These old fuddy-duddy, rough-dried never-beens

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Pridgon was eyewitness to an early rejection at the Palm Café of Jimi’s approach:

We used to go to the Palm Café and places like Small’s, the Spotlight… places around 125th Street in the Harlem scene. And he’d tell them he wanted to sit in. These old fuddy-duddy, rough-dried never-beens, they weren’t going to give him a break. They acted like they didn’t even know that he was there. He’d sit there with this kind of look on his face for a few minutes, and he said, “I’m going to speak to them again.”

I’d say, “Hey, don’t say nothing to those cats because it’s obvious they don’t want you to play.” Finally, they would let him come in and play, and they’d mess up so bad behind him, it was incredible. He’d be looking all disgusted on the stage, and he’d keep looking back at them, and some other guys would tell him he has to turn it down. It would take him through all kind of changes. He was a star and they knew it. That’s why they didn’t like him to plunk the guitar with his teeth and shake his long process… and come near the edge of the stage and flick his tongue at the girls because they would all scream. They should have treated him like he was the star and they were the fucking sidemen.

Fayne Pridgon (transcript from her interview in the 1973 documentary film, “Jimi Hendrix”)

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