January 2008 issue of Classic Rock spotlighted the Hendrix
mega-tour package which included the Outer Limits.
IN November 1967, a star-studded but unlikely
assemblage of psychedelic, rock and soul bands set out in
a fleet of cars, transit vans and coaches on a 21-date tour
of theatres and civic halls the length and breadth of Britain
in a vague attempt to emulate the traditional package tour
But the combination of bands drawn up
for this tour was a bit way out even for those times.
This was a bill featuring the cream of
the new music, some of the craziest, most pioneering and
influential bands of all time: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
and Pink Floyd, supported by The Move, The Nice, Amen Corner,
Eire Apparent and The Outer Limits.
These days, when one Led Zeppelin gig
attracts ticket requests in their millions, a simlar bill
would sell out stadiums in a flash. But there were no guarantees
back in 1967.
For the Jimi Hendrix Experience, this
would be their second full tour of the UK, having spent
much of the summer months in mainland Europe and the US,
basking in the glory of having played the legendary set
at the Monterey festival.
The show was comprised of two halves with
an interval. Newcomers The Outer Limits and Eire Apparent
opened with just eight minutes apiece; Amen Corner were
next with 15 minutes, and The Move closed the first half
with a 30-minute set. After a 20min interval, The Nice were
next, followed by Pink Floyd, with 15mins apiece. Hendrix
closed the show with an incendiary 40min set.
Probably the least well-known band on
that tour were founded at Leeds University that same year.
The Outer Limits were Rolling Stones'
flamboyant manager Andrew Oldham's hot new signing to his
Deram/Immediate record label.
Their debut single, Just
One More Chance, was released in June, and it was
probably just about all they had time to play in their slot.
Unfortunately for them, their second single
Great Train Robbery, released
in early 1968, was considered distasteful by the BBC, even
five years after the actual event, and the band never fully
Frontman Jeff Christie did however find
lasting fame as the composer of the song Yellow
River, which he took to No 1 in the Uk chart, for
what seemed like forever, with his band Christie in 1970.
The end of the tour marked the end of
an era. It is widely regarded as the last of the great pop-rock
package tours, a phenomenon unique to the times.
The cast and crew
of the pop package, with Jeff (in colour) and Outer Limits
members on the left.