Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In from the storm with Jimi ...

This will be the first of many entries that Jesse and I will post about Jimi