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Purple Haze

by

Jimi Hendrix



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Hendrix claimed this was inspired by a dream where he was walking under the sea. In the dream, he said a purple haze surrounded him, engulfed him and got him lost. It was a traumatic experience, but in his dream his faith in Jesus saved him.
At one point, Hendrix wrote the chorus as "Purple Haze, Jesus Saves," but decided against it. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
Part of the lyrics were formed from some of Jimi's free verse ramblings that he jotted down from time to time.
This song was written under the guidance of Hendrix' manager, ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler. They had just released Hendrix' first single, a cover of Tim Rose's "Hey Joe" and were looking for a follow up. Chandler was impressed when he first heard the riff, and inspired Jimi to finish writing the song.
On the original recording, you hear the line up of the Experience with Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. (thanks, Willy - Winchester, MA, for above 3)
The opening chord of two riffs then an interval of flattened fifth is the d5 or "tritone," which has long been regarded as the "Most imperfect of dissonances" and was generally avoided in composition for that reason. (thanks, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Musicology, University of Kansas).
Hendrix claimed this had nothing to do with drugs, but it's hard to believe they weren't an influence. The lyrics seem to vividly portray an acid trip, and Hendrix was doing plenty of drugs at the time.
Jimi and producer Chas Chandler used some unusual studio tricks to get the unique sound. To create the background track that sounds distant, they put a pair of headphones around a microphone and recorded it that way to get an echo effect.
Hendrix wrote the lyrics on the day after Christmas in 1966. He wrote a lot more than what made it to the song. The track was developed at a press function that he attended at East London's Upper Cut Club, run by the former boxer Billy Walker. Hendrix launched into the scorching riff in the club's compact dressing room and every head turned. "I said, write the rest of that," said Chandler. "That's the next single!" It was premiered live on 8 January 1967, in Sheffield in the north of England.
For one of the guitar tracks, Hendrix used a device called an Octavia, which could raise or lower the guitar by a full octave.
This contains one of the most misheard lyrics ever, with "Scuse me while I kiss the sky" interpreted as "Scuse me while I kiss this guy." Hendrix added to the confusion by sometimes singing it that way and pointing to one of his band members.
A month before Hendrix died, he opened a recording studio in Greenwich Village called Electric Lady. One of the studios is known as "Purple Haze" and contains a purple mixing board. The studios have remained active with The Clash, Weezer, Patti Smith and Alicia Keys all recording there at some point.
This song is apparently referenced in an episode of The Simpsons. Homer is shopping (for useless garbage, of course) and finds a back massaging chair called the Spinemelter 2000. Homer sits in the chair and orders the store clerk to put it on full power. As the chair begins to massage Homer, he tells his family, "Excuse me while I kiss the sky..." (thanks, Collin - Midland, TX)
When the recording was sent to Hendrix's American label, a note said, "deliberate distortion, do not correct."
The track was the penultimate song Hendrix played in concert, on September 6, 1970, days before his death.
James Ford, who is a member of the production duo Simian Mobile Disco tells in the NME column "My first record": "The first record I remember really connecting with was 'Purple Haze.' I remember being blown away by its wild and unhinged energy. It was also the first thing I ever tried to work out on a guitar. Needless to say, I didn't get very far at that age." (thanks, DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation)
Jimi Hendrix
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Comments (126):

On February 1st 1967, the Jimi Hendrix Experience performed "Purple Haze" on the U.K. TV program 'Top Of The Pops'...
Seven months later on August 20th, 1967 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #65 and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
It was track one on side one of the group's debut album, 'Are You Experienced' (the American version), the album reached #5 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart and spent just over two years on the chart (106 weeks)...
R.I.P. Jimi Hendrix (1942 - 1970), bassist Noel Redding (1945 - 2003) and drummer Mitch Mitchell (1947 - 2008).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Jimi Hendrix said that his song "Purple Haze" was about a dream of being lost because of purple haze around him, but was saved by LORD Jesus Christ. Well, he "Kissed The Sky" , meaning, he kissed Jesus. Psalms 2:12 says "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
- Denise, New Orleans, LA
On January 19th 1969, a covered version of "Purple Haze" by Dion entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 for a four week stay; peaking at #63...
