Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jimi PLays Berkeley DVD

This movie was the brainchild of manager Michael Jeffery in the hopes of capitalizing on Jimi's popularity even while Hendrix was refusing more and more shows. Jeffrey had planned to "tour" the film in place of the live band. Jimi tragically died before the film was even completed, but once some semblance of order was made of the footage, it did make the rounds and many rabid fans who either missed or never had the chance to see Hendrix flocked to see the movie.

Unfortunately, the crew who shot the concerts were not seasoned film-makers and there are many abbreviated tunes due to cameras changing film and other technical issues. But, there are a lot of great footage here, even when there are cut-aways from the band to stock footage of protesters.

Classic cuts include "Johnny B. Goode", "Hear My Train A-Coming", "Star-Spangled Banner", "Purple Haze", "I Don't Live Today" (especially short), "Hey Baby" (also dramatically cut), "Machine Gun" and closing with a high-speed "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (definitely one of the highlights with some fine improvisation and flash - as the sweet young thing directly in front of Jimi can certainly attest). This is certainly not the complete concert, but there is some fantastic playing by Jimi, Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. Of course, I'm a huge fan so I'm a sucker for any live footage of this incredible musician and showman. Also included in the DVD is the audio only of the second set of the night, which may be the entire show.

Due to the brevity, this should be available from most outlets at a discounted price, but this is a groovy document and certainly a fine addition to anyone's Hendrix collection.