The George Eastman House has a world famous collection of films in their vaults and they screened a rare print of Joe Boyd’s 1973 film “Jimi Hendrix” last night. Made just three years after Hendrix’s death there wasn’t time for revisionist history and the interviews with Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton still show signs of jealousy. Lou Reed pretty much gives it up for Jimi, about as much as he can. And in the film Jimi gives it up for Bob Dylan with an incredible performance of of “Like A Rollin Stone.”
I left Woodstock before Hendrix performed because Dave thought we were going to starve and I’ll never let him forget that decision even though he is dead. I did get to see Hendrix in Indianapolis in 1969 with Dave’s ex, Kim. I sort of remember losing my brown shoes in a cemetery before the show. And what I mostly remember from the show is Hendrix flipping the bird to the fat cops that stood with their arms crossed in front of the stage.
There is some jaw dropping performances in the film like 1967’s black and white performance of “Purple Haze” at London’s Marque Club and Jimi in a TV studio playing 12 string against a white seamless backdrop. You can see why there hasn’t been another Hendrix movie since. They could never outdo the real thing and this is as close as it gets. I was transfixed by Jimi’s longtime girlfriend, Fayne Pridgon. She has a major role in this film and she was so engaging I came home and googled her but didn’t come up with much. Guess I’ll have to rent the dvd for more.
Peggi’s almost done with Keith Richards’ book and then I’ll set down my Guston book to dive in. There is only one more film left in the Eastman’s “Rock n’ Roll” series, next Wednesday’s showing of the “The Last Waltz.”