Legendary rocker Jimi Hendrix once filled in for Engelbert Humperdinck's unwell guitarist - but hid behind the stage curtains so the audience wouldn't realise who was playing.

The late PURPLE HAZE star was touring Britain with Humperdinck in the 1960s when the unnamed musician fell ill just before show time.

And, while Hendrix's unparallelled musical prowess saved the day, his identity couldn't be revealed for fear of distracting the audience away from Humperdinck's performance.

Indian Humperdinck - real name ARNOLD GEORGE DORSEY - says, "That was my first UK tour and Cat Stevens was also on the bill.

"Jimi was an incredible performer, he had loads of energy and used to play his guitar with his teeth.

"He saved my bacon once when my guitarist fell ill just before the show was due to start. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'I'll play for you.'

"I told him he couldn't just walk on stage with me - he was much too big a star.

"So he played behind the curtain. It sounded as though I had three guitarists instead of one that night."

Hendrix died at the age of 27 in 1970.

24/02/2005 17:36