Thread: What is the best Jimi Hendrix concert DVD ?

midnightvwdriver - 12/16/2011 at 11:35 AM

I have the "A film about Jimi Hendrix " documentary DVD which has some snippets of concert footage ( Monterey Pop ) and I want to get a complete concert DVD by Jimi.
Can anyone offer an opinion as to which is a good one from the many available ?
I'm leaning towards the" Live at Monterey "as my personal preference is for the Experience era to say, Band of Gypsies.
I know the complete Woodstock performance has a great rep. but I have the Woodstock movie and I always thought Jimi's set in the morning at the end was an anti-climax.
Has anyone seen the Isle of Wight DVD ? Is that good ?


jparadise - 12/16/2011 at 01:12 PM

The one where he plays his guitar.


Rusty - 12/16/2011 at 01:15 PM

Jimi Plays Berkely

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x23pka_jimi-hendrix-plays-berkeley-machine _music


Maybe not the best, but another to consider.


Efus - 12/16/2011 at 03:51 PM

The most complete I'd say is Jimi at Woodstock, though it is missing the 2 Larry Lee sung tunes. Its also the longest performance of his career, I believe.

Best performance, I'd go with Jimi Plays Monterey, but that footage is plagued by the fact that the camera man in a main position to shoot the stage was completely fried on acid, and about 75% of his footage is completely useless. The dvd also contains an audio only complete 2nd set on it.

A close second, but more historical is Jimi at Monterrey, although its missing the visuals for "Can You See Me", and its replaced by an art piece done by David Dent, (a speed painter) but considering its historical nature, its a must have.

As for the rest, Fillmore East concerts and Isle of Wight, I think the Fillmore shows is the way to go, as it documents Jimi as he's changing direction with his music, but sadly enough within a couple weeks, the Band of Gypsies was no more.
Isle of Wight is not too bad, visually its great, but there were some sound issues during the performance, the Flying V he was playing on some songs would go out of tune easily, and Hendrix seems tired during this show.

Other stuff out there is the Rainbow Bridge show which is a hippie documentary and features Jimi playing in the 2nd half at a hastily thrown together gig in Hawaii from July of 1970. The band actually had to use generators that the film team brought to power the show, but Jimi is in good spirits, and the band (Cox/Mitchell) play well, though I believe Mitchell's drums weren't miked, or the sound wasn't captured, and I think Mitchell had to later add his parts on in the studio.

And in "collector" circles, theres circulating shows like JHE at Royal Albert Hall, Jimi's last gig in the UK from Feb. 1969 (and rumored to be released by EH in 2012), Atlanta Pop from July 1970, and the mostly unseen except for a few short clips of the JHE playing at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968.


woodsdweller - 12/16/2011 at 04:37 PM

The Woodstock DVD, without a doubt.

The Isle of Wight shows Jimi not at his best. A fair show; it's one of the
few videos that shows him doing his newer songs like Dolly Dagger,
Freedom and In From The Storm.

As for best documentary DVD, I like the Band of Gypsys DVD. Lots of great
black and white footage of Hendrix, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox playing
live at the Fillmore.


amyjared - 12/16/2011 at 04:47 PM

I'd have to say Thin Blue Angel, or whatever it's called. When I look at DVD's I want to see good quality, and hear good songs and I like the quality of this one best. Woodstock comes in a close second.


Quilt - 12/16/2011 at 06:45 PM

I really like the Woodstock DVD. I happen to love the end of that show. His isolo nstrumental jam is jaw-dropping and Villanova Junction is simply sublime (one of my all-time favorite Hendrix moments). There is some good footage on the Band of Gypsies Fillmore concert. The version of Hear My Train A Comin' from the Berkley Concerts may be the very best version of that song ever. I have a VHS, from Japan, of the Atlanta Pop Festival that is very good. Due to financial constraints over the past several years, I have ceased collecting. So there may very well be good new releases that I am completely unaware of.


spacemonkey - 12/16/2011 at 07:03 PM

The woodstock DVD is not the best performance wise. The band was supposed to play late the previous night and not in the morning when they appeared. They were up partying all night and it shows to some extent. The set lacks energy at times with the congas player slumping over his congas at one point.

There is the Monterey Pop box set has the complete Performance of both Jimi and Otis from that festival. That is far superior to the woodstock performance IMO


jfk2112 - 12/16/2011 at 07:37 PM

Jimi Plays Berkeley has always been my favorite. It's only about an hour but you get a good mix of tunes and a great performance - just watching his hands in Johnny B. Goode is tiring!

Isle Of Wight is a so-so performance. Good by most standards but for Hendrix not so great. As for Woodstock, Jimi plays well, as do Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. The rest of the band is a little haphazard and it's a loose set. If you want to really watch Hendrix play guitar though, Woodstock gets tons of great shots of his hands. That probably hasn't helped at all, there are only a few official releases so get them all! But Berkeley first lol.


