patti Smith (her first single), and so on. But I think my favourite, after the Hendrix version, is this Latino one by the great Willy Deville.

Willy Deville - Hey Joe par cladstrife


  1. Although I’m so much younger than you – not the looks – we seem to have similar ears.
    I went to see Mink De Ville play the Forest National in Brussels so many years ago (early ’90 ies, I guess). I’m the lucky owner of Le Chat Bleu, Cabretta and Return to Magenta in CD version, far better sound than bloody MP3 on the web, and a magnificent Best of where you find an example of his Hey Joe.
    I always found him vulgar and ugly, but a very intriguing musician and a GREAT performer.
    Found out only recently he’d died of pancreas cancer two years ago: a wine-maker cannot always keep up-to-date.
    Think my favorite of his is still Demasiado Corazon.

  2. Luc, I quite agree about the crass vulgarity of the man known as Willy Deville, as well as his qualities as a conceptor/stylist of music and performer.
    How are this year's wines looking?

  3. Wines are looking fine.
    A wonderful carignan, to become “La Loute 2011”, year of the Jubilee.
    A new “Cuvée du Roc Blanc” (grenache + carignan from very dry soils) with splendid tannins. No Eglise, no Majou, no Casot. Some varietal wines for Belgian “traiteurs” (caterers of some quality) and a little bit of rosé (nice, easy going, 11 vol %, quaffing) and an abundant (in excess of 20 hl !) 100 % macabeu white.
    Fortified stuff as well.
    All in all over 130 hl ... for just over 10 ha. We’re making some progress !
    Still paying a toll to last year’s hail + a wrong pruning decision of mine. In fact, I harvested little more than 9 ha, which makes my figures even more impressive.