A DUSTY old eight-track tape found after the sale of a former recording studio is believed to have a recording of Jimi Hendrix playing the Welsh national anthem.
The guitar legend, who made a fine art out of coaxing national anthems from his heavily distorted electric guitar, is now thought to have given his famous treatment to Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
His versions of the German and, controversially, the US anthem have been iconic for years in their respective countries.
The owner of the newly discovered tapes is now trying to authenticate the track, which he says sounds like Hendrix at his finest.
Martin Davies, who runs the Red Dragonhood firm, wants to trace a former musician he believes knew Hendrix, and on whose demo tape the recording was found.
Martin, who inherited the tape and mysterious tune from a friend who died in 2005, is hoping Viv Williams, who used to be from Crickhowell, and a member of the New Flames band, will make himself known.
It is thought Viv Williams, who would now be in his 60s, had known Hendrix, and would be able to confirm whether the anthem is played by him.
Martin, who splits his time between Cardiff and London, said, "It would be great to find Viv, as it's the only avenue we have left to explore.
"We need Viv, or anybody who was in the New Flames, but he's the only name we have.
"We're hoping he'll come forward."
And he said of the rock anthem itself, "I've never heard the Welsh national anthem done like that, but it sounds fantastic."
The tale of the lost Hendrix national anthem began when Martin's friend, a record producer named Dave Chapman acquired the old Crouch Hill recording studios in London's Stroud Green in 1994.
It came with a tea chest full of the old-fashioned eight-track tapes from the '70s and '80s, which he ignored until 1998, when he bought a player for them at auction.
Casually listening to them and cataloguing the contents over several years he realised most were unremarkable demo tapes by largely unknown bands.
However in May 2004, when he was finally nearing the bottom of the chest, Dave was listening to a track by a band called the New Flames, made on September 10, 1970.
As the New Flames tune ended, he was ready to turn the tape off, but then he heard a wild and emotional arrangement of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, played on a distorted electric guitar, at the end of the tape.
Martin said, "Although Dave was from Essex, the playing caused the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up, especially as it sounded just like Jimi Hendrix."
In a pub next door to the studio, Dave later got talking to Phil Goddard, a regular since the 1960s.
Goddard told him that the New Flames bass player Viv Williams, originally from Crickhowell, had lived in a flat around the corner.
He also said it was entirely possible that the recording was of Hendrix, as Williams had known Hendrix well.
Goddard went on to tell Chapman that one night shortly before Hendrix died, Williams had brought the American guitarist into the pub.
The landlord allowed a lock-in for his celebrity visitor and they drank into the early hours with a man fitting the description of Chas Chandler, Hendrix's manager.
It is believed Hendrix was almost certainly in London when the New Flames recorded their track on September 10, 1970.
To listen to the track, log on to http://www.thereddragonhood.com/pages/jimi.html