Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Alone, yet together….Sippin’ Wine

Phil Hendricks

Phil Hendricks

Graham Oliver

Kev Moore

Kev Moore

Throughout my career, I have collaborated on various projects with different artists over the years, and before the internet age, it usually involved me being in the same room with them.  However the session I’m going to highlight today differs from that.  It is a blues duet (for want of a better term) between me and Phil Hendricks,  Singer and guitarist with UK punk band The Stiffs, who my old mate and Gonads cohort Garry Bushell referred to (in his capacity as a Sounds journalist) as: ” pile driving pop-punk of the first order…a band to be reckoned with I’d wager..”

The project that involved us both was “End of an Era” -the solo album from Saxon’s Graham Oliver, his first release following the acrimonious split of the NWOBHM legends into two camps.  The song that we worked on has a fascinating history. When Graham was touring the States with Saxon, he went to Seattle to visit Jimi Hendrix’s grave, and met Jimi’s father. He gave him an old notebook of Jimi’s containing half-scribbled song ideas and lyrics. One of these was “Sippin’ Wine”. A track Graham fashioned in the way he thought Jimi would have finished it, and some extra lyrics from me.

Phil and I had never met, and put our vocal parts down at different times, and were not sure if we’d contributed to the finished product or not, and then, suddenly it was released, and we could both hear the finished version for the first time.

Over the ensuing years, I found the album in record racks in stores the world over, from Boston to Barcelona.  Then I noticed that later pressings of the disc omitted the track. Apparently, people acting for the Hendrix estate (not Jimi’s Dad) had asked for the track to be removed from the original running order.  The result is that the track is now a bona fide rarity, only to be found on a couple of thousand of the original pressings of the disc.

You can listen to it at the bottom of this entry.

Fast-forward to 2009, and a show I did recently in Germany with BC Sweet.  We were performing at a 70’s festival with The Rubettes and Eric Faulkner’s Bay City Rollers. During the soundcheck, the guitarist came up and introduced himself. It was Phil, and the circle, begun eight years previously, was complete.


September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , ,


  1. Nice story, Kev, and nice song too. I guess pleasure and emotion…

    Comment by Joël | September 12, 2009

  2. Kev

    Great Hendrix story! You are a part of music history in a most interesting fashion. I guess you probably rub up against a bit more celebrity than the average person in the business you’re in (and the degree of success you’ve had). Somehow I don’t get the impression it’s rubbed off on you too much. Maybe you get an insight into it that takes the lustre off.

    Comment by bobcornelis | September 16, 2009

  3. Bob: there is a well-known TV celebrity in the UK called Jimmy Savile, who once confided in a mutual friend that “fame was a hologram”. It’s quite an apt description, I feel, because, you can see it, but it doesn’t really exist. It’s more of a perception other people have of you than anything the object of this perception feels, )except when people start believing their own publicity!)

    For example, many of the artists I work with on a regular basis have become good friends. Some of them have been responsible for writing the musical history of the 60’s and 70’s. Yet, even I still find it hard to equate the people I know with the people I see one those classic programmes from the time. Those images are, in effect, the ‘hologram’, and I know the real people. I’m not sure if it takes the lustre off, it’s simply my job, strange one though it may be, and I know I’m lucky to be able to do it.

    Comment by kevmoore | September 16, 2009

  4. Thanks for the fascinating Hendrix story and your cool “fragment cover/tribute” song to the genius.

    I sometimes hear something that makes me feel so lucky to have grown up through the Beatles era onto the explosion of Jimi onto the UK & world music scene. “Sippin’ Wine” has just provided one of those moments – thanks!

    From the intro’s “Little Wing” reference to the laid-back bluesy sound, your adaptation of Jimi’s idea is a fine soundtrack to the Long Hot Summer Nights that we’re gonna have to wait (at least) yet another year for in England.

    Jimi’s early singles and “Are You Experienced” LP remain in my view the greatest rock debut recordings of all time – it was music that, as soon as you heard it, you knew would change everything that followed it. I never tire of hearing the records he made in that brief psychedelic period before he and other heroes burned out.

    There are some good Hendrix tribute bands to see if you get chance, including Are You Experienced and The Hamsters, who also do a nice & noisy ZZ Top set.

    Keep on rockin’, Kev – we also need your music at Pride Park Stadium, as we’re now lumbered with an opera singer murdering the Rams’ anthem before each home game. Get yer diary out!

    Comment by David Mortimer | September 17, 2009

  5. Thanks for the great comment Dave! I remember the Hamsters from my days in Leeds, when we both used to play a spit’n’sawdust pub there called The Duck’n’Drake. A great band. There is a slim possibility, time and logistics permitting – that Pete Phipps (ex-XTC/Eurthymics/Glitterband) Graham, and I will put a power trio together to showcase Hendrix material. By the way, Diary’s always open for The Rams!

    Comment by kevmoore | September 18, 2009

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