Hendrix had been working on and off with the members of the band Traffic as he recorded Electric Ladyland
. Traffic guitarist Dave Mason caught Hendrix at a party and the two discussed Bob Dylan's newest album, John Wesley Harding
, containing "All Along The Watchtower." Hendrix, long fascinated with Dylan, decided to cover the song on the album. On the resulting track, Mason plays rhythm on a 12-string acoustic guitar.
In our interview with Mason
, he explained: "Hendrix just happened to be sitting in one of those semi-private clubs in London. He was there one night just sitting alone, and it was like, "F--k, I'm just going to go over and say hi and talk to him."
Mason recorded the song himself in the Hendrix arrangement for his 1974 self-titled album. He also made the song a mainstay of his concerts. Mason says it's a deceptively simple song: "It's just the same three chords, and they never change."