“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix is undoubtedly his most well-known song. The song was recorded and originally appeared on Hendrix’s 1967’s album Are You Experienced. Hendrix claimed that the song is based on a dream of his (as is most of his music) where he is lost underneath the sea, aimlessly wandering. This song has also been linked to a variety of Drugs, including LSD in a purple capsule form and certain Marijuana strains. Hendrix has also been noted as stating that the song is a reference to a science fiction story.
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Purple Haze is a Stand used by the character, Pannacotta Fugo who is one of the six main heroes in the fifth series of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, known as Golden Wind. This is how he appears in the comics:
Purple Haze had a rather short run in the series, showing up in the background but mainly in a fight with antagonist, Illuso and his stand, Man in the Mirror, early on in the series. During the fight, we learn of Purple Haze’s frightening ability; on each of his hands are three bulbs, each of which contains a dangerous airborne virus that causes flesh to melt. While this may seem like an extremely useful weapon, Purple Haze cannot differentiate between friend or foe, endangering all life around him. On top this, Fugo has an incredibly difficult time controlling this Stand, as it is quite unstable and has a hair-trigger temper. This later became part of the reason why Fugo/Purple Haze was written out of the story, as Araki felt he had made him too powerful of a Stand and couldn’t be used effectively in the story.
There is certainly a connection between the song title and the dynamics of the ability. Viruses are often described as airborne particles (especially emphasized on their appearances during air travel), which is the method that Purple Haze uses to spread its virus in the comic. The word, Haze represents a natural phenomenon where airborne particles, including dust and smoke, alter the clarity of the sky, often obscuring the sunlight so that connection is obviously clear.
As the comic isn’t printed in color and the Stand never appeared in any colored pages (although the character and the virus appeared in darker screen tone), it is impossible to fully make a connection with the designated color Purple. When Araki normally assigns a color to a Stand’s name, it is evident in the appearance and design of the Stand (for example, Hierophant Green shoots Emeralds), which suggests that Purple Haze was used more as a name alone than an actual creative influence.
There is an interesting disconnect between the two in the origins and intentional meanings of the song, which is supposed to be representative of a dream-like or drug induced state and the temperamental & violent nature of the Stand. There is, however, a connection in the lyrics despite these perceived differences. Many of the lyrics (Purple haze all in my brain, Purple haze all around) suggest a confused mental state, due to the interaction with the Haze, which can be attributed to the unfocused nature of the Stand. He can’t seem to tell the difference between friend or foe, despite his user’s best attempts. The lyrics also, however, are a literal cry for help in escaping this confused state. This can also be attributed to an aspect of the Stand, its user Pannacotta Fugo. Fugo is well aware of his Stands inability to perceive friend from foe and he has to warn his teammates during his fight, making him the voice crying out from the confusion.
Aside from the associations with drugs, Araki was able to understand and utilize some core ideas of the song, making them into a semi-interesting character. Though never fully developed enough for us to care about him, Fugo and Purple Haze represented something that Araki hasn’t really shown us before; a character with an imperfect control over his Stand, as most of the Stand Users in the series have always had a mastery or at least intense control over the abilities they wielded.
Coming up next is Purple Haze’s opponent, Man in the Mirror!