Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight

May 22 - May 25, 2010

(Murray Lerner, USA, 1970, DigiBeta, 118 min)

By the time Hendrix came on stage for what would be his final UK performance, the crowd realized this wasn't Woodstock and that the peace-and-love vibe of the last few years was at an end. In order to play this gig, Hendrix had been wrenched from recording sessions in New York against his will, and the footage clearly shows the pressure he was under, forced to deliver a performance to over half a million people while his mind was clearly in another place. In a tangerine jumpsuit, Jimi looks slightly misplaced amongst the drab British longhairs, but while the set itself veers from the sublime to the soporific, he is never less than mesmerizing. Backed by bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the set list includes an adaptation of "God Save the Queen" and a cover of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," which leads into an amazing version of "Spanish Castle Magic." Unforgettable is the 22-minute version of "Machine Gun," which includes walkie-talkie voice-traffic feeding through the P.A., a mishap which no doubt inspired the makers of Spinal Tap

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