BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment: Reviews
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 13 July, 2001, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Hendrix enhanced
Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix fans are now benefiting from new technology
By BBC News Online's Alex Webb

When guitarist Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 there were no CDs, no videos, no PCs, no MTV, cassettes were a children's toy - and no one had even imagined DVD.

Now DVD gives his fans a chance to see all kinds of concert footage and archive material which would have been hard to find even in Hendrix's day.

It proves that Hendrix still has the power to shock - both in terms of the size of his talent and in the frightening, animal recklessness of his performances.

Band of Gypsies - Live At Fillmore East tells the story of Hendrix's last regular group, with fellow black Americans Buddy Miles and Billy Cox.

The group was born out of discontents in his previous trio, the Experience, and an urgent need to deliver an overdue album to Capitol Records (Hendrix's business dealings were a frightening mess).

Jimi Hendrix
Much of Hendrix's footage is in black and white
In drummer Miles and bassist Cox, Hendrix found a tighter, funkier sound which served to refresh his music.

The group played at the New York's Fillmore East theatre on 31 December 1969 and 1 January 1970, performances which form the basis of the 130-minute DVD.

But it is the accompanying documentary material - featuring interviews with musicians and former colleagues, including both Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding , the other two-thirds of Hendrix's Experience - that is most fascinating.

There is archive footage of Hendrix's appearance on Dick Cavett's American TV show, too - showing a sly and witty Hendrix who seems to betray a slight disbelief at his own stardom.

Hendrix's music is analysed in some detail, tracks broken down on a mixing desk by engineer Eddie Kramer to show the over-dubbing required to produce the thick guitar textures of his records.

This, then, is less a concert DVD than a documentary about Hendrix's last couple of years, and it has to be said that the concert footage is mostly in black and white, and unimaginatively lit.

But any footage of Hendrix is worth having, if only to take the measure of the giant shadow he still casts over the rock artists who came after him.

Band of Gypsies - Live At Fillmore East is available from Universal Music

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Reviews stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Reviews stories