*** Its available on You Tube ***
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
The song was inspired by a science fiction story written by a writer named Philip Jose Farmer, which mentioned a "purplish haze". Hendrix was a huge science fiction fan as well as a believer in the paranormal.
- Dana, Woodbury, MN
I hadn't heard the "interpretation" of the title to mean any kind of mairjuana or dream. I had always heard that it was an acid trip where you insert "purple microdot" into your eye causing you to see through a "purple haze". Saw it done once, don't want to see it again.
- jim, NIPOMO, CA
Mmm...I love this song.
- Taylor, Port Lavaca, TX
The "Purple Haze, Jesus Saves" handwritten lyrics are in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame along with various articles of clothing that had been stored in a chest at his father's house since Jimi's death. No one had opened the chest until his father's passing in 2002.
- Bob, Schenectady, NY
one of my best songs of all time.
- Shreeya, Kathmandu, Nepal
One of my best songs of all time
- Shreeya, Kathmandu, Nepal
Of course the song is about a bad trip!!!
- Tyler, Greeneville, TN
The Octavia is a fuzz pedal that creates a second note one octave above the actual note you play. It doesn't lower it; that technology didn't exist in the Sixties. I've used an Octavia from 1972 that was custom-made to the exact specs of Hendrix's favorite (he used like twenty), and while it was an awesome fuzz tone, it definitely didn't do octave down effects. I'm well aware that the only people who would care already know, but I figured I'd clear that up.
- Joe, Panama City, AL
To the doubters - a surviving early draft does have the title "Purple Haze - Jesus Saves", with far more bizarre lyrics than the finished product. Hendrix later said about the single, "The song had about a thousand words. It just gets me so mad because that isn't even Purple Haze." It's possible that Chas helped refine the words, dedicated as he was to the three-minute pop song format.
- Ron, Melbourne, Australia
I heard this on an episode of The Wonder Years,where he goes to the dentist. This is my favorite Jimi Hendrix song.the beginning reminds me of pre-Jaws.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
purple haze weed was named after the song
- whitney, albuquerque, NM
Fact or Fiction? everybody knows hendrix loved acid. it's been said that he would slit his forhead and dip his bandana in acid, fact or fiction?
- Emmett, Canadian, TX
First of all, Melman's comment is completely incorrect. Room Full of Mirrors, another Hendrix bio, says that he first did acid in May of 1966, before it was even illegal, and there were a number of witnesses. I've never heard this disputed. No, Hendrix did not fight in Vietnam, though he was in the army from '61 to '63. As much as I hate to admit it, Jimi supported the Vietnam war until about mid-'68, when he appeared to change views. That aside, let's take an open-minded look at the drug issue. There is no doubt that he said it was about a dream and science fiction. Some of you say that he just didn't specify what kind of dream, but Rolling Stone quotes him as saying that Purple Haze "had nothing to do with drugs." On the other hand, I've read that Jimi wasn't always open about his drug use, and usually dodged the question in interviews. Then again, in the song Are You Experienced, released only two months after Haze, there is an explicit drug reference, "not necessarily stoned, but beautiful," which could raise the question of why he would cover up his true inspiration for Purple Haze due to fear of bad publicity, when he makes an explicit reference in another song, anyway? (considering the rest of the lyrics to AYE, it can't easily be viewed as anti-drug, either). Were two drug songs too many in '67? Then again, just listen to Purple Haze and read the lyrics: it sounds like a f--king acid trip, musically and lyrically, and if you don't think Hendrix was a major acid head, you just don't know much about him. Also, if Tokie from Mexico is correct (his comment is near the bottom of the page), then that would say a lot for the acid interpretation. As far as the weed strain named Purple Haze, it's possible the strain could have been named after the song, and not the other way. So maybe the song was partially inspired by (or simply written under the influence of) acid and he fibbed a little, for whatever reason. Or maybe it was just a sci-fi dream. I don't think either is incontrovertible. Just don't get all up in arms about it, people, just enjoy the music and let it do to you whatever you choose best.
