If any artist deserved a hagiography it was Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Boyd's 1973 "authorized" tribute adequately sanctifies the legend. Perversely for a documentary, it achieves this simply through well-chosen concert foota... more »ge rather than through the insights of the various talking heads. Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and Germaine Greer are all wheeled out to wax lyrical about their days with Jimi, but nothing is more eloquent than watching and listening to him play. From "Hey Joe" in grainy black and white on the Ready Steady Go TV show, classic footage of Monterey, Woodstock (yes, "The Star-Spangled Banner"), and the Isle of Wight festivals to an acoustic 12- string rendition of "Hear My Train a' Comin'," Hendrix the musician speaks for himself. But if Hendrix the musician shines through, this is not the most insightful profile of Hendrix the man. The circumstances surrounding his death, for example, are hardly touched upon (girlfriend at the time Monika Dannemann gets only a few seconds of screen time). Interview footage with Hendrix himself plus some occasionally rambling and incoherent comments from such intimates as his father, army buddies, ex-girlfriends (including Linda Keith, who "discovered" him in New York and brought him to England), and fellow musicians all take second place to the music itself. The most sensible quote comes from Little Richard, who proves once and for all that he's utterly bonkers when he says of Jimi's music: "At times he made my big toes shoot up into my boot." --Mark Walker, Amazon.co.uk« less
"This is how a bio should be done! It's a nice treat to have a lineup including Little Richard, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, and Mick Jagger provide first-hand recollections of times spent with Jimi. It's supplemented with generous screen time for his dad and 3 or 4 former girlfriends, which is entertaining. To top it off, there is incredible, well-produced footage of Jimi in concert and in the studio, and the live appearances span his career. You can actually see him morph from a wide-eyed young prodigy into an exhausted curiosity. You can even hear it in the short interview segments that feature Jimi himself. This ran as a Friday night midnight movie for about 50 weeks in a popular New Orleans theatre in the early 1970's and became one of the hottest tickets in New Orleans (where brilliant musicians are truly appreciated) during its run. I saw it at least a half dozen times then, and it is still as riveting today. If you get it, you won't be disappointed, and it is the perfect introduction to anyone who is not familiar with the story of Jimi Hendrix."
Want to know what all the fuss is about? start here.
O. Buxton | Highgate, UK | 09/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember taping this off the TV when I was fifteen (that's fifteen years ago, folks) because all my school mates trendily professed a great love of Hendrix, and I had never really understood what all the fuss was about. Let's face it, if you pull up a chair and listen to your average Hendrix record, it's pretty difficult to appreciate what's the big deal: his technique might have been groundbreaking at the time, but it's been a long thirty years in Rock 'n' Roll, and there have been a lot of guitar players producing a lot of pretty crazy stuff ever since.But somehow, seeing it happen in front of you causes the scales to fall from your eyes, and the interviews with the likes of one-time girlfriend Fayne Pridgeon, two hilarious hipsters from Greenwich Village, Eric Clapton, an Elvis-suited, overweight Lou Reed and most amusingly of all, a heavily stoned and bechecked-suited Pete Townsend, make for a fascinating documentary which puts Hendrix's legacy slap bang back into context, and gives a fascinating window into life in 1973 at the same time.But what is truly great about this documentary is how it sacrifices neither background context nor music: as well as the interviews there is no shortage of footage of Hendrix live and in the studio. The band's stunning performance at Monterey is well represented, with full takes of Hey Joe, the barn-storming version of Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone (Jimi adored Bob Dylan) and of course the famous guitar sacrifice during Wild thing are reproduced in full for your viewing pleasure. Also featured are legendary moments such as the Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock, the studio take, on twelve-string, of "Hear My Train A Comin'", and "Machine Gun" from the Filmore East show with the Band of Gypsies.Away from his stratocaster Hendrix comes across as a surpisingly delicate, almost shy, figure. Asked in a chat show whether he recieved hate-mail following his "unconventional" rendition of the national anthem he looks genuinely baffled, and replies "what are you talking about? Unconventional? I thought it was beautiful" to an explosion of applause from the studio audience.If, like I did, you missed Hendrix first time round, then you couldn't ask for a better primer now. Compulsive viewing."
Jimi Plays DVD
ball point | 12/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an entertaing documentary that was theatrically released in 1973. It features classic live performances, plus many interviews, including Pete Townsend, Clapton, Little Richard, Mick Jagger, and many others. The DVD looks fine. It has the imperfections of the source film, but they're not too bad. One odd choice was to put the widescreen version on one side of the disk, even though the film is in the 1.33:1 ratio. The widescreen version ends up being a "four-sided letterbox." My advice: just play the full screen side."
AWESOME MOVIE ABOUT ONE OF THE BEST GUITARIST EVER!!!!!!!!!!
drayt | Columbus, MS USA | 02/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have any love for the guitar and Jimi Hendrix this is a must buy. Has awesome live shots of Jimi whaling, and very interesting interviews from some great musicians, along with some of his friends and his father (the Clapton and Townsend interviews were my personal favorates). It is the type of movie that you will watch many times over, so personally there is no way not to recommend this. The only thing that I could tell you is that if you are looking for just Jimi performances (although this one has a great many) without any interviews (because after a few time interviews do get annoying), then look at some of the recommendations on this page for other DVDs. But if your looking for a DVD with a pretty in dept view of Jimi, check this out."
DELUXE EDITION = FAKE LETTERBOXING
ball point | ihavenohome | 07/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this is THE BEST Hendrix documentary and a really great film (5 stars!!!). But I'm really disappointed with the deluxe edition DVD, and give it 3 stars, mostly because of the newly cropped images.
The film was not originally shot in a panavision widescreen format. If you compare it to the older dvd that also claimed to be widescreen you'll see what I mean. The old "widescreen" dvd had black bars on the sides as well as top and bottom (to preserve the films original aspect ratio) so you saw the whole image floating on a black screen, which looked great. Now, Experience Hendrix has decided for whatever unnecessary reason to blow up the image and crop it to simulate conventional letterboxing (on the "Deluxe Edition" black bars are only on the top and bottom). It seems careless on their part to have done this because now some of the footage is missing certain details.
On the old DVD during the clip of Star Spangled Banner you could see Hendrix from head to toe, see the wah pedal, Fuzz Face, and Univibe on the stage in front of him and clearly see his feet working those pedals. Now due to bad cropping both his pedals and his feet are missing.
Jimi Hendrix pioneered the use of stomp boxes and guitar effects. It would have been nice to have kept the image of him working his pedals in the frame.
Another image that suffers from the new cropping is the classic scene of Jimi sitting on a stool playing Hear My Train a Comin' (as seen on the DVD case). Before he was in the middle of a white room and there was space all around him. Now it's tightly cropped with the edges being at the top of his hat and his shins. The scene looked much better on the old version.
On the positive side the audio is better compared to the old DVD release. But the extras are not great, as another reviewer stated, and definitely could have been better. Bottom line, if you have the old DVD don't feel you have to replace it with this one.
Especially if you want to see Hendrix stomping on that wah-wah.