Jimi Hendrix's "Axis: Bold as Love" has been banned in Malaysia, 47 years after it was initially released.
A prohibition of contentious religious imagery also saw authorities seize posters to cover art of CDs of other iconic musicians like Bob Marley and David Bowie, a music retailer said today.
The Malay Mail is reporting, the reason for the Jimi ban is reportedly because the cover displays Hendrix and his bandmates as various forms of Lord Vishnu. As for the others... “There’s a small picture of a burning joint (of ganja) on the back cover of Bob Marley’s album. For David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’, the cover is not allowed in because it shows a picture of his face on the body of a dog,” Sulaiman told The Malay Mail Online today.
An unidentified spokes-person from the Home Ministry's Publication Control and Quranic Text unit said compact discs with the 1967 album cover art featuring the Hindu deity or other defamation toward religions of the world would be prohibited from entering the country and they would seize such CDs or Posters 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."
Hendrix himself was reportedly unhappy with the record sleeve back in the day, stating at the time of its release that "the three of us [the Jimi Hendrix Experience members] have nothing to do with what's on the Axis cover." The guitarist had initially wanted a cover that had an Indian motif - albeit a Native American Indian one - reflecting his own Native American heritage (his maternal grandmother was a cherokee).
Rumor has it that the record company totally misunderstood (surprise surprise) Hendrix's instruction, hence the Hindu theme.