Jimi Hendrix in Ann Arbor, 1967
We hear about many of the classic bands that came to Michigan back in the 60s: The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Grateful Dead, Moody Blues and many others. But you rarely hear about the time The Jimi Hendrix Experience came to Ann Arbor.
It was the night of August 15, 1967 when the band performed at the Fifth Dimension, a former bowling alley.
After the opening bands, Jimi, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell came onstage. Jimi was wearing his tight gold pants and carrying his white Stratocaster guitar. It was here that he debuted his Gibson Flying V and Vox wah-wah pedal.
Hendrix hadn’t yet exploded across the continent and appeared to be relaxed and somewhat bashful, yet you could tell he was approachable and having fun. He did many of his soon-to-be trademark theatrics: playing with his teeth, behind his back, and ON his back. Near the end of the band’s performance, Hendrix’s amp blew out. He threw it onto the floor and jumped up & down on it, stomping it into a mass of rubble. The concert-goers that night still talk about it and realize how fortunate they were to see Hendrix live.
As for the Fifth Dimension, it opened in the fall of 1966 and The Yardbirds became their first headliner, followed by The Who and soon Cream, Frank Zappa, Procol Harum, and many more.
It closed down after the final concert on October 6, 1968: The MC5 and The Stooges. The 5D was then turned into a bar, then a restaurant…a fire turned it to ruins in 1988.
It was completely torn down and turned into a parking lot.