Hendrix in the West is a posthumous live album by Jimi Hendrix, released in January 1972 by Polydor Records, and later in February by Reprise Records. The album contains songs from Hendrix's performances at the Royal Albert Hall on February 24, 1969, the San Diego Sports Arena on May 24, 1969, Berkeley Community Theatre on May 30, 1970 and the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30, 1970.
The album's credits mislabel "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Child" as being recorded at the San Diego Sports Arena, when in fact these two tracks were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on February 24, 1969.
According to Hendrix, "Little Wing" came from an idea he had originally developed while playing in Greenwich Village, when he was fronting his band Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in the summer of 1966. He later explained that he was further inspired during the Experience's performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival:
"I got the idea like, when we were in Monterey and I was just looking at everything around. So I figured that I take everything I see around and put it maybe in the form of a girl maybe, somethin' like that, you know, and call it 'Little Wing', and then it will just fly away. Everybody's really flyin' and they're really in a nice mood, like the police and everybody was really, really great out there. So I just took all these things an put them in one very, very small little matchbox, you know, into a girl and then do it. It was very simple, but I like it though.
Hendrix has described this as being one of the few he likes from this album. He said "Little Wing" is "like one of those beautiful girls that come around sometimes." Hendrix enjoyed writing slow songs because it was easier to put emotion into them.
Well she's walking through the clouds
With a circus mind
That's running wild
Butterflies and zebras and moonbeams
And fairly tales
That's all she ever thinks about
Riding the wind
When I'm sad she comes to me
With a thousand smiles
She gives to me free
It's alright, she says
Take anything you want from me
Fly on, little wing
Songwriters: Jimi Hendrix Little Wing lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group