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Music

The mystery song Jimi Hendrix dedicated to a pre-fame Stevie Nicks

@SamWKemp

Jimi Hendrix was truly one in a million. To this day, I struggle to think of a single artist more unique, raw and expressive than Jimi was. Wielding right-handed guitar in his left hand, he was the messiah of the counterculture movement, the embodiment of everything hippies held dear. It’s no surprise, then, that he energised everyone who came into his orbit. What is a surprise is that one of those people was a young Stevie Nicks, to whom Hendrix dedicated a song during one of his concerts in the late 1960s.

Around that time, Nicks was on tour with her pre-fame band Fritz, which also featured Lindsey Buckingham on guitar. Otherwise known as The Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band, the group was Nicks’ first rock outfit and served as a sort of music school, laying the foundations for her era-defining pop career. Fritz formed in the early 1960s, when Bob Aguirre, the drummer of The Castiles – Bruce Springsteen’s early band – invited Javier Pacheco to perform at a high school talent show alongside Cal Roper (bass), Lindsey Buckingham (guitar), and Jody Moreing (vocals & guitar).

By the late 1960s, Fritz were big enough that they were asked to open for Jimi Hendrix. Speaking to Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, Nicks opened up about meeting the guitarist during the concert. “I was inspired by Jimi Hendrix from a rock standpoint,” she began, “Because Lindsay and I got to open for him. “It was a big huge show in San Fransisco. There was like 20 bands on; there was you, there was 15 more bands and then there was Jimi Hendrix.”

Motivated by Hendrix’s presence, Fritz went out and played one of the best sets of their career, returning backstage bristling with energy. They remained there to watch Hendrix’s set from the wings, at which point something extraordinary happened. “He actually dedicated a song to me,” Nicks recalled fondly. “He looked over at me and said, ‘This is for you, babe.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re awesome! You are so awesomely cute and handsome and you play so amazing and thank you, Jimi!'”

But it wasn’t just Hendrix’s infectious energy that inspired Nicks; she also fell in love with the guitarist’s sense of style. “I saw him play once and I remember thinking, ‘I want to wear white fringe. I want to tie a beautiful scarf in my hair,'” Nicks told BAM in 1997. Hendrix’s boho style was not only embraced by Nicks but became her signature look. And yet, we still don’t know which song it was that Hendrix dedicated to her back in the late ’60s. I suppose we’ll just have to use our imaginations.