Year
1967
Month Day
July 17

Jimi Hendrix drops out as opening act for The Monkees

On July 17, 1967, one of the oddest musical pairings in history comes to an end when Jimi Hendrix dropped out as the opening act for teenybopper sensations The Monkees.

The booking of psychedelic rock god Jimi Hendrix with the made-for-television Monkees was the brainchild of Hendrix’s manager, Mike Jeffery, who was seeking greater public exposure for a young client who was a budding star in the UK, but a near-unknown in his native United States. It was in the UK, in fact, that Monkee Mike Nesmith first heard a tape of Hendrix playing while at a dinner party with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. Nesmith and his fellow Monkees Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz became instant Jimi Hendrix fans, and after witnessing his legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, they encouraged their own manager to invite the little-known but highly respected Jimi Hendrix Experience to join their upcoming U.S. tour.

Hendrix himself appears to have had no direct input on the decision, though he’d made his opinion of the Monkees clear several months earlier in an interview with Melody Maker magazine: “Oh God, I hate them! Dishwater….You can’t knock anybody for making it, but people like the Monkees?” Nevertheless, Hendrix joined the tour in progress in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 8. Predictably, the reception given to the now-legendary rock icon by the young fans of the bubblegum Monkees was less than worshipful. As Mickey Dolenz later recalled, “Jimi would amble out onto the stage, fire up the amps and break out into ‘Purple Haze,’ and the kids in the audience would instantly drown him out with ‘We want Daaavy!’ God, was it embarrassing.”

Jimi Hendrix managed to get through a total of only seven dates with the Monkees, culminating in his final show on July 17, 1967, which may or may not have ended with Hendrix saluting the crowd with his middle finger. There was no truth to the widely circulated rumor that he’d been kicked off of the tour after protests by the Daughters of the American Revolution that his show was “too erotic.”

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Eric Garner dies in NYPD chokehold

On July 17, 2014, two New York Police Department officers confront Eric Garner, a 43-year-old African American father of six, for illegally selling cigarettes. Garner dies after losing consciousness as a police officer locks him in an illegal chokehold, and within hours, a video ...read more

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over the Ukraine-Russia border

On July 17, halfway through a flight from Amsterdam to Malaysia, a passenger plane was shot down over the war-torn Ukraine-Russia Border. All 298 people on board, most of whom were citizens of the Netherlands, died in the explosion. It was the second Malaysian Air flight to ...read more

Flight 800 explodes over Long Island

Shortly after takeoff from New York’s Kennedy International Airport, a TWA Boeing 747 jetliner bound for Paris explodes over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 people aboard. Flight 800 had just received clearance to initiate a climb to cruise altitude when it exploded without ...read more

Superpowers meet in space

As part of a mission aimed at developing space rescue capability, the U.S. spacecraft Apollo 18 and the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 19 rendezvous and dock in space. As the hatch was opened between the two vessels, commanders Thomas P. Stafford and Aleksei Leonov shook hands and ...read more

Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan crosses the Atlantic

Douglas Corrigan, the last of the early glory-seeking fliers, takes off from Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, on a flight that would finally win him a place in aviation history. Eleven years earlier, American Charles A. Lindbergh had become an international celebrity ...read more

Three-point seatbelt inventor Nils Bohlin born

Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap and shoulder seatbelt–considered one of the most important innovations in automobile safety–is born on July 17, 1920 in Härnösand, Sweden. Before 1959, only two-point lap belts were available in ...read more

This Day In History: Disneyland Opens

Disneyland opens

Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 18 million ...read more

Joe DiMaggio ends 56-game hitting streak

On July 17, 1941, New York Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio fails to get a hit against the Cleveland Indians, which brings his historic 56-game hitting streak to an end. The record run had captivated the country for two months. Joseph Paul DiMaggio was born November 25, 1914, ...read more

President Harry Truman records his impressions of meeting Stalin

On July 17, 1945, President Harry S. Truman records his first impressions of Stalin in his diary. Truman described his initial meeting with the intimidating Soviet leader as cordial. “Promptly a few minutes before twelve” the president wrote, “I looked up from the desk and there ...read more

John Jacob Astor is born

Destined to make a fortune from the furs of the American West, John Jacob Astor is born in modest circumstances in the small German village of Waldorf. Although the number of foreign immigrants to the U.S. who succeeded in striking it rich is often exaggerated in the popular ...read more

An ammunition ship explodes in the Port Chicago disaster

An ammunition ship explodes while being loaded in Port Chicago, California, killing 332 people on July 17, 1944. The United States’ World War II military campaign in the Pacific was in full swing at the time. Poor procedures and lack of training led to the disaster. Port ...read more

Potsdam Conference begins

The final “Big Three” meeting between the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain takes place towards the end of World War II. The decisions reached at the conference ostensibly settled many of the pressing issues between the three wartime allies, but the meeting was ...read more