Are You Experienced?

Album: Are You Experienced? (1967)

Songfacts®:

  • The question "Are you experienced" was commonly interpreted as Hendrix asking if you have experienced drugs. He said that this song was not necessarily about drugs, but about being at peace with yourself.
  • Guitar, bass and drums were all played backward as part of the effects. The part at the beginning may have been ahead of its time, as it sounded a lot like the record scratching Hip-Hop DJs began using years later.
  • Hendrix played the piano on this. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 34

  • Marty from Baltimore, MdBeautiful is a code word for the LSD experience just like stoned is a code word for marijuana.
  • Jerry from Bellvue, CoHe is talking about an internal experience that can't be thought of or imagined but rather felt. He talked of the same experience in May This Be Love, Axis:Bold As Love and Hey Baby and other songs. "not necessarily stoned, but beautiful" says it all. He's talking of the peace that is in one's heart.
  • Delin The Felon from San Diego, CaI got this album for a dollar at a swapmeet.
  • Andrew from Johannesburg, South AfricaProbably one of my favorite Hendrix songs - together with Bold as Love and has had a powerful influence on my own music and life.

    Trivia: - The song was recorded on April 3, 1967 at Olympic Sound Studios in London, England; the songs "May This Be Love" and "Highway Chile" were recorded on the same day. Described as a "psychedelic symphony."

    Personally I don't believe that it has ANYTHING to do with drugs, it’s just the images that Henrix conjures up as he puts together his "Sound sculpture"

    The song is basically about looking at the world and the society that you live in through a different perspective:

    "If you can just get your mind together and come on across to me" - i.e. Clear all your pre conceived ideas and have an open and receptive mind and listen to what Jimi has to say or show you.

    "We'll hold hands and watch the sunrise, from the bottom of the sea" - Amazing image of looking at something (not literally the sunrise) but seeing it through a different perspective. Holding Jimi's hand - i.e. letting him guide you and teaching you his wisdom and perceptions.

    "I know, I know you'll probably scream and cry, that your little world won't let you go" - Naturally if you are brought up a certain way with a certain belief and value system it would be very difficult to change. You will also encounter resistance from those people around you.

    "But who in your measly little world are you trying to prove that you’re made out of gold and can't be sold?" - Self explanatory

    "Trumpets and violins, I can hear in the distance. I think they’re calling your name" - You are beginning to think about this concept and question the values of society. i.e. Starting to accept the Jimi Hendrix perception.

    "Maybe now you can't hear them, but you will. If you just take hold of my hand" - It may take a bit more time, but if you allow Jimi to guide you, he will show you and allow you to decide for yourself.

    The choruses (Are you experienced; have you ever been experienced? Well I have) are basically asking if you have seen the world through Jimi's eyes and understood it in the same context as he and like - minded people did.
  • Jesse from Gaffney, ScI like how it sounds just as good backward as forward.
  • Kevin from Los Angeles, CaPatti Smith does this on her LP of covers called "Twelve".
  • Riot from Palm Desert, Ca"Belly" recorded a great cover version of this song as a track on the Jimi Hendrix tribute album "Stone Free". It also appeared as a B-side on Belly's "Now They'll Sleep" single.
  • Dakota from Mansfield, OhThe beggining is backwards and so is the solo.
  • Richard from Talladega, AlBe sure to check out Devo's rocking version of this. I think it is on youtube. "not necessarily beautiful but mutative"
  • Jay from Callander, CanadaIt's a little from column A and column B. I believe it's a conversation between a man and you; questioning if you are 'Experienced'. Asking if you know how to be at peace with the world around you and your fellow man - look at everything with grooviness and wisdom - If you can't dig the world around you and understand what is real, then you are Not Experienced. Maybe you did understand at one time, but now you are a buttondown establishment man and forgot how to be at peace and intouch with the world, - so "Have you ever been Experienced? Maybe at one time, long ago? Before you got old?".

    And then Column B. This entire conversation is observed in a state of narcosis from either the high you get from experiencing utter peace and happiness, or possibly your drug of choice. The combination of lyrics and music solidly display the mood; and the mood is a narcotic Peace - no matter how it's obtained. Being at peace with everything is being "not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.".

    Now you're experienced. Or not.

