Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jimi Hendrix: Jimi Plays Berkley


Jimi-Hendrix-Plays-BerkeleyRare Video and Audio from Berkley Community Theatre Performance May 30th, 1970

DVD / Blu-Ray Video Released by Experience Hendrix / Legacy

Street Release Date: July 10th, 2012

Review by Joseph Timmons – Xombiewoof.Com Magazine


Writer’s Note: this review will cover the DVD / Blu-Ray documentary and performance video Jimi Plays Berkley and the upcoming audio presentation of The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at Berkley. This article will touch on another upcoming release West Coast Seattle Boy – Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child which will be a 2 hour documentary covering the history and life of one of America’s greatest Rock and Roll legends and founding father.


hendrixjimi_playsberkeleyOf all the movies, documentaries and video examinations music’s evolution in the 60’s and 70’s, we learned or are reminded of the social and political events shaping the environments that invoked the creative genius of the artists in that period of time. One such artist that is persistently mentioned is Jimi Hendrix, an artist that had a short but brilliant time on this earth and shined like a thousand suns, drawing to him those that understood his vision of music and heard the message in his words. The musical styling of Jimi Hendrix were completely original from his method of writing and performing to the way he played his guitar. Jimi played with an enthusiasm that was of the moment, a way that froze in the air and captured no only his music but the events of the time.

The social / political turmoil’s that were the foundation of civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the times of protest and social change, all were heard in his soundscapes. Born in November of 1942, who would believe that one bright eyed child would be the bard of an era. Remembered for the unique performance of this nation’s anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, which encompasses the sounds of conflict and the sentiment of a nation’s internal struggles, we often decline to acknowledge his other grand accomplishments.


Jimi Plays Berkley is made from digitally restored 16mm film footage and has additional, previously unseen footage. Billed as a Documentary, this performance video is in 5.1 surround sound, mixed by Jimi’s engineer Edie Kramer and includes commentary from Abe Jacob, the original audio engineer who recorded the concerts in 1970. This movie contains not only Jimi Hendrix’s thrilling on stage performance, but is intertwined with footage of what was going on in the streets outside the concert hall at the same time, protest lines, citizen and police conflicts, people trying to force their way into the concert hall to see the master play and those that would use this event to make their statement, on both sides of the street. The hippies and “the man” taking their conflict and struggles to the city streets, while in the hall, a perfect silence of the masses, the only sounds were that of Hendrix and his band making music that would be forever remembered and become inspirational for all that attended. Jimi had made a statement “forget about yesterday or tomorrow, this is our own little world tonight”, this one small quote would be his legacy statement, to live for the now and to live….. Period, live and let live, be free within the world and yourself, to live and love.

Jimi Plays Berkeley  the Second Set


The video presentation is of the 1st set from the Berkley performances, the 2nd set from the presentation is the audio recordings, both on CD and Vinyl, entitled Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live from Berkley, is an audiophile’s dream, a compilation of songs that examine every nuance of a spectacular performance, for those that were there, this will be a memory worth reliving and to new Hendrix fans, a new and exciting look into the magic that was Jimi Hendrix.





The 3rd and possibly most informative portion of this Hendrix collection is West Coast Seattle Boy – Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child, directed by Bob Smeaton, which features a rich soundtrack of Jimi Hendrix’s classics, interviews and monologs. A life in Jimi’s own voice, originally included in a boxed set of Jimi’s recordings, is an autobiographical journey into the artist’s life. Portions of this movie include linear notes, letters and diary entries read by Parliament- Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins, who by nature has a vocal texture that is similar to Jimi Hendrix’s voice which lends and eerie value to the monologues, like Jimi reaching out to us from the afterlife.



With so many lost tapes, recordings and sessions seeing the light of day, we are learning more and more about the artists that shaped our lives through music, and we are re-examining our own sense of what their music meant and still means to us. Jimi Hendrix was and still is one of the most innovative artists of his or any era, and even though his time on this world was far too short, his legacy of music and social / political influence lives on, to be enjoyed by all that desire to live the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The songs performed on this amazing new video Jimi Plays Berkley are: mank_jimi_0

· Johnny B. Goode

· Hear My Train A Comin’

· Star Spangled Banner

· Purple Haze

· Hey baby (New Rising Sun)

· Lover Man

· I Don’t Live Today

· Machine Gun

· Voodoo Child (Slight Return) JIMI_B10-web-size2


The Audio CD and LP offering -Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live in Berkeley includes these tracks and the following additional tracks:

· Pass It On (Straight Ahead)

· Hey Joe

· Foxey Lady





This is not just a movie, or a collection of songs, or a documentary, it is a tribute to the life of a man who was, and still is an example of what the Peace and Love generation was all about. Rest in Peace Mr. Hendrix, your Music still means something, as so does your life and all the lives shaped by your time on this world.





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