- Shannon, Jacksonville, AL
(nah, your mama, PA) READ the book "ELECTRIC GYPSY", its a very good JIMI BIO. You CANNOT ASSUME this song was written about LSD because JIMI hadn't been seen by anyone taking LSD until a good six months AFTER THE SONG WAS WRITTEN. You know what happens when you ASSUME.....
- Melman, Puyallup, WA
Hendrix was not much of a songwriter prior to the creation of the JHE. Therefore, PURPLE HAZE and most of the other songs on the debut LP were esentially the first real compositions he ever wrote. Quite a fine job for a beginner.
- Barry, New York, NC
There are other Hendrix songs I like even more, but this is certainly his signature song, at least in the U.S.
There are plentiful "unofficial" live recordings of Jimi clearly intoning "'scuse me while I kiss this guy," which comes as no surprise, considering that he loved to have fun on stage, humping his amp, flicking his tongue at the ladies in the crowd, and basically winking at his audience throughout.
Great song, regardless, and the opening deliberately atonal beginning was truly inspired.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
Some of these comments are unbelievable...half of the comments say that he wrote this when he was high...this song is obviously about acid (he used to stick two hits in his headband while performing so his sweat would cause the acid to drip into his eyes)...He wrote the song about the trips he had on Purple Owsleys (changed the name, can you rhyme something with owsley?)...you dont trip on Marijuana, you may get a cerebreal type high on sativa strains like "purple haze" (which is EXTINCT by the way, although there are some strains that have purple calyxes but a grower can easily cause this by temp changes) but it is nowhere near enough to describe the trip described in the song...And he told people and media it was about a dream because well, would you want everyone in the world to know that you wrote this song about some sick tabs going around? Vietnam? hell no...and it is "kiss the sky"...unless you know what youre talking about please dont leave "i heard from a friend" comments about the song...
- nah, your mama, PA
Purple Haze is a potent type of wacky backy. Hendrix said the song was about a dream (inverted comas)
- Jack the Hat, City in the clouds, United Kingdom
He may have had a dream where he is walking under the sea but that dream was caused by massive and I mean massive amounts of LSD.
- Joel, Columbia, SC
Saw him perform this at Winterland in San Francisco, 1968. He had a tall can of Colt 45 next to him onstage.
- robert, san francisco, CA
the weed stuff is all a bunch of bs. those claims arise from other claims made by people who did'nt analyze the song carefully. hendrix himself claims it was about a dream he had from reading a sci fi novel not from smoking weed. actually my father asked hendrix himself what purple haze was about and hendrix said it was about a dream he had. my dad is 68 and lived around that time.
- gabe, laguna beach, CA
Jimi hendrix was in the army, but he got discharged for being a slacker and having bad aim. He never fought either. and its "excuse me while i kiss the sky."
- Jordan, Galion, OH
pete in k.c. has a warped sense of humor, and jimi is probably having a good laugh.
- chuck, LA, CA
Purple Haze was acually what Viet Nam vets called the purple heart medal, since after you were wounded, they gave you morphene. "Excuse me while I kiss this guy." refers to how he felt about the medic that saved his life after Jimi had his hand blown off during the Tet Offensive. The ironic thing about this song is that Hendrix never did drugs and he single-handedly won the Viet Nam war.
- Pete, Kansas City, KS
oh......and why the hell isn't the song of hendrix's absolutely heaviest guitar break of ALL TIME...on the list here ________________________STONE FREE!!!!!!
- chuck, LA, CA
never ever have i heard of anyone thinking the lyric was 'while i kiss this guy'..how the hell would that fit into the song's meaning of what we always thought was a heavily 'drug induced dream'...(i saw him 3x up close)........but i did think the beatles were signing 'can puppy loooooove, can puppy looooove'.......how funny is that.
- chuck, LA, CA
Purple Haze is a drug song. End of story. Purple Haze is a type of LSD. Read the lyrics if you don't believe it.
- Joel, Columbia, SC
dude this song is about the effect of love '' what ever it is she will put a smile on me''. hello hello or there could be more than one meaning whoooooooooooo knows each vverse has its own meaning
- derek, mulvane, KS
Hendrix didn't lie it came from a dream he just didn't say what kind of dream.
