Jimi Hendrix Documentary
i dont know if this has been posted before; i'd be surprised if it weren't, so apologies if that is the case.
was roaming and found this beauty of a doc.. i've never seen it before and had a good time watching it.. especially all of the celebrity interviews.. but also because it shed a little more light for me on what jimi was about. i guess i could say i have a new appreciation.
This is from 1973 if memory serves me right. Nice because it was fresh in everyone's memory at the time, but some of the myth making starts here. The twins, in particular, have an agenda. The most perceptive comments are from Mitchell, and he is under-represented in the interviews. Later docos also on YOutUbe redress this. The "Jimi as naive/natural genius" thing gets a knowing comment from Mitch... "He knew what he was getting himself into, ... he was not a naive man".
sligo, thanks.. i was trying to determine when this was filmed..
they myth was kind of what i was referring to. surely in my stomping grounds, jimi needs no introduction. i think almost every junior high or high school student gets a certain taste of hendrix, that would probably be best summed up by the phrase "jimi is the greatest guitar playerEVER!" but not many could explain why that may be, or what would qualify hendrix to the title.
so to was my exposure to hendrix.... wild stage presence, lsd, crazy look, etc..
i'd be interested in what the twins' angle might be, or who they are in the first place. friends of his and housemates, yes, but do they now hold some of his copyrights?
i know the family was splintered into rival factions, all to do with control of estate and royalty cheques. are these guys part of that scene?
anyway, the new perspective i'd gained watching this doc was to realize what he was doing later on: trying to get away from the dancing flaming guitar player image. the 'band of gypsies' has always been my favourite period in hendrix's career. natural genius.. yes, i think that is obvious. naive..? i dont know. mitch mitchell would have a better insight, but i think it would be hard to still be naive about the music industry after a few years on the chitlin' circut.
either way, the guy had monster hands; he could almost barre with his thumb.
Thanks for the post, I'm liking Jimi's old man,. And LIttle Richard.
yeah.. i thought little richard was going to jump off of his piano at one point.
"he use to make my big toe shoot up in my boot". lol.
Jimi was someone I didn't get into until a couple years ago. We all knew who Hendrix was, but it's tough to know why Hendrix was so special unless you really dig into what he did.
My soon to be uncle got me into Jimi Hendrix when I was in 7th or 8th grade and I went through a big Hendrix / Who / Led Zeppelin phase right around that time. It was a natural progression from my Elvis / Beatles phase from my childhood. I was always into what was current in my youth but I spent just as much time researching the history of the previous generations as I did on my own generation's music.
Jimi Hendrix has helped shape my perspective and approach to music even as a drummer. He opened a lot of perspective doors for musicians, performers and artists. If there are alien transplants that roam the Earth I believe Jimi may have been among them. He pushed the envelope of free expression and people are still running to catch up.
Oh do I love a rockumentary! Just put the kids to bed and now I'm streaming it through Apple TV onto the big screen. So far so awesome! Thanks for the tip.
No doubt others will weigh in, but it's clear that the view of Hendrix for many is now a simplified amalgam of his most media-familiar moments/tropes, his importance to various artists who jumped through the doors his career opened (and the cross-fertilization of genres that resulted from him), and his "frozen in time" status along the same lines as Dean, Morrison, et al. There have been attempts in the last decade or so to get some perspective on him culturally and musically. A few biographies and docos that talk more deeply to the musicians who played with him (especially Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, and manager/mentor Chas Chandler) have revealed some realities about his prowess (he practised/played all the time, he was weak-willed socially, he was most certainly not a babe-in-the-woods when it came to indulgences). Perhaps the best book I've read about his impact musically and culturally was Charles Shaar-Murray's "Crosstown Traffic". That's highly recommended and readable, although it does push a certain view of the development of music in the late sixties.
Ultimately, you've gotta go back to those first three records. Even without comparing them to other contemporary music of those years, they remain remarkable for the songs and the sheer immediacy of the inventiveness of the playing. Especially Axis: Bold as Love, balanced between early energy and spontaneity, and lacking a later lack of focus. Live he could have amazing moments, as evidenced by the live footage, bootlegs and official recordings, but on reflection I personally think others were capable of more dynamics in extended improvisation. As for his hands... producer Alan Marshall went into print saying Jimi had small hands and did so much with them, but Jeff Beck said he once compared hands with Jimi by placing palms together and said he felt like a child in comparison. But who cares? Django Reinhardt lost the use of two fingers in a fire and still waltzed on the wind.
I saw Hendrix when I was 14. I wish I had had the musical maturity to genuinely appreciate what I was seeing.