“Because he had the resources,” says singer Martha Velez, “he just brought everybody up to woodshed in that house and ride horses and try that Woodstock meditative approach to writing and creating. He was a very intelligent person who was getting trapped in his own creation. It was important to break out of that, but on his own terms. And to do that he had to have a space where there wasn’t a lot of observation.”
Hendrix has also just obtained a copy of the newly released John Wesley Harding and decides to cover “All Along the Watchtower.” From its beginnings at Olympic, the track undergoes a series of transformations at New York’s Record Plant, Hendrix overdubbing layer upon layer of guitars through the summer. Dylan later claims to have felt so “overwhelmed” by the finished product that he all but regards it as Hendrix’s song. It takes the low-key original — as bleak and sparse as anything on John Wesley Harding — and turns it into something both kaleidoscopic and apocalyptic.