- Kurtiz, Oklahoma City, OK
The Cure did a cover of this song and it is incredably different aproach than what Jimi took but equally amazing.
- Elyse, Huntington Beach, CA
i heard this song was about jimi jumping from a helicopter in nom at dusk, and at dusk, flying through the air you see a purple haze around you. all this would describe "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" and "Don't know if I'm climbin' up or down" and "Don't know if it's day or night"
- Train, NYC, NJ
Purple Haze is indeed about acid, the famous "Purple Owsley's" were circulating throughout the music scene in 66-67, Hendrix just changed the name.
- pygmy, Boston, MA
kissing the sky probaly refres to riding in the choppers in nam
- raymand, gigharbor, WA
Lets get this stright jimi was in nom in fact he got out for claming that he was gay also if you kinda think about it jimi was vary open if he said he got the song from a dream its from a dream.
- bri, orange, CA
in response to the comment by Edward Pearce that the lyric purple haze jesus saves that jimi decided not to use it is incorrect actually Chas Chandler and Mike Jeffrey were against him using it

also the song actually came from a book jimi read in 1966 entitled Night of Light by Jose Phillip Farmer

wasami
- wasami, Butler, PA
The original lyrics to this song were jotted down on a napkin.Theres a book that documents this for the life of me I cannot remember the name.But I do recall that the lyrics were "purple haze beyond insane ,is it pleasure is it pain .Down on the ceiling looking up at my bed ,see my body painted blue and red." I vaguely remember the book coming with a cd of some lost recordings.
- adam, melbourne, FL
As a Doors fan, I hate to admit it, but this is one of the best guitar intro's ever!!!!
Jimi = God
- Eric, Maastricht
there's was a cheese sold, called 'purple haze'. I last bought it in Costco 2 years ago. It tastes like feta + spices.
- Dimitri, Staten Island, NY
Pure guitar playing genius
- Mike, Hueytown , AL
Although many will believe it was about a drug trip.It was indeed said by "Jimi" himself that it was about him being in a sea and all he could see around him was purple,thus, saying the phrase "Don't know if I'm going up or down"
- Hill, Bismarck, ND
dude we all know it was about some crazy dream he had after smokin some killer purple haze man
*smoke bud bitxches*
- joey, yourmomsville, MA
this song is about him doing acid dumba**es
- joe, shreveport, IA
i personallythink tis song is bout gettin high on maryjane
- jimi, marshamellow, VA
i know jimi.s rendition is best.but i am sure there were other,s who covered it.anyone remember.?
- eddie, elkesley, England
Purple Haze, Jesus Saves!
- Zac, Sydney, Australia
Yeah, I agree with Mitch, I thought it meant he was high enough to "kiss the sky" (so hard not to type "guy") after I figured out those where the real lyrics, I totally thought this song was about drugs
- Emily, Pittsburgh, PA
I thought it was "kiss this guy" the first three times I heard it until I really listened and tried to hear it in a way that made sense, great song though.
I always thought "purple haze" was referring to marijuana but I guess I was wrong, awesome dream then!
- Emily, Pittsburgh, PA
I've never heard "kiss this guy" before I read the "REAL LYRICS" somewhere online.
- Allen, Bethel, AK
i never heard "while i kiss this guy." but when i first heard it i thought "while i piss the sky"
- Ben, cincinnati, OH
Ah, not only is purple haze a strain of marijuana, but people refer to marijuana as Mary Jane. Hence, "That girl".
Kiss the sky could be interpreted as Being high enough to metaphorically kiss the sky.
- Mitch, Carrboro, NC
I think it's very important to know what the song your listining to is about, Leeky
- Linda, omaha, NE
Jimi Hendrix original version was much more longer than the known three minute version. The manager forced Jimi to change the length and lyrics to be more commercial. It is not a drug-related song, its about dream Jimi had. The purple, in the song topic means positive colour. The information taken from Monika Dannemanns book Inner World of Jimi Hendrix (1995) ISBN 0-312-13738-9.
- mid, kinder, Germany
Right now I'm listening to it live at woodstock.
