The boy who walked with the gods



hendrix

Forty-seven years ago today, Hendrix electrified the Royal Albert Hall in London. Just before he thrashed Purple Haze, a young boy ambled onto the stage, whispered a message to Hendrix and toddled off. For 47 years, the identity of the boy in the photo above has remained a mystery.

In a fascinating story, UCR details how the mystery got solved. A hardcore Hendrix fan named Yazid Manou started posting the photo on various Hendrix fan boards. Finally, someone was able to identify him as little Charlie Weber – a boy who grew up in a wonderland full of rock royalty. He was immortalized in Robert Greenfield’s hippie opus, A Day in the Life: One Family, the Beautiful People, and the End of the Sixties.

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Once he was identified, Manou reached out to Weber to show him the photo. Weber had never seen the shot:

“To open up an email and see piece of your past looking at you like that was just extraordinary,” he said. “I’ve never seen the picture before, but I remember very clearly being backstage before the photo happened. My father introduced me to Hendrix. Of course they were all doing ridiculous amounts of chemicals when we met. But Hendrix put me up on his shoulders. He was just a lovely guy; a beautiful guy with lovely energy.”

… He remembers the moment he walked out on stage, too. “If you look at the shot, it’s like a fantasy image; like something from Alice in Wonderland, he continued. “Back then, in that era, a child wandering out was not all that odd, I suppose. Nobody tried to stop me. A year later, I did a similar thing at the Isle of Wight concert when Donovan led me and Julian Jones, Brian Jones’ son that Donovan was raising, out onstage. But nothing was like going out to see Jimi.”
As to what he told Hendrix once he got out there, he’s not completely sure.

“What do you say when you see a musical hero? I suppose I would have said, ‘I really love your music,’ or something in that vein. Or, ‘Could you play ‘Foxey Lady?’’ If you watch the clip you can see, in the midst of all that was going on, he managed to be very human. He was very engaged and patient. Looking at me like, hey, this kid here, he’s as important as anyone else. Hendrix’s values were 100 percent. You see the warmth and his normalcy.”

The concert appearance was just one of dozens of crazy stories from Weber’s youth. The son of a race car driver and filmmaker, Weber got toted around the world – often an arm’s length away from the most famous musicians in the world at the absolute heights of their powers.

He was even there when Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez-Mora Macias in 1971. In a now-infamous story, Weber had coke taped to his body, so he could smuggle drugs in as a wedding gift.

It was a different time, a different place. And one that we’ll probably never see again. “We were walking with gods,” Weber says.

You can watch Weber sneaking onstage with Hendrix below (scroll to minute 10:07):

Make sure to check out the full story on UCR. It’s fascinating.

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4 comments on “The boy who walked with the gods
  1. I just can’t imagine taping drugs to a kid… Insane! Would have loved to be a part of all that, though, so I guess it’s a trade-off.

  2. Jesus, I can’t even comprehend what that would be like. I wonder if he knew the impact that these musicians where making at the time.

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