Efus - 12/16/2011 at 10:27 PM

I agree with what everyone has posted so far.
A lot of Hendrix footage you need to take in with the context of whats happening with Jimi at the time.
I fully agree that at Woodstock the 2 conga players and the extra guitarist, despite none of them really being miked, was just too much, especially considering that Hendrix was use to being just in a 3 piece outfit. But again, he's looking for a new sound, and thats the band at the time.

One of the best things I thought that was on the Woodstock dvd was the interview with Larry Lee.
It was funny hearing him mention that he was in Vietnam, then literally a couple weeks later he's walking around backstage at Woodstock looking at naked people lying around in the mud. It sure was different he said in an understated way.

It'll be interesting to see if EH can eventually get this legal stuff straightened out with the Royal Albert Hall performance. Hendrix actually rented out a space, and spent a couple of days rehearsing for this show, and from what I've heard cameras followed him around London all during this time just filming him, etc, etc. So much that there was talk that there'd be 2 seperate releases, one the performance at the RAH, and another dvd marketed as a diary, day in the life of Hendrix, kind of thing.

Its kind of amazing when you go through You Tube, just how much footage there is of Hendrix out there, yet it still just doesn't seem to be enough!


Joe_the_Lurker - 12/16/2011 at 10:27 PM

I haven't seen them all, but I have an unofficial DVD of Royal Albert Hall i think it's 2/24/69

It's INSANE!! Clips are always getting pulled from youtube. It's this one....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBjJj_fdsBU

[Edited on 12/16/2011 by Joe_the_Lurker]


brofan - 12/16/2011 at 10:44 PM

The two that you can't get, officially - the Atlanta Pop Fest show and the Royal Albert hall show, as well as the Maui show that was used for Rainbow Bridge.

Most of the official releases have serious flaws, although most do have their moments, especially the Monterey Pop show and the 2 disc Woodstock set. I also like the Band of Gypsys DVD, but like a lot of them the editing sucks and like the Cream Farewell DVD it often seems like the cameraman is stoned. Isle of Wight really isn't one of his better performances, but it does have a pretty good version of Machine Gun on it.

Rumor has it that Jeannie Hendrix is planning on releasing the Royal Albert Hall show sometime in the not-too-distant future. Looking forward to that - his playing is just ferocious in that show.


Efus - 12/16/2011 at 10:52 PM

quote:
I haven't seen them all, but I have an unofficial DVD of Royal Albert Hall i think it's 2/24/69

It's INSANE!! Clips are always getting pulled from youtube. It's this one....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBjJj_fdsBU

[Edited on 12/16/2011 by Joe_the_Lurker]


Well lets get 'em up there so the people can enjoy them because they are the chit!

I Don't Live Today
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnjydzXm3Ig

Foxey Lady (pretty mindblowing version of, imo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tRh67AlthQ&feature=related

[Edited on 12/16/2011 by Efus]


RobJohnson - 12/16/2011 at 11:59 PM

Jimi Plays Berkeley is the best official Hendrix DVD release, in my opinion. Yes, the camera work isn't always what it should be, but the performance is just off the charts.

Jimi Plays Monterey is good, and a very unique Hendrix performance, but it seems very raw and unsophisticated compared to his later work, at least to me. Jimi was still a work in progress at that point. The audio and video quality are excellent, though.

The Woodstock performance is uneven, and it would be charitable to say that it wasn't exactly the best band Jimi ever had. At one point you can see him looking at Larry Lee and Billy Cox with an angry look on his face like "Come on! Get it together!" The last 30 minutes are some of Jimi's best playing ever, but you can get that on the deluxe Woodstock DVD, which is probably a better value for your money.

Isle Of Wight is a dark chapter in Jimi's catalog and I'll never understand why some people like it.

The Royal Albert Hall show would be a welcome addition to the Hendrix DVD library. The audio from that show is pretty amazing and features Jimi at his best.

Still, the thing I'd love to see the most is a DVD of the full Rainbow Bridge performance. This is probably my favorite show Jimi ever played, based on the audio, and the 17 minutes or so that you see in the Rainbow Bridge film are high-quality video, with a spectacular Hawaii backdrop. The hippie documentary stuff doesn't bother me as much as it does some people, but it seems like a crime that we get 2 hours of anonymous hippies talking and only 17 minutes of Jimi.

