Live at Winterland Albums... Jimi Hendrix... Karl J. Geisler

October 10, 11, & 12, 1968
The Winterland, San Francisco

There are a number of legitimate and illegitimate versions of this material available. I have the Ryko release pictured on the right, as well as the Whoopy Cat 6CD set pictured above. Lucky for us, Alex Thayer posted the following Winterland discussion on hey-joe a while back:

This discussion covers the legitimate Ryko and Reprise releases that contain some Winterland material, plus a bit more.

First, I am doing this because it's so confusing when you're looking at the Whoopy Cat bootlegs and trying to decipher which songs you've already got. A bit of background here - Whoopy Cat saw fit to release the full three night's worth of concerts that Jimi did at Winterland on three CDs. I currently have Winterland Volume 2, though I'll probably get Vols. 1 and 3 real soon. That's when the second installment of this message will be written.

There are three main legitimate releases containing songs from the Winterland shows: Winterland, Winterland +3, and Jimi Hendrix Concerts. Winterland and W. +3 were released by Rykodisc in a box set with a T-shirt. Winterland is also available separately on CD and LP. Concerts was originally a Reprise CD/LP issue stateside, but has recently been remastered and rereleased by Castle Communications with an extra song (Foxy Lady from the Forum, 1969).

These discs were all "constructed" under the supervision of that musical visionary, Alan Douglas. I use the term "constructed" because the Winterland discs are really a collage, not a complete show at all. Here's the way Winterland and +3 from Ryko break down, chronologically:

Nothing from the 1st show, 10/10/68 (the first day)
Sunshine of Your Love - 2nd show, 10/10/68 (The spoken intro is NOT from this performance but rather from 10/12/68, 2nd show)
Killin' Floor - 2nd show, 10/10/68
Red House - 1st show, 10/11/68
Are You Experienced? - 1st show, 10/11/68 (on the +3 disc)
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - 1st show, 10/11/68 (+3 only also)
Fire - 2nd show, 10/11/68
Tax Free - 2nd show, 10/11/68
Foxy Lady - 2nd show, 10/11/68
Wild Thing - 1st show, 10/12/68 (on both Concerts and Winterland)
Hey Joe - 1st show, 10/12/68
Purple Haze - 1st show, 10/12/68
Manic Depression - 2nd show, 10/12/68
Spanish Castle Magic - 2nd show, 10/12/68

I forget where Like a Rolling Stone comes from, it's the third song off Winterland +3. It's not the second day (10/11/68), most likely the first show, 10/12/68.

Here's the track list for Jimi Hendrix Concerts:

Are You Experienced? - 1st show, 10/10/68
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - 1st show, 10/10/68
Getting My Heart Back Together Again - 2nd show, 10/10/68 (Incomplete here)
No songs from 1st or 2nd show, 10/11/68
Fire - 1st show, 10/12/68
Wild Thing - 1st show, 10/12/68 (Same as Winterland)
Little Wing - 2nd show, 10/12/68

This represents the record companies' attempts at releasing a cross-section of these six shows. There are several major flaws in the commercial versions, though:

  1. Herbie Rich played organ on several of these songs, the ones from 10/11/68. His playing was "wiped" from the recording in 1986, so you won't hear any organ in Fire on the Winterland disc. It's really cool, too, so it's a shame. Also, both Concerts and Winterland releases allude to Steve Winwood and Chris Wood being in on some of the songs, but not the ones they released! Absurd. They don't mention Herbie Rich anywhere!
  2. Tax Free is way incomplete. They sliced off over 10 minutes! They didn't leave any amazing guitar out that I can tell, it's mostly drums and bass. They make no reference to the fact that this version is incomplete.
  3. Foxy Lady is also edited.
  4. They sneak in the fact that this wasn't a complete show. Linett's liner notes don't explain it, there's one sentence on one side of the notes that says "songs from October 10, 11, and 12..." Linett's sappy liner notes suck, to say the least: they offer little in the way of historical merit or value.
  5. Concerts makes no bones about being a "best-of compilation" album, but it is just as misleading and silly in the liner notes.
  6. The set lists follow the Douglas fetish of putting "Fire" first when it usually came in the middle of Jimi's set list.
  7. No tune-ups and very little chat between songs. So, the final tally is 19 songs from Winterland across 3 releases. Some are incomplete, pieced together in slick fashion without reference to this fact, and some give no credit to the original musicians or mislead the listener as to who was playing.

    Now, there are several bootlegs of these performances. Of all the concerts he did, few scream out more for a good bootlegging than these 6 shows. The authoritative bootleg job was done by Whoopy Cat.

    Whoopy Cat has three, 2-CD sets entitled (imaginatively): Winterland 1, 2, and 3 (basically). I have #2, which isn't even the complete third show...oh well.

    What follows is a list of overlap from the Whoopy Cat CDs:

    Volume 1:

    1st show - Are You Experienced?, Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
    2nd show - Sunshine of Your Love, Killin' Floor, Getting My Heart Back Together Again.

    Volume 2: (There are only three songs from Winterland on this disc and all three are duplicated elsewhere)

    1st show - Red House, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Are You Experienced?
    2nd show - Fire, Tax Free, Foxy Lady. (Featuring the complete versions of Foxy Lady, Fire, and Tax Free)

    Volume 3:

    1st show - Wild Thing, Hey Joe, Purple Haze, Fire.
    2nd show - Little Wing, Manic Depression, Spanish Castle Magic.

    Each Whoopy Cat disc has about 7-9 songs on it, all except for disc one, Volume 2 - that has the three plus a "Surprise Bonus Concert" from the Chicago Civic Center, 2/25/68. Interesting set list, bad sound quality, very short (under 30 minutes).

    My Volume 2 has the CDs mislabeled - Disc one is really Disc two and vice-versa. You'll notice right away when Tax Free starts up on "Disc One" (That's wrong).

    So there you have it: the complete Winterland breakdown. If you want all the Winterland stuff, get Winterland Vols. 1-3 by Whoopy Cat. They are of excellent sound quality, they feature complete songs in order WITH all the chat and tune-ups. Once I get the three Whoopy Cats, I'll update you all on the true set lists.

    For the third show (1st show, second night), you'll have to get a different bootleg. I have no idea which bootlegs have the 1st set, 10/11/68 show.