Jimi Hendrix was one of the most important and influential musicians in rock and roll history. His music has effected so many other artists and has crossed such varied genres as rock, blues, jazz, hard rock, funk, metal, and progressive rock. In addition, Hendrix performed a few monumental concerts at legendary events before he sadly passed away in 1970, perhaps the most famous being the Woostock Music and Arts Festival in 1969. This particular weekend gathering turned out to be one of the most important festivals of the decade, as more than a quarter of a million people gathered on the field of Yasgurs Farm in Upstate New York to witness a weekend of music, capped off by Jimi's closing performance which sadly, only about a third of the audience still stuck around for by the time he went on. Those tired and bedraggled fans who headed home after a long weekend or music, drugs, rain and mud missed what was perhaps Jimi's greatest performance.
This newly released 2 DVD set is a Hendrix lovers dream come true, as it puts together all the existing footage of Jimi's set that day. DVD 1 contains the full show shot by the official camera crew, including the footage from the film and what was not used. It had long been rumored that most of this additional material was lost, but that was not the case. Now you can see full performances of "Message to Love", "Spanish Castle Magic", "Red House", "Izabella", and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", as well as the priceless "Star Spangled Banner" and "Purple Haze" which most are familiar with from the Woodstock movie. On DVD 2 you get a real treat. Recently the Hendrix foundation allowed B&W footage recorded by a student named Albert Goodman to be used. This footage was shot from the stage right next to Cox and Lee, and you have that footage interspersed with the original color footage, which was edited in where the B&W material was unusable. For the first time ever you get to see the band performing "Hear My Train a Comin'", which the original crew did not shoot because they were reloading film into their cameras. This never before seen B&W footage is pretty neat, and although the quality is not the greatest, you get some wild angles that the original film does not cover. It's as if you are on the stage with the Gypsy Sun & Rainbows (the name Hendrix gave this particular band), so you get to see for the first time up close and personal footage of second guitarist Larry Lee, bassist Billy Cox, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and percussion players Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez, plus you get to experience many of Jimi's between song banter and raps, as well as gestures and interactions with the band members. It's a fascinating watch to say the least.
There are some documentaries and interviews, the one with Eddie Kramer talking about how stress inducing the entire weekend was being the most fun to watch. The packaging of the set is great as well, and contains a thick booklet full of commentary, a photo of an original Woostock ticket, Jimi's unfinished sketch/poem of the festival, and many great photos of the guitarist himself. For a DVD set in the $10.00 price range, this is a must own. I'm sure most people would pay double for this.
DVD ONE: Jimi Hendrix: Live At Woodstock
1. Message To Love
2. Spanish Castle Magic
3. Red House
4. Lover Man
5. Foxey Lady
6. Jam Back At The House
9. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
10. Star Spangled Banner
11. Purple Haze
12. Woodstock Improvisation
13. Villanova Junction
14. Hey Joe
15. The Road To Woodstock: New documentary directed by Bob Smeaton featuring new interviews with Hendrix band members Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Juma Sultan, and Larry Lee, engineer Eddie Kramer, and Woodstock promoter Michael Lang among others.
DISC TWO: Jimi Hendrix: Live At Woodstock: A Second Look
1. Message To Love
2. Hear My Train A Comin'
3. Spanish Castle Magic
4. Red House
5. Lover Man
6. Foxey Lady
7. Jam Back At The House
10. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
11. Star Spangled Banner
12. Purple Haze
13. Woodstock Improvisation
14. Villanova Junction
15. Hey Joe
16. Jimi Hendrix Press Conference: Color film footage of never before seen Jimi Hendrix press conference held September 3, 1969 at Frank's Restaurant in Harlem. Hendrix answers questions about his Woodstock festival performance, his rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" and the festival's cultural impact.
17. Interview with Eddie Kramer
18. Interview with Billy Cox and Larry Lee
19. Rare artifacts & memorabilia