"This DVD has two main sections 1) a recent hour+ long documentary covering Hendrix in his Band Of Gypsys phase and 2) an hour of black and white concert footage with Band of Gypsys from New Year's Eve 1969. There are also some color picture stills of the New Years' Eve show. Mainly consisting of interviews with folks like Buddy Miles, Billy Cox, Lenny Kravitz, Slash(!), the Ghetto Fighters and Eddie Kramer, the documentary is interesting and fairly well done, but not really all that insightful. The best parts are the Hendrix footage (unfortunately often interrupted) and the interview bits with Eddie Kramer. I especially like the footage of Kramer at the mixing board, playing tracks from "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun" while pointing out interesting bits or relating recording session stories. But too much of the documentary consists of unrevealing opinions of Hendrix. (Who really cares what Slash or Lenny Kravitz have to say about Jimi?) I give the documentary 2 stars. The concert footage from the New Years' Eve 1969 show with Buddy and Billy, recorded as a 2 camera shoot on prototype handheld Sony video recorders, is in fuzzy black and white and has only fair sound. Despite this, at least you get to see and hear the songs in uninterrupted form. This is a historical concert and I'm glad to have it captured on video despite its fair quality. 4 stars for the concert footage.If you love the Band Of Gypsys you will probably like this DVD very much, especially the live concert footage -- the documentary has a few great moments, but too much filler. If you are looking for a Hendrix DVD with great video and sound quality, get the Hendrix at Woodstock DVD instead."
This won a Grammy and is over 35 years old: reality check!!!
Vince Palamara | South Park/Bethel Park, PA | 03/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am hoping that the negative reviews are geared towards the original **VHS** version, because the DVD version is sensational...so much so that it even won a Grammy! The Ghetto Fighters/ The Allen Brothers WERE there---they sang backup vocals on "Freedom", for one of many examples....and they appear in the 1973 movie "Jimi Hendrix." The uninterrupted concert footage IS available on the DVD...and why in the world are people upset about the quality of priceless, one-of-a-kind BOOTLEG footage that was made circa 12/31/69-1/1/70: hey, that was the state of technology then (remember, this wasn't shot during the age of the internet, KBOX, DVDs, and digital technology)! This is close to the Holy Grail for Hendrix fans---I was suprised to see this much footage of those performances existed to begin with! As for the documentary part, I enjoyed all the insights and, again, the uninterrupted concert footage is available as a bonus: what's the problem??? Let's face it: just to see the entire song "Machine Gun" performed is worth the price of admission alone. So ignore the nitpickers and those obviously reviewing the VHS version...this DVD is excellent (although I will concede, Grammy or no Grammy, I wouldn't START with this DVD if you were a new or mild-mannered fan...start with the 1973 movie "Jimi Hendrix"). BUY THIS ASAP!!!!"
My favorite Hendrix video
R. Wood | 08/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Besides this video, I own Rainbow Bridge and Isle of Wight. This video's concert, at the Fillmore East, took place before the other two. This video shows Hendrix performing during the Band of Gypsys period, my other two movies show him afterwards.
The hype is that BOG (Band of Gypsys) was a errant stop that Jimi had to make before he went on to better things, but I say that is pure BS. The video quality of this Fillmore East video is horrible. But, you can still see how Jimi was at the top of his game. Afterwards, he went downhill, undoubtedly due to the drugs.
What no one talks about is that Buddy Miles claims he and his sister saw Jimi's manager, Michael Jeffreys, slip Jimi LSD before the last concert of the BOG period, the one at Madison Square Garden. This is mentioned briefly in John McDermott's book, "Hendrix - Setting the Record Straight." McDermott also mentions how that Jeffreys had been after Hendrix to fire Buddy Miles for days leading up to the Garden concert, but Jimi was against it. Thanks to the LSD, Jimi was too out of his head by concert time to perform and had to walk off the stage prematurely. Buddy, who was his friend, did what a friend does when someone you care about is messing up. Buddy lit into Jimi with both barrels. Afterwards, Jeffreys took advantage of the situation to fire Buddy from the band and Jimi's BOG period officially ended. Mitch Mitchell was brought back as the drummer, and before the year was up, Jimi was dead. Mitch Mitchell wrote a book about Jimi called "The Hendrix Experience". Mitch mentions Jimi's drug use in his book, but never mentions saying a word to Jimi to slow down.
I thought of all this when I heard Mitch make his cruel "William the Concreter" remark on this video. Buddy Miles is on this video, too. Buddy is the only person interviewed who sheds any tears. I wonder if he was thinking, as I am thinking, that maybe Jimi would still be with us if Buddy had been allowed to stick around to kick Jimi's butt whenever he went too far with the drugs. "
B. smith | Arizona | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If I imagine for a moment that I was someone who believed in god, then I think I just watched him play " Machine gun"."
Too much talk interrupting the music!
B. smith | 05/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I just completed viewing this DVD, and I must say it has left me a bit cool, particularly the documentary portion. While it had its highlights (Eddie Kramer especially), I was somewhat bothered by the "African-American band (BOG)" versus "white band (Experience)" political stuff. This is shame because Jimi's music transcended such issues- and that's what it should be about: the music. Instead they are cutting into the middle af great rare footage with rather uninsightful commentary by various guys like Don Cornelius (!). The B&W footage is basically amateur-video quality, with them panning and zooming all over the place. The performance is of course excellent, and this alone makes it probably worth the price of admission."