  • Putzz from Dc, DcThis is song is obviosly about getting high on all sorts of drugs such as weed acid or possibly coke...jimi hendrix couldnt have really siad that str8 up to everyone but the point is that yes it is about drugs and how they can make you feel peacefull sometimes...inderectly it could be aout how life has struggles and anything to help you get through it is good ...who knows?
  • Tom from Tampa, InThe song is for sure about LSD

    Trumpets and violins I can-uh, hear in the distance
    I think theyre callin our name
    Maybe now you cant hear them,
    But you will, ha-ha, if you just
    Take hold of my hand

    ^^ thats the proof
  • Bob from Melbourne, FlYou're both right. It's about having sex on acid. He's hitting on this woman and he wants to know if she does acid.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoI think when he sings "not necessarily stoned, but beautiful," he makes it clear that drugs were one way to get to the mindset he was talking about, but they're not necessarily the only way. It was a not uncommon theme of those who wanted the hippy movement to be taken seriously that drugs were not the only way to see what it was all about. They just helped! :-)
  • Lane from Okc, OkThis like most songs is what u imagine it to be about. It can cover a broad range of subjects. Its only what u make of it and how you connect to it. Same for all those beatles songs. Don't analyze just connect.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaFunny Nathan. Who's Mary. Sorry for being so ignorant on this subject. I bet it's a cobination of Sex and Drugs, Jimi's hobbies. Amazing music, though.
  • Greg from Columbus, Oh"...watch the sunrise From the bottom of the sea..." Ever triped before? The song is what ever you make of it and can be about both, but I think this is a refrence to triping. IMHO
  • Mota from .This song is timeless...it will never get old for me. I always thought of this song as a way of Jimi saying he's been here before and experienced all of these things before
  • J from Atl, GaL.S.D.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhYou could have asked Jimi while he was alive, but he probaly would have been too hopped up on acid to tell you.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scyeah, I agree with you on that one mark. The lijne 'have you ever been experienced", kind of ponts to it being about sex.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI always thought "Ate You Experienced" was about sex too. That's because Jimi sings that line 'Have you ever been experienced". If that' not dealing with sex,then what is it about. Although, if you think about it, some of it could be about drugs, if not all fo it.
    : rock Hill SCstef8819
  • Sonu from Brantford, CanadaJade,i wonder if the song wind cries Mary would have any connection?
  • Marc from Alameda, CaThe line, "Have you ever been experienced?" nods to the idea of sex.... the idea of experiencing other people and in turn being experienced by them. The whole song seems to be Jimi talking to some chick that he digs, and wants to know if she's 'done it' before; all the romantic references and stuff... the line about being made of gold seems to relate to the idea that women want their first time to be 'perfect', but Jimi is sayin, "hey, get real.. .you've got nothin to prove cause you're just like everyone else.. so just let go of all that and let's have some fun!"
  • Jade from Chippewa Falls, Wi In her biography, Mary was friends with Jimi but he wanted to seriously f--k her and she was only fifteen. This song isn't about acid dude.
  • Alyssa from Sumner, WaI always thought it was about sex too.
  • Denise from Stoke, EnglandSongs like this can be interpreted individually, its wotever it means to u int it? thats why its such an ace tune!
  • David from Tampa, FlTokie, Purple Haze isnt about drugs at all. Its about him comming into a relationship with jesus Christ...lol your way off on that one. He said he had a dream where he saw jesus and was walking thru a Purple Haze.
  • Tokie from Mexico City, MexicoThis song is a continuation of Purple Haze. But it's about using drugs just to the point of being melow not tripin out like in Purple Haze. Belive me there is a difference!
  • Sara from Webljgb, VaYeah i definitely thought it was about sex too.....
  • David from Greensboro, Nche does say "not neccisarily stoned, but beautiful" which could mean 2 things: 1) that the song is definitly not about using drugs, or 2) not using drugs to the point where one becomes stoned, but just "mellow," but is still about using drugs. either way, this doesn't help clarify anything, but, um, i dunno, i'm out of things to say...
  • Scott from Rock Hill, Scim with alex.
  • Alex from Edmonton, Canadadude i thought it was about sex
  • Jason from Wylie, Txif this song isnt about acid i dont know what is lol
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