Folk rock singer Tim Rose’s slow version, (recorded in 1966 and claimed to be Rose's arrangement of a wholly traditional song) inspired the first single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. One documentary shows interviews with Chas Chandler, who, having just left The Animals, and was focusing on managing other acts. He had been seeking out an artist to record a full-on rock version of "Hey Joe", and Hendrix fit the bill. Chandler had seen Rose performing at the Cafe Wha? in New York City (Hendrix himself had recently played a few times in the same venue). Some accounts credit the slower version of the song by the British band The Creation as being the inspiration for Hendrix's version; Chandler and Hendrix eventually saw them perform the song after Jimi finally arrived in the UK along with Chandler although their version was not released until after Hendrix's. It is unclear if the members of the Creation had heard Rose's version. Released in December 1966, Hendrix's version became a worldwide hit, entering the UK top ten within the month in January 1967 and remains the best known recording of the song. The single was released in the United States on May 1, 1967 with the B-side "51st Anniversary". It is #198 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand
I'm goin' down to shoot my ol' lady
I caught her messin' 'round with another man
Yeah, I'm goin' down to shoot my ol' lady now
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man
And that ain't too cool
Hey Joe, hey, Joe, I heard you shot your woman down
Hey Joe, hey, Joe, I heard you shot your woman down, baby
He said, "Yeah, I did it, yes I did, I shot her
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man"
Yes I did, I shot her
You know I caught my her messin' 'round with another man
Yeah, and I gave her the gun
Hey Joe, hey Joe
Where you gonna run to, now where you gonna run to now
Hey Joe, hey Joe
Lord, where you gonna run to, now where you gonna run to, baby
I'm goin' way down south, way down south
Way down to Mexico way, yeah
I'm goin' way down south, way down south, baby
Way down where I can be free
Ain't no one gonna mess with me there, baby
Ain't no hang-man gonna
He ain't gonna put a rope, a rope around me, yeah
You better believe it, baby
Hey, Joe, you better run on down, you better
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