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Although I'm not the greatest Hendrix fan in the world. This concert footage IS pretty amazing. We start with an AMAZING painting being done by a street artist of Hendrix, a little background, then finally, his performance at Monterey which proceeded to blow everybody away. His guitar playing is absolutely ridiculous, and it comes down to the finale, where WHOOSH! The guitar is in flames! and BANG! The guitar goes into a million pieces. I actually felt bad for the guitar, because such a piece of history to go to waste (actually, some pieces are in the experience Museum in Seattle). This is a great concert film for anyone, as I really enjoyed it.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, at the height of Jimi's powers. No wonder Pete Townsend and the WHO refused to follow them on the concert's bill...one of rock's finest hours. Jimi's introduction to "Like a Rolling Stone" may be the finest moment in live rock history.
Still one of the most famous rock festivals of all time, Monterey Pop
brought together much of the music that was striking chords with young
people all over America- some of the talent that had been obscure or
small time in the US (Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix), while others were
huge smash bands (The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, Mamas and the Papas), not
to mention a breakthrough performance for Ravi Shankar. With this
accompaniment to the feature film, which was released twenty years or
so before this, Hendrix and the Experience brought their sound for the
first time after being the cult favorites in the UK. It's not a long
concert, but it can certainly be counted as one of his most notorious.
There were allegations, which perhaps could or could not be true (I haven't read any biographies about the concert, but I heard the rumors), that Hendrix was on acid during the set. Whatever he was on or wasn't on, the songs that come through (filmed with superb documentary detail by DA Pennebaker, with assistance from Albert Maysles) are none-the-less mesmerizing. Aside from what has been played over and over to show the insane magnitude of Hendrix (burning his guitar after a crazed rendition of "Wild Thing"), there's also a turn of "Like a Rolling Stone", "Hey Joe", and a beautiful bit with "The Wind Cries Mary". There could've been more in the way of interviews, but as it is, Jimi Plays Monterey is a fine little companion piece to the film.
The generation of the 60s had the privilege to be one of the first in history of music which enjoyed the advance of technology as well as the interest of film makers, who recorded on film many of the major events as well as the sounds and image of the best artists and bands of the time. This is how we have Woodstock on film for example, and the film became associated with the festival and the festival with the film. The Monterey festival one year earlier than Woodstock was another major milestone of the era, and we are so lucky to have it recorded on film quite extensively. Here is the concert of Jimi Hendrix, which is the core of the documentary. We would have liked maybe to hear more about the rest of the career of Hendrix and about the impact he made on other artists, but maybe this would be left to another ultimate film about Hendrix. Here the music plays the major role and the music is really fabulous.
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