Bold As Love
Music/Lyrics: Jimi Hendrix
Original Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Original Album: Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
Historian: Mockingbird Staff
Last Update: 2016-03-04
Jimi Hendrix is revered by all fans of rock-and-roll, and is seen by some as the most talented musician to ever take hold of an electric guitar. Trey has noted his affinity for Jimi on many occasions, going so far as to pay tribute to him almost every time Phish has played on his birthday, November 27. On 11/27/92, Trey referred to Jimi as the greatest electric guitarist ever. And to close that show, Phish played its version of Hendrix’s classic “Bold As Love,” one of four Hendrix covers that Phish has played over the years (see “Voodoo Chile,” “Fire” and “Izabella”).
Phish, "Bold As Love" – 2/18/97, Paris, France
Phish has always chosen to play “Bold as Love” as a straight cover, without altering the song’s feel from the original. The song’s raw energy, especially in the swirling closing jam segment, makes it a fantastic choice as a set-closer or encore – since 1992, it has only been played elsewhere in a show a handful of times. References to various colors in the lyrics give Chris Kuroda a great opportunity to augment live performances with a wonderful visual spectacle, especially when the band reaches the “rainbow” line.
Despite being one of Phish’s oldest and truest covers, the band seems to reserve the song from heavy rotation to avoid spoiling it. After two years of regular play from July 1988 to April 1990, followed by two years on the shelf until its reappearance in November 1992, “Bold as Love” was only played a few times each year before disappearing entirely in 2003 and 2004. However, the song returned to semi-regular rotation in 2009 including performances on 6/9/09 Asheville, 5/27/11 Bethel Woods, 8/4/13 San Francisco and 8/30/14 Dick’s.
"Bold As Love" 6/9/09 Asheville, NC