Thursday, June 5, 2014

Jimi Hendrix album banned in Malaysia 47 years after release

Jimi Hendrix’s album classic, “Axis: Bold as Love”, has been banned in Malayasia 47 years after its release based on its cover, which features and the guitar icon and his bandmates as various forms of Lord Vishnu.

Themalaymailonline reports an unidentified spokesman from the Home Ministry’s Publication Control and Quranic Text unit said compact discs with the 1967 album cover art featuring the Hindu deity would be prohibited from entering the country and they would seize such CDs found in Malaysia.

“We don’t care if Jimi Hendrix albums without cover art featuring Lord Vishnu come in, but if it uses Lord Vishnu’s image, then of course we won’t allow it,” said the official. “We’ll definitely take action against anything that violates religious sensitivities, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam. We must respect each other.”

The Home Ministry’s latest clampdown on freedom of speech in the country stems from the sale of 24”x36” reprints from the “Axis: Bold as Love” album at a book fair in March, which outraged the Penang Hindu Association.

Designed by David King, the cover for Jimi’s second studio album was based on a drawing made by Roger Law. The artwork’s inspiration comes from a Hindu devotional painting called Viraat Purushan-Vishnuroopam.

Hendrix distanced himself from the artwork following the project’s release, saying “The three of us [The Jimi Hendrix Experience members] have nothing to do with what's on the Axis cover.”

The guitarist reportedly wanted the cover to have an Indian motive – meaning a native American Indian – to reflect his own partly native American background: his grandmother on his mother’s side was a Cherokee.

Legend has it that the record label’s art department allegedly misunderstood this, thinking he meant Indian, which was quite fashionable in London at the time.

A 2003 release entitled “Axis Outtakes” features Jimi with a native American headdress on the cover, possibly reflecting an image closer to what the guitarist had in mind for the original studio album.

See also:

Jimi Hendrix Isle Of Wight concert coming to Blu-ray
VIDEO: Slash leads Jimi Hendrix tribute concert at SXSW
Jimi Hendrix: New US postage stamp unveiled
Slash and more to launch Jimi Hendrix postage stamp with free SXSW concert
Search Jimi Hendrix at hennemusic