- Johnny, Los Angeles, CA
In an interview before Hendrix died, he said Purple Haze was about a dream he had, he was walking at the bottom of the ocean, he got lost, and Jesus came and saved him, and showed him his way...Thus why it was almost called Purple Haze-Jesus Saves
- Zac, Cornwall, Canada
Ozzy Ozbourne did a version of this thats pretty good. it haz an Ozzy fell to it but its a great song.
- I'm awesome, Boulder, CO
see this is one of MANY reasons why i think this song is so great
almost everyone whos left a comment has had a different idea as to what this song means
and the funny thing is
no one really knows for sure
even though this definatly isnt my FAVORITE Jimi Hendrix song
its a clasic for sure
- Stevie, Ontario, Canada
my dad can play this song (im very jealous, he can play pink floyd/the doors/hendrix/etc so well) and he used to sing 'kiss this guy'...i was proud to tell him its actually 'kiss the sky'...i love misheard lyrics!
- MeL, SoutH AustraliA, Australia
At around 1 minute Jimi sings "Don't know wether I'm commin' up or down". And when you begin to trip isnt it called comming up on acid. i dunno...
- Ben, Portsmouth, England
Purple Haze is a gift that we should all use wisely!!!! I love JIMI Wish you were here man!!!! So we could talk about that time in Sand Diego, wow what a night!!!!
- Mike, Erie, PA
its about the smoke from cigs. no questions asked
- Mitchell, Redding, CA
I think the song is about the Vietnam War since "Purple Haze" is what you see in the morning mists there.
- Ryan, New Orleans, LA
Cool song! Still think it's about drugs, but that's just me. I'm sure it could be about other things.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Purple haze is a strain of cannabis. A dream was a common term used for a trip.
- Mark, Doncaster, England
Jimi Hendrix is the the greatest guitar player to ever live end of story.
- Sam Warren, Morristown, IN
Why does everyone insist on trying to analyse songs, 'oh, but i think it means...' Its B*llocks
- Leeky, Ilkeston, England
It's about LSD, man. After the song came out, Owsley came out with "Purple Haze" acid as a tribute. At least, that's how I remember it.
- robert, Santa Barbara, CA
I think Purple Haze is about a woman. The "purple haze" relects how engulfed by the thought of a woman that he can't stop thinking about. He thinks about her so much that its like a spell cast on him and she's all he thinks about and nothing else.
- Mo, Newark, NJ
At about 30 seconds into this track you can hear Jimi cough, a few seconds before he start singing. Don't know if thats intentional or not.
- Michael, London
Look...i dont like PH as much as a hendix fan should....but now that i see he was a man of faith...i seem to like the song a lil more bc of the non-drug reference
- alex, canton, OH
I should add those voices are between the 2nd and 3rd(Last) stanzas
- David, New York, NY
When the Son of Sam murders occured, it was reported in the news the barely audible voices were saying "Son of Sam."
- David, New York, NY
This song was on a misheard song lyrics calender, the kind where you tear off a page every day. People used to be confused as to whether he was singing "scuse me while i kiss this guy" or "scuse me while i kiss the sky", hence why it was on the calender.
- Michelle, Anaheim, CA
whooa ydur guy from knoxville, ur wrong man.it actually is a flat fifth. the definition of a tritone is three whole steps from the root, so if we're in the key of E minor, u would go: E,F#,A(flat),B(flat). In the E minor scale, the fifth note is a natural B and in the song the bass is playing an E note and its octave, while Jimi is playing a B(flat) and playing its octave, thus giving the tritone. U gotta get ur music theory right man...badass song though, i only wish it wasn't so played out by tons of people who think they're big fans on Jimi, but can only name purple haze and voodoo child as his greatest recordings :( When asked, Jimi actually said he enjoyed writing the slower jams more than anything.
- Ben, Chinatown, Hong Kong
I think that it is about a purple guitar he had that was made from wood that was from Israel.
- Jim, Dallas, TX
The opening "interval" is actually a SHARP or AUGMENTENTED fifth, not a flat fifth. You could also call it a flat or diminished SIXTH. More correctly, it is an E7aug9 chord played with the two E strings open, bouncing back & forth between the open bass string and the fretted strings. I doubt Jimi knew this was Musica Diabolica; it was considered such by the enlightend members of the church because it was a discordant SIXTH, making it doubly demonic.
