INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Record Mirror JUNE 5, 1976 - by David Brown
HENDRIX: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
An obscure but vital incident in the early life of Jimi Hendrix has been expanded and explored by Bob Calvert, poet, lyricist with Hawkwlnd, and now playwright, for a play.
The play, The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice, is being shown at The Three Horseshoes, Heath Lane, Hampstead, on Saturday and Sunday, lunchtime and evening.
It Is a one act play, lasting about an hour, which the author hopes fo incorporate into a longer Hendrix-based play.
Brian Eno has acted as musical adviser, responsible for sound effects, etc., and the director is David Casey.
"It's about Jimi Hendrix the paratrooper in about late 1961," explained the author.
"It concerns the last jump he made. He hurt his back and leg, and this contributed towards him leaving the army and becoming a musician.
"He had premonitions. about his future and I think it is possible he foresaw what was going to happen. So I have built the play around a possible situation where he was reluctant to jump and his paratrooper sergeant is trying to make him jump."
Anton Phillips, who appeared in the Space 1999 TV series, plays Hendrix, and Brian Taylor the determined serge, who tells him that rather than be a rock star in the future he would make the jump without a parachute!
If you examine the title, which comes from a Hendrix song, the lettering spells STP LSD, a drug reference which Bob sees as being relevant considering Hendrix's drugs history.
But the song itself contains one line in the break, a panicky cry: "Don't open your door, I hope you brung your parachute with you," which the author sees as another potential kick back to this period.
"It is not factual, but based on a true incident in his life, which I learnt about from press cuttings and biographies," said Bob. "But I have hopefully made both characters convincing. I hope to work on an expanded version and can then use this as act one."
Some of Hendrix's music is used at beginning and end of the play, otherwise the drama takes place between the two characters.
This is not the first Bob Calvert play, and probably the beginning of a spate of his plays, which he sees as a parallel to his Hawkwlnd work rather than a replacement.
"It is a pity there is no interrelation between rock musicians, theatre and poets," he says.
"Some people have remarked that what I do with Hawkwlnd is not space poetry but a theatrical declamation. I quite like that."