Breakfast Blend: Hey Joe!

Jimi Hendrix Experience owns Hey Joe, right?

But the song first became a hit for an LA band called the Leaves.

The song was apparently written by a folk singer by the name of Billy Roberts, who at one point assigned the rights to the song to his buddy Dino Valenti when Valenti was in jail, so that he’s have something of his own when he got out. Valenti was a founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, and is perhaps most famous for writing the song Get Together, under his pen name Chet Powers.

Love had a hit with a great version of the song, though it pales besides Hendrix. As does everything.

For instance, The Offspring in 1993.

Back in 1975, Hey Joe was Patti Smith’s first single. In recent years jazz musicians like Medeski Martin and Wood, Vijay Iyer and Brad Mehldau have found melodicism in slow quieter versions. Patti got the slow part first.


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