This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs ... See full summary »
This documentary was made three years after Jimi Hendrix's untimely death. At the time it was an example of how a visual biography should be done, but some of the information in it needs revising in the light of new information uncovered over the years. The film contains concert footage spanning the Marquee in 1967 to his last UK performance at the third Isle of Wight festival in 1970; along the way we see classic performances at Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969), Fillmore East (1969/70), and Berkeley (1970). A double album was released to tie-in with the film, containing the complete performances in the film, along with interviews with people in the film (not necessarily the same interviews). The film is worth seeing for Jimi's performances, and to hear what his contemporaries have to say about him (Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, and others). Written by
A wonderful rockumentary about the king of all the guitar gods. It has a good selection of interviews with Jimi's friends and musical contemporaries, but the filmmakers knew what they were doing: they spend most of the time just letting the man play. And that's all you need for a great film.
We get to see all the iconic psychedelic performances, including the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock (which is about ten times better than I remembered it), and we also get a very nice chronology of how his music evolved over time with his original Experience band and then the Band of Gypsies. But the true gem is something I never saw coming: Jimi playing traditional blues on an acoustic guitar. He starts off slowly and deliberately, and you get the sense that he's exploring something new or returning to something very old. Then he asks the cameraman to stop, and when he starts again he just relaxes into it. What he plays is 100% traditional blues, but he makes it totally his in a way that is utterly mind-blowing. After that, the remaining performances are him taking the blues electric but to places that Led Zeppelin could only dream about. But I think the director knew that "Hear my Train A'coming" was the zenith of the film, because we get to hear it again over the closing credits. Ten stars.
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