- yduR, Knoxville, TN
greatest hendrix song ever
- jaydm, brisbane, Australia
heres the understanding I had before I got to this page: This song is about a very potent strain of weed called purple haze, which was very popular back then and still is today. Acting funny without knowing why and all the other things are common occurences while stoned. As for the scuse me while i kiss the sky, I heard he meant puffing the smoke out into the air. Nothing to do with acid or dreams... just weed. Now for all I know I could be wrong about this one but to me it makes more sense than some bogus comic inspired dream story.
- Brian, Palo Alto, CA
Hendrix is a rock god only matched by people like santana and page ect.. no one can dare touch their names in vain another thing if anyone likes the wrestling it was used as the Immortal Hulk Hogans entrance music at one point because the Hulkster was a fan of Hendrix the only one with a song that is well known chart topper wise
- Edan, Melbourne, Australia
I think most people think the song's about drugs.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
If you listen to 1:20-ish of the song you'll hear someone talking gibberish. Put down everything in the equilizer and turn up 250 the highest. You'll hear them say, "Do what I say, do what I say. Baby look around, it ain't easy," then something I can't figure out yet.
- John, Kalgoorlie, Australia
dude i thunked the song was about doing drugs n' that now he was in a purple haze. and when he made the thing are you experienced i thought he meant like, have you done drugs or something.
- Jothuf, Phoenix, AZ
Hendrix success came with the incendiary and original "Purple Haze", with a heavily distorted guitar sound that would be influential for the next 20 years, the soulful ballad "The Wind Cries Mary", and "Hey Joe". The three songs were Top 10 hits.
- Daniel Roberto DÃ?az, Panama City, Other
Well if you can play like him you are blessed, but if you think that comment is funny you must be the screwed one darling. Rock on Hendrix!
- Elysia, Hamilton, New Zealand
Haha haha! kidding!! I am a huge fan of his and for a matter of fact i can play some of his stuff, so your screwed,Elysia
- Katheren, Augusta, ME
Katheren - Hate Hendrix? Why the hell are you here? I'd like to see you play like him. Get a clue....he's an artist, one of the best in the history of the world.
- Elysia, Hamilton, New Zealand
oh dear me, Katherine, luvvie... no, no, no. you poor, misguided individual.
- Jemma, Camborne, England
Katheren you are confused beyond belief. hendrix is a rock legend. he is one of the greatest, maybe the greatest, guitar player ever, with only clapton, page, and santana even in his league.
- Matt, Millbrae, CA
I hate hendrix. you know it was someone else on guitar the wholetime?
- Katheren, Augusta, ME
ADAM FROM NYC. I think your thinking of, "All Along the Watchtower", with the whole army stuff. And then againg "All Along the Watchtower" was a cover, originally written by Bob Dylan.
- Cool Guy, Compton, CA
This is #17 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
This song really reminds me of the children's book series "The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes" because Abby's favorite color is purple and her last name is Hayes. It was mentioned in one of the books.
- Candice, Vancouver, Canada
My copy of "Are You Experienced?" might be a remastered one.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Is it just me or is "Purple haze" on the album "Are You experienced?" too. i bought a copy of "are You experienced?" a few weeks ago, and "Purpl haze" is on it. Also, te only album that is listed in the songfacts table is the smash hits one. Btw I find it hard to belive that "Purple haze" isn't about drugs. The lyrics seem to be about an acid trip.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
No one thinks that he says "scuse me while i kiss this guy".. just old people who can't hear and don't appreciate Hendrix. I think he is the one of the greatest musicians of all time.. I really like the line "Watched the sun rise, from the bottom of the sea" its a great image...
- candy, South Africa, South Africa
Jimi is awesome guys.He was totaly anti vietnam!He was a frekin hippie for god sakes!And yes he did start playing at 12 years old not in Vietnam ,go read some more books on him einesteins!
- swaman, st louis, MO
Jimi is the best guitarist of all time. People today still can't match him with all of their new equipment. To me, that is the best, even if he never had a single lyric to any of his songs. I think Jimi wanted his songs to remain a mystery to people.
