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The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hey Joe

In October 1966, Jimi Hendrix recorded "Hey Joe" for his first single with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Their version became a hit in the UK.

Jimi Hendrix, born Johnny Allen Hendrix at 10:15 a.m. on November 27, 1942, at Seattle’s King County Hospital, was later renamed James Marshall by his father, James “Al” Hendrix. Young Jimmy (as he was referred to at the time) took an interest in music, drawing influence from virtually every major artist at the time, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson. Entirely self-taught, Jimmy’s inability to read music made him concentrate even harder on the music he heard.

Throughout the latter half of 1965, and into the first part of 1966, Jimmy played the rounds of smaller venues throughout Greenwich Village, catching up with Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler during a July performance at Caf‚ Wha? Chandler was impressed with Jimmy’s performance and returned again in September 1966 to sign Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to London to form a new band.

Switching gears from bass player to manager, Chandler’s first task was to change Hendrix’s name to “Jimi.” Featuring drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, the newly formed Jimi Hendrix Experience quickly became the talk of London in the fall of 1966.

The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” spent ten weeks on the UK charts, topping out at spot No. 6 in early 1967. The debut single was quickly followed by the release of a full-length album Are You Experienced, a psychedelic musical compilation featuring anthems of a generation.


Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?

Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand?


I'm goin down to shoot my old lady

You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man.

I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady

You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man.

And that ain't too cool.

(Ah-backing vocal on each line)

Uh, hey Joe, I heard you shot your woman down

You shot her down now.

Uh, hey Joe, I heard you shot you old lady down

You shot her down to the ground. Yeah!

Yes, I did, I shot her

You know I caught her messin' 'round

Messin' 'round town.

Uh, yes I did, I shot her

You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town.

And I gave her the gun and I shot her!


(Ah! Hey Joe)

Shoot her one more time again, baby!


(Hey Joe!)

Ah, dig it!

Ah! Ah!

(Joe where you gonna go?)

Oh, alright.

Hey Joe, said now


uh, where you gonna run to now, where you gonna run to?


(where you gonna go?)

Hey Joe, I said


where you goin' to run

to now, where you, where you gonna go?


Well, dig it!

I'm goin' way down south, way down south


way down south to Mexico way! Alright!


I'm goin' way down south

(Hey, Joe)

way down where I can be free!

(where you gonna...)

Ain't no one gonna find me babe!


Ain't no hangman gonna

(Hey, Joe)

he ain't gonna put a rope around me!

(Joe where you gonna.)

You better belive it right now!


I gotta go now!

Hey, hey, hey Joe

(Hey Joe)

you better run on down!

(where you gonna...)

Goodbye everybody. Ow!


Hey, hey Joe, what'd I say

(Hey... Joe)

run on down.

(where you gonna go?

Songwriters: BILLY ROBERTS

Hey Joe lyrics © Ensign Music, Third Palm Music, BMG PLATINUM SONGS OBO THIRD PALM MUSIC


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