"Hey Joe" is a song with a long and disputed history.
It's now thought the song was written by West Coast folksinger Billy Roberts, although it has also been credited to other writers, notably the late Dino Valenti, who played with the San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service for much of his career.
During 1965 and '66 the song became so popular in Los Angeles that it was recorded by a half dozen popular L.A. bands of the time, including The Byrds, Love, The Standells, The Surfaris, The Music Machine and The Leaves, whose version was the only one to make the national charts.
Tim Rose, an East Coast singer living in London, and The Creation, a band Ronnie briefly played in, both recorded slower versions of the song in 1966 and one of those may have inspired The Jimi Hendrix Experience to record it for their first U.K. single later that year.
Hendrix's version reached number-6 on the U.K. charts, and although it never charted in the U.S., it's become an enduring rock classic.