The Wind Cries Barry

Students of the work of Jimi Hendrix will recognize Barack Obama’s complaint that “They talk about me like a dog.” It obviously derives from Hendrix’s “Stone Free,” the first song that Hendrix wrote after arriving in England in 1966. “Stone Free” was released as the B-side to “Hey Joe,” the first Jimi Hendrix Experience single. “They talk about me like a dog,” Hendrix observes, “Talk about the clothes I wear/But they don’t realize they’re the ones who’s square.”
When “Stone Free” was subsequently released as a single in the United States, it backed “If 6 Was 9,” a song that also contributes to understanding Obama’s frame of mind. In that song Hendrix poignantly laments: “White-collar conservatives flashing down the street/Pointing their plastic finger at me,” and so on.

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