Thirty-eight years ago today, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played one of its final gigs at the Sports Arena. Ticketless fans rushed the doors en masse, resulting in local headlines the next day reading "Police Arrest Gate Crashers" and " 'Music Lovers' Mar Hendrix Concert."
Backstage, Hendrix was interviewed by San Diego Free Press writer Jim Brodey. "At one point," according to Brodey, "the interview was interrupted by promoters and someone with a 'love medallion.' Top 40 radio station KCBQ had sponsored a contest in which entrants who had made the 'grooviest love medallion' would win a free ticket to the concert and present their love beads to Hendrix in person. Jimi, who knew nothing of the contest, refused to save face for the bumbling KCBQ and wouldn't see the winners."
When the Experience hit the stage just before 10 p.m., a professional crew recorded the entire concert. Hendrix told the audience, "You people down here are witnessing some really beautiful times. Like, groovy times you'll be telling your children and their children's children about, man. This is, like, the epicenter of where it's happening, right here in California. I just wanted you to know that, even though I think you know it already. Does it ever rain here? Would you care if it did? I didn't think so."
Just over a month after playing San Diego, the Experience played its last concert at the Denver Pop Festival.