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Welcome! We are X-RAY IMIJ: (Ray Gervato on Guitar & Vocals, Jeff Summerton on Bass, and Mitch Phillippe on Drums) A South New Jersey trio dedicated to recapturing both the studio and live sound of the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sure, we do not LOOK like "The Experience," or DRESS like them, or USE exclusively their specific gear, but yes, we do make a true effort to SOUND like them. Our passion and respect for their music has led us to an honest claim at the attempted replication of much of the unique music that they wrote, played, and covered. (We DO play some...of Jimi's "Band Of Gypsy's" trio as well) ~
OUR original band name started out as "Deja-Voodoo" as we performed 1 gig (I burned a guitar to begin the journey!) before discovering online that the name already was being used by a couple of bands out there. So I then somehow fell back to the concept of my aim of "Xamining the music closely" or "looking within it" (in lieu of ad-libbing). And the phrase just hit me: X-RAY, and then Jimi backwards, is IMIJ (image) so it rang just true enough to start using, and so it stuck! XRI ~
I didn't know 20 years ago when I visited Jimi's grave right after a thunderstorm, that I would one day form this tribute band. It just took a while for that "image" to come into true focus. In 1995, in Seattle I saw 2/3 of "The Experience" at a reunion show featuring Randy Hansen as Jimi. This was THE celebration Jimi's family put on, as they had finally secured the rights back to his music royalties, 25 years after his death. Right on cue, as
if to say thank you, a perfectly clear day suddenly saw stormclouds roll in- AS the LIVE Hendrix music began to ring out...It never did rain on the stage or on the huge outdoor audience. But there was just something spiritual "in the air" ...as the hair on the back of my neck just stood up... when Randy Hansen (who I later met in 2011 and reminded him about this) freely pointing to the sky, as each *lightning bolt struck the nearby horizon! Yes, at that moment and concert, it felt to me... like Jimi was providing not only a "thank you" to his family, (AND the special effects with the DRY lightning bolts), but ALSO...an *ironic LIVE album cover OF his "Midnight Lightning" LP!!! *THAT "experience" in Jimi's hometown of Seattle, lit an inspirational fire in me that surely has remained scorched upon my memory. ~
Oddly, about ten years prior in the 80's *I had a VERY vivid dream about Jimi...where outside my bedroom window on my neighbors porch roof, he was jamming heavily IN a storm -like on a stage -about nine feet off the ground. (Then we hung out and laughed & got stoned in the dream!) *What I am about to say truly happened about 3 days later : I was 25 feet from THAT porch sleeping in my room again in the daytime, when a bolt of lightning hit that very porch(the stage) and literally, blew me out of bed!!...I was jolted awake to hear thunder rolling away, looked out the window, and saw smoke coming out of a hole at that porch's foundation- where just a few days prior Jimi was jamming in my dream! **The first thing that "struck me" consciously awake again WAS, THAT dream I had just had 3 days prior!!! ...And so goes the spark that ignited my TRUE interest in the universal music and story of Jimi Hendrix. (Oh, I almost forgot..... my neighbor's stereo componants all got completely fried -BTW :) ~
Myself and bassist Jeff also had the pleasure of MEETING Jimi's bassist, army buddy, and best friend Billy Cox on 2 occasions at "Experience Hendrix" shows. And then we had the good fortune of having him call US back once...after he provided INFO for us to send him our (old) demo! Then, 6 months later during rehearsal one day-the VERY 5 minutes we took a tiny break from playing Hendrix music, *the phone rings...and it's Billy Cox! ...saying that he just got off the road, and that he had "dug what we were sounding like!" As it turned out, that was just another stroke of lightning to me, as we were all shocked... to hear Jimi's best friend Billy Cox, coming through on speaker phone! (*A kind of feather in our cap :) ~
To those doubters who would denounce Jimi Hendrix's true importance and contribution to the full scope of today's music, (as a innovative pioneer of HIS era- to the present)...or, who say he was overrated, ARE simply ignorant of THE musical truth. His playing and creativity (not to mention his *recording techniques), WERE ahead of MOST others of that era and OPENED up new musical possibilities through his vast influence ON the music community en mass, in the decades since his sudden death in late 1970. And thus, from 1967-1970 going forward, Jimi Hendrix stood the entire world of electric guitar playing on it's head -with his boldly creative playing, performances, and sheer stage PROWESS! Bold as Love indeed. Along with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell playing behind him, The "Jimi Hendrix Experience" still remains one of the most powerful and truly innovative rock trio's EVER. ~
The JHE evolved into the "Band Of Gypsy's" for a short period from late 1969 to early 1970, with Billy Cox on bass replacing Noel Redding for good- and with Buddy Miles on drums. Unfortunately, forces within Jimi's management would not allow this trio as it was to flourish, and therefore again, Mitch Mitchell returned to complete the 3rd and final trio "version" in mid 1970 along with Jimi and Billy. Many of THIS final JHE trio's recordings have been remixed and re-released quite well, since Jimi's family regained control of his musical archives in the mid 90's to the present. ~
We will be adding music from this JHE version to our sets as well in the near future. And we will continue to upload preliminary mixes from our upcoming Hendrix tribute record as they become available. *Thank you for visiting this page and stay tuned for more tributes here from X-RAY IMIJ. ~
*Please feel free to visit our Facebook Jimi Hendrix *content ...by hitting the FB button.