Remember when Jimi Hendrix played Crawley?

Jimi Hendrix performed at the Starlight Ballroom, Crawley, on October 15 1967
Jimi Hendrix performed at the Starlight Ballroom, Crawley, on October 15 1967

Every once in a while, the archives offer up a truly amazing picture - and this one's a cracker.

It shows the legendary Jimi Hendrix playing a gig to 900 people at the Starlight Ballroom, in Crawley.

The year was 1967, the date was Sunday October 15, and Jimi and his band were in the middle of their second European tour, having played the Discorama, in Paris, three days earlier.

For those who don't know, the Starlight Ballroom stood on the High Street where Morrison's is now - and it was no stranger to big names.

The Who played there on March 3 1966 and Pink Floyd on April 23 1967.

A report in the Crawley and District Observer on Friday October 20 1967 described the performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience as "rare and exciting".

It added: "After an electrical fault in one of the amplifiers had been put right, the Experience broke into their first number, a track from their LP called Are You Experienced.

"This was followed by a couple of earthy blues numbers which were greatly appreciated by the swaying audience.

"Then, getting every last decibel of sound out of the huge 100-watt amplifiers, Jimi broke into his biggest hit over in this country - Hey Joe - in which he plays the guitar with his teeth, rubs the neck of the instrument against the microphone stand, and plays behind his back and through his legs.

"The audience loved it.

"He played other big numbers like Purple Haze and Foxy Lady. Grand finale was his rendering of the number which stopped the show at the Monterey Pop Festival in America - Wild Thing!

"In his dressing room afterwards, he said the group had just returned from France and were extremely tired.

"He said the Crawley audience were 'lovely people' and he was pleased with their reaction.

"Jimi had a bloody right hand which he had torn on the strings of his guitar."

Were you one of the lucky 900 to see one of the most exciting musicians of the 20th century perform in Crawley? If so, we're very envious of you and would like to hear all about it!

Please send us your recollections to crawleyobserver@jpress.co.uk