Little Wing

December 2, 2007

I had one of those “song things” one morning last week as I stopped to get gas on my way to work. One of those times when you hear a song that fills you up and takes you back. It was a little before 7:00. As usual, the only people on the road were like me, not quite awake but on their way to put their time in. I pulled up to the pump as a jeep pulled in from the opposite direction, one pump over. The air was silent and cold. The driver got out and made his way in to the station. I got out to fill my tank.

Slowly I heard the volume come up on the stereo in the jeep. There was a young guy in the passenger seat. I could see him leaning forward adjusting the sound until it met his expectations. Then he sat up, laid his head back and smiled.

The tune was familiar and before long I was smiling, too. Thoughts flooded into my head. The kind you get when you hear a song you just love. When my tank was full, as I made my way inside, he looked up. I gave him the thumbs up and kept moving. He rolled the window down, probably wondering what the heck the old lady wanted. So I walked over to the jeep.

“Great song.” “Yeeaah.” Enough said.

I drove off wishing Little Wing was on my radio, too. I really don’t remember if I heard Jimi Hendrix do it first. Willi says he heard it first by Clapton. I do remember when my daughter brought it home for me to listen to. It was in the height of the Pearl Jam era and she thought it was really something. Most recently I heard it by the South Austin Jug Band on their self-titled 2003 release. And they did it justice as well, with an interpretation I hadn’t thought of, but very soulful. I just found this one by Monte Montgomery that’s worth the time.

For me, Little Wing will always be a Hendrix song. But Stevie Ray made it his own. That kid in the jeep thought so, too.


6 Responses to “Little Wing”

  1. dilling Says:

    I like this one

    it’s a beautiful song…i remember painting a picture of what this song was to me many years ago, but I don’t remember what became of that painting…

  2. mjd Says:

    Cool, you have new blog.

  3. gawilli Says:

    Dilling – yet another interpretation of a great song. I would like to have seen the painting.

  4. Willowtree Says:

    I heard the Clapton version first too, I think it was on Layla (which was long after Hendrix was dead). But I love all versions of it, and I have the SRV one on DVD.

  5. Willowtree Says:

    Actually, I think I may have just bought it (Layla) long after it was released. I remember I was working when I bought it.

  6. gawilli Says:

    WT – I found this on the web. It puts it into a better perspective time-wise for me. I did not hear this version until much later. At least not that I can remember.

    “The same day they recorded “Layla,” Eric Clapton and Duane Allman recorded this as a tribute to Jimi, who was one of their guitar heroes. Hendrix died 9 days later. He never heard their version of his song, which was released in 1970 on the Derek and the Dominoes album, Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.”

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