|Jimi Hendrix performing at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England (February 18, 1969). Photo Credit: Graham F. Page / EMP Museum / Authentic Hendrix, LLC|
Now, more than four decades after his death at the age of 27, the pioneering musician's short but prolific life is celebrated via Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A Comin', a two-hour documentary set to premiere on PBS Tuesday, Nov. 5 as part of THIRTEEN's American Masters series.
Directed by two-time Grammy-winning filmmaker Bob Smeaton, the documentary provides a comprehensive look at his early interest in playing guitar while growing up in Seattle (his father reportedly purchased his first guitar for $5), to his service in the U.S. Army, his early success as a hired sideman for the likes of Little Richard and the Isley Brothers (we hear part of a 1964 recording featuring him performing a guitar solo on the group's "Testify") before going on to score solo success following his move to London in 1966.
Hendrix' story is brought fully to life with a fast-moving mix of archive and modern-day interviews as well as great concert footage and even home movies that were taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell. Long-time fans of Hendrix as well as new and casual followers of one of the 20th century's most gifted artists will all find plenty to keep watching throughout the compelling special. New interviews with rock notables such as Paul McCartney and Steve Winwood as well as those with a trio of women who were closest to him (Linda Keith, Faye Pridgon, Colette Mimram) and several music journalists all add texture to a television special that might otherwise have been overshadowed by Hendrix' arresting on-stage appearances (including previously-unseen footage of Hendrix at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival).
Jimi Hendrix performing at the Isle Of Wight Festival of Music, Isle Of Wight, UK, August 30, 1970. Photo credit: Chris Walter / © Authentic Hendrix, LLC
Set for release on the same day (Nov. 5, 2013) as Jimi Hendrix - Hear My Train A Comin' is the 11-track audio collection Miami Pop Festival, an important recording that captured the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the first major rock festival staged on the East Coast, the May 1968 Miami Pop Festival. Opening with a blistering version of "Hey Joe" (that starts out unhurried but tactfully builds to a roar). Other classics delivered with a superb mix of rock attack and virtuoso skill include "Foxey Lady" and blazing "Fire." By the time Hendrix closed with a mighty version of "Purple Haze," it was clear the future of rock would never be the same. This concert marked the first time that the instrumental "Tax Free" and freewheeling "Hear My Train A Comin'" were ever performed live. Information: www.JimiHendrix.com.