My friend says to me “After work today I’m driving to Hartford to the Bushnell to buy the tickets. You want in?” Yeah, I wanted in. It was a lot of money - $3.75 - but when would Jimi Hendrix be twenty miles from my hometown ever again? My friend and I and the two other teen-aged boys who were getting tickets all worked at The Bristol Nurseries, digging chrysanthemums, hoeing and doing landscape work for $1.25 an hour. That’s what we got paid in 1967 for hard labor.
We were all blown away by Hendrix’s albums and this was going to be my first concert ever. The Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut is a beautiful, old building. The place was jam-packed and I felt a little overwhelmed. We finally got seated, the concert started and Jimi did not disappoint. He played all our favorite songs and then played some that weren’t even out on album yet. He wore green, velvet, bell-bottomed pants and he was, without a doubt, the most exotic man I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe I was seeing him with my own eyes.
The next day, the newspaper reported that he had been paid $30,000 for that performance, the most money that had ever been paid to a single performer for a single performance to that date. Back then, where I lived, you could buy a house for $30,000. That’s pretty good money for a two-hour performance.


 


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