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  • Writer's pictureMichael Sales

Have You Ever Been Experienced?

Updated: May 4, 2023



While attending the University of Chicago in 1967-68, I carried on a long distance romance with a wife-to-be, a poet, Carol, who was in college on Long Island. As young lovers often do, I drove all night across country to be with her. I was driving a Navy blue Ford Fairlane that was approximately the size of a small elephant and looked as though it belonged to the FBI. A new chapter in my life opened up shortly after we hit the Pennsylvania line around 3AM. Receiving signal from an AM station (which was all there was) in Manhattan, I was transfixed and transported by a DJ who had just received a copy of Hendrix' first album. He must have been transfixed and transported too because he played it over and over again during the course of that midnight ride.


I was fortunate to have been exposed to many great musicians by the time I took that trip, but I knew from the first notes of "Hey Joe" that I had never heard a guitar that sounded that good and that I might never again.

I related to "Are You Experienced" in particular because it spoke to occasions when I had an awareness of a consciousness exterior to my own seeing and knowing me. Some might contend that my encounter with this larger consciousness is no more than an indication of my own limitations of a knowing that is always available to me, and they might be right. But it doesn't feel that way.






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