- Jennifer Prather, Newcomb, TN
Dennis Miller sometimes used this song to close Weekend Update when he hosted that segment on Saturday Night Live.
- Rob, Santa Monica, CA
Lets clear a few things up.
1-Jimi was NEVER in Viet Nam. He went into the army to avoid jail, somewhere between 1958-61. He injured his ankle in a parachute training exercise and was out by 1963. The scene in "Apocalyspe Now" has a character who is familiar with Hendrix's Music saying "Hey look, Purple Haze." There is also a scene in the movie where a guitar is heard on the radio, played by famous Hendrix impersonater Randy Hansen.
2-Several Hendrix biographies support the idea that the song was written after a drug trip, where the drug taken was in the form of a purple pill (lsd? Peyote? Psilicibin?)
3-The meaning of the lyrics is beyond vague. It would be hard for anyone to know what the refernces in a dream or hallucination definitively mean.
4-As to "Scuse me while I kiss the sky" it may have to do woth Jimi's longing for freedom. He often signed his autograph "stay free" or "keep being free." but again, the ultimate interpretation is up to the listener.
- Adam, NYC, NY
Purple Haze is a potent form of Cannibus. The best related way to understand it for those not on it is to look at a thick piece of grass pulled out of the ground, towards the bottom it will have a shiny purple part, just like purple Haze.
- Alec, New York, NY
Purple Haze related to an acid experience Jimi had after he was hand a tab from Jerry Garcia, everyone should know that!
- Gary, Seattle, WA
This song was DEFINATLEY NOT anti-Vietnam. Dude, Jimi was all for Vietnam. He didn't like the fact U.S. was at war but respected what we were fighting for yet at the same time promoted peace. Hendrix wasn't a yellow belly tree hugger, dudes. It's also not about drugs (though it can easily be mistaken as a drug - like topic). The dream is the correct topic of this masterpiece. ALSO, Jimi didn't learn to play guitar in the paratroopers, he was given his first guitar at the age of 12 by his father. It was a crappy acoustic bought for $5.
- Derrick, Cross Junction, VA
It very much sounds like a drug induced dream I think it seems more likely than just a dream. Dreams are formed in the sub Concious so how did all that stuff get in his sub thought
- Kevin, Minneapolis, MN
awesome songs, prolly his most well known
- Shana, Pembroke,Ontario, Canada
From the sleve of his greatest hits, "Experience Hendrix."... "Long hailed as one of Jimi's signature songs, Purple Haze was inspired by the guitarist's vivid interest in science fiction. According to Hendrix, the song's colorful imagery came to him in a dream. 'I dream a lot and I put a lot of my dreams down as songs,' he explained in a 1967 interview. '"Purple Haze" was all about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea.' For producer Chas Chandler, it was the song's muscular hook which immediately captured his attention. '"Purple Haze" was written backstage at the Upper Cut Club on Boxong Day [December 26, 1966]' recalled Chandler. 'The riff had come to him about ten days before. I heard him playing it at the flat and was knocked out. I told him to keep working on that, saying "that's the next single!" That afternoon at the Upper Cut, he started playing the riff in the dressing room. I said "write the rest of that!" so he did.' Originally issued in Britain as the Experience's second single in March 1967, 'Purple Haze' earned the group it's second UK top five chart success, peaking at number three."
- Brendon, Paxton, IL
I think that it doesn't matter what the song is really about, it's how you interpret it. That's what I think Hendrix would've said.
- Jennifer Prather, Newcomb, TN
I have one interesting things about this song that occurred to me when I saw the 1979 vietnam flick "Apocolyps Now" As most of you all know, Jimi Hendrix was in the vietnam war. In "Apopcolyps Now" there is a charachter based on Jimi Hendrix who's nickname is 'clean'. We'll anyways, in one sceen clean and about 4 other guys are traveling up this river, and one of the soldiers ignites a smoke flare, that rather than being red or yellow, is purple. He even calls it "Purple Haze". So anyways, the boat is going up stream surrounded in this foggy, purple haze. Suddenly the boat is fired upon from the bushes by VC. The US soldiers start firing back, But 'clean' is killed. I just thought that was a very interesting connection that I'd like to share.
- Karl, Portland, OR
purple haze is a type of weed i always thought he was with a girl who was getting him high
- anna, melbourne beach, FL
The fact of the matter is that our beloved Jimi was indeed a so called "Hippie". While experimenting with drugs Jimi had a dream that he was on a cliff, fell off into the sea, and Christ cam down to save him from the waters that engulfed him. The Purple Haze which Christ was surrounded in was what drove Jimi to deepen his faith in the Lord and tell about his "out-of-body" experiences with Christ. Thus came Purple Haze. Though many say drugs had nothing to do with the writing of this song, it is true that they did. I found a picture of Jimi with his arms outstretched ,in the form of Jesus on the cross, with a doobie in his mouth surrounded in purple smoke. This shows us that it had to do with Christ, drugs, and his love for symbolism.
- Tom, St. Louis, MO
jimi wrote purple haze about a dream he had...correct...what inspired that dream was a short story in a sci-fi magazine about a guy who was losing his mind because a woman had shot him with a purple death ray gun, thus purple haze...
- dan, t.c, MI
Hendrix has said that "Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?" is something he said to a police officer when he was high (or something to that effect).
- Jeff, Seaville, NJ
Stump is right. People didnt want to hear religious tuff in their songs back then. Making it a more mellow stoner song was better for the times back then. Anyone who thinks this is strictly talking about drugs is way off.
- david, Tampa, FL
Acid trips give you these weird dreams which kind of blend with reality, so that could be what Hendrix meant by the song being about a dream.
- Emily, Portland, OR
Hendrix Never Denied that it was about drugs he just said it was about a "DREAM" wink wink.
- Tokie, Mexico City, Mexico
I once heard a different version of this song. I got it on Kazaa, it could have been alive one or something because it had a bigger echo, and was in the key of D, and instead of saying the last lines of every verse the same pitch, he sang them lower like he was about to pass out or something.
- Will, Portland, OR
Your part right. It was about a "dream" (we all know It was an Acid trip) If you ever so the lost Biography of the jimi Hendrix Experiance Noel Redding and Mich Michell before reddings death told the story. They were at Hendix's Hotle room and he showed them the bigest stash of Weed and Acid they had ever seen and that is How purple haze was born. He did say his faith in Jesus got him through it but there were never lyrics that say Purple Haze, Jesus saves. The editors would haze done the oposit they wouldn't want the song to sound druggy that dosen't win over parents. It's about Acid and weed and thats that. the story has been told!
- Tokie, Mexico City, Mexico
I am a fan of Jimi Hendrix and I bought the greatest hits album. In it, it gives info on each song, and for Purple Haze it says that Jimi Hendrix was inspired by his vivid interest in scifi. Hendrix said the colorful imagery of the song came to him in a dream. "I dream a lot and I put a lot of my dreams down as songs" is what Jimi said in an interview. " 'Purple Haze' is all about a dream i had that i was walking under the sea" said Jimi
- nick, petal, MS
i think purple haze is about being stoned
- jason, wylie, TX
This song is actually about Hendrixes time as a paratrooper (where he lernt to play guitar). Purple haze refers to the smoke used to mark a landing zone. Hence the lyrics "Scuse me while i kiss the sky"
- Jonny, Leicster , England
Hard to believe its not about drugs. Amazing song!
- Andrew, Bowmanville, Canada
Purple Haze became an anti-Vietnam song. It inspired soldiers who were fighting inthe Vietnam war.

Hendrix said that "Purple Haze" was about whatever you wanted it to be about and many interpreted it to be about the Vietnam war.
- Jess, Toronto, Canada
Jimi mentioned "watching the sunrise from the bottom of the sea" in a dream as some inspiration for this. He made that idea a lyric in "Are you Experienced?" later on the album.
- Eddie, Lachine, MI
Alot of people thought he was singing "Excuse me while I kiss this guy."
- Jade, Ottawa, Canada
The song actually was about a dream. The editors changed it around to sound like a druggy song. Havent you heard of Purple Haze, Jesus saves?
- Stump, Gulf Shores, AL
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