It should be the other way around


jfk2112 - 12/17/2011 at 12:09 AM

Rob, I was wondering if you were going to chime in on this one. I'm not surprised to see that you, like me, are in favor of Jimi Plays Berkeley.
- Jim

[Edited on 12/17/2011 by jfk2112]


BrerRabbit - 12/17/2011 at 12:27 AM

If I had to choose one, Jimi Plays Berkeley. For a lot of reasons. They are all incredible in their own way, they are all Jimi, but at Berkeley he just seemed to be, well, happy. Not as fired up as Monterey, but stepping out further, not so splashy. Just get them all, to get the total picture.


robslob - 12/17/2011 at 01:40 AM

A lot of people, including in this thread, dog the Woodstock DVD as being uneven, sloppy, etc. Maybe I'm just not as picky, I don't know, but I absolutely LOVE the Hendrix at Woodstock performance. Mainly for the variety of Jimi's set, also I think that you can say what you will about the band, but Jimi's playing at Woodstock was just off the hook. And Jimi and band go to some very interesting improvisational places at times. And Jimi obviously had changed his band a lot, but he kept Mitch Mitchell on drums...........WISE move. I also love the crowd shots at Woodstock, because it was Monday morning and out of 400,000, only maybe 40,000 remained: The hard core Hendrix freaks who didn't mind waiting one more night in the mud for their hero.

[Edited on 12/17/2011 by robslob]


midnightvwdriver - 12/18/2011 at 09:15 PM

thankyou so much everybody.

I guess all your info just confirms that all of them are worth viewing.

I am starting with Isle of Wight and the Woodstock DVDs only because I came accross them cheap. Berkley will follow.

One suggestion from me ; I'd forgotten how great the DVD I started with , "Jimi Hendrix " ( white cover- Jimi seated on stool wearing floppy black hat ) is.
Great doco with concert clips . I can reccommend that one to one and all.

[Edited on 12/18/2011 by midnightvwdriver]


WarEagleRK - 12/19/2011 at 12:37 PM

quote:
I have the "A film about Jimi Hendrix " documentary DVD which has some snippets of concert footage


How was this documentary?


BarrySmith - 12/19/2011 at 03:29 PM

I'm a fan of his Isle of Wight Festival set! There are some shaky moments like the drum solos that pop up a little too often. But it does have its moments: "Red House" "All Along The Watchtower" "Dolly Dagger" "Message To Love" and "In From The Storm."

There were conflicting reports on what was wrong with Jimi that night. I think it was the fact that he had to perform at around 3AM in the morning, and could not see the audience. I don't think it was fun playing in the middle of night.

[Edited on 12/19/2011 by BarrySmith]


Efus - 12/19/2011 at 05:38 PM

quote:
I'm a fan of his Isle of Wight Festival set! There are some shaky moments like the drum solos that pop up a little too often. But it does have its moments: "Red House" "All Along The Watchtower" "Dolly Dagger" "Message To Love" and "In From The Storm."

There were conflicting reports on what was wrong with Jimi that night. I think it was the fact that he had to perform at around 3AM in the morning, and could not see the audience. I don't think it was fun playing in the middle of night.

[Edited on 12/19/2011 by BarrySmith]


Eh, there were a lot of problems at the Isle of Wight, and the timing couldn't have been worse for Hendrix, some of this can be seen in the film, some not.

There was a big confrontation between the promoters and fans in regards to getting the promoters to make it a "free" festival, which of course left promoters scrambling to pay the acts.

Mitch Mitchell's drum set went missing enroute to the show, as mentioned the ungodly hour that the set started, which resulted in the crowd being extremely quiet and unresponsive, which threw Hendrix off quite a bit, not to mention the technical problems. In addition, the fact that it was among the first time some of that material was being played played live.

I think another huge factor was that Hendrix at the time was fully into making new music, and finishing up his new studio Electric Ladyland, and had to drop all that, in order to go to the Isle of Wight and begin a short European Tour, which ended up being the last shows of his career.

In light of all that, I think Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell did the best they could, but still as others have noted, it didn't stop Jimi's talent from shining through during parts of the show. But all in all, Jimi was not in a good frame of mind, and the vibe around the Festival, other than The Who's set, was not good.


midnightvwdriver - 12/20/2011 at 09:29 PM

WarEagleRK,

To answer your question, the doco is great. Interviews w/ Clapton, Townsend , Jagger , Little Richard,ex- roadies , ex girlfriends , some black panther type hustler dudes, Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell ( on the more recent 2DVD edition-whcih is still cheap )
+ some complete ( single) song concert footage from Monterey, Wight and elsewhere.
very entertaining and well put together.

[Edited on 12/20/2011 by midnightvwdriver]


jfk2112 - 12/20/2011 at 09:55 PM

quote:
WarEagleRK,

To answer your question, the doco is great. Interviews w/ Clapton, Townsend , Jagger , Little Richard,ex- roadies , ex girlfriends , some black panther type hustler dudes, Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell ( on the more recent 2DVD edition-whcih is still cheap )
+ some complete ( single) song concert footage from Monterey, Wight and elsewhere.
very entertaining and well put together.

[Edited on 12/20/2011 by midnightvwdriver]


The interviews with Townshend are great. You can tell how much love and respect he had for Jimi even though they had a bit of a rivalry. His story about Monterey is worth the cost of the DVD


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