Jimi Hendrix Tribute Night

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Jimi Hendrix Tribute Night

Jimi Hendrix is a legend for many, a musical icon who paved the way for musicians. Red Whyte is one such musician who felt the power of Jimi Hendrix, and as a result, is undertaking his third tribute show for him at the Torquay Hotel tomorrow night.
Hi Red, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte Magazine, how are you and what are you up to at the moment? 
I’m good at the mo, coming out of a bit of a black hole. I just finished also working on a new jazz fusion album for three months – nearly working on it everyday – and I must say it’s sounding pretty cool. I can’t wait to get it mastered and out for Xmas. The only trouble about releasing albums at Xmas time is you have to give em away… Guest artists [on the album] were Howlin Wind, Tim Neal, Phil Smurthwaite, Meagan Copland and Ian Hergstrom. The CD is called Tickled Pink. It’s an old saying meaning to be very happy.
So this is the third annual Jimi Hendrix gig you’re putting on, how did you first get onto the idea? 
Yes this is the third one and each year gets bigger and better. I first cottoned on to the idea years ago because I love Jimi ‘s music and the man himself – bit of a closet fan really. I have read a lot of books on him and done some research into his death and a whole lotta stuff. So what better way to celebrate his spirit than by doing a tribute night, plus the renditions Surfusion do are a bit of an eye/ear opener…
How did Jimi’s music affect you growing up and as a musician? 
James’ music really grabbed me when I was growing up and as I matured as a young musician he grew more on me. I first started recording songs in 1979 and did one of my first ever gigs in 1980 in a band that’s still around today called Inked Factor. His music was exciting to me and full of surprises, it inspired me to go a bit avant guarde.
What do you think was the thing about him that made his music resonate so well with people all around the world? 
Jimi James Hendrix caught on so well with people, because of the freshness of new ideas made sexy and interesting, plus his lyrics were really awesome, visually stunning and handsome and in a live sense, very psychedelic. Almost like a breath of psychedelic air. When he played the blues he’d be so raunchy and rocky but then would do these over the top lead breaks, like a massive serpent reaching out and blowing fire kinda style. It’s how I like to play, big contrasts. It’s also why I like the band Mogwai – they really launch out then go back to a chilled space/groove.
As this is your third time honoring the musician (and on his birthday) what have you got lined up this year? 
So on the night a surfer companion of mine Aaron Munsie`s son Carlo has a band , and they’re actually pretty good, so Flawed Peace open the night, then three solo artists follow (Cheyne Griffiths, Bradley D Luke and Sam Fletcher) then my band Surfusion will be playing tracks; ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Come On’, ‘Sunshine’, ‘Stone Free’, ‘Redhouse’ and ‘Little Wing’. Then another young band IMMYOWUSU LEUNAMMI JAM will finish orrfff the night.
What has the vibe been like with previous years? 
The last two Jimi tributes in Melbourne have been epic evenings and very successful. I think anyone can enjoy them really – although maybe not schoolies…
Aside from this show coming up, what else have you been working on as a musician? 
So apart from working on this Jimi tribute project I have been doing some gigs with my old band Inked Factor and hopefully next year whip the boys in for a new CD. There’s a small following out there. I have also been building a bit of a home studio at home Torquay, which was a stupid idea just before Xmas – bloody building is very expensive.
I have also been doing live genorator gigs down the beach with a movie projector showing the movie I made, which is all tied up with the album we released this year called The Addis Kingdom. And I’ve been doing the film and live band thang in theatres and cinemas in Vicco – yet to go interstate. And gigging with funk band Squid, which as a band just seem to get better and better. I love the band because I don’t have to be a lead figure and can just cruise on the funk axe. Try juggling all that with family!
Thanks for taking the time to chat, do you have any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers? 
Music, art, photography and surfing keep me busy – it’s been that way for years and probably won’t change. 29 albums out and still going strong. Om shanti.
When & Where: Torquay Hotel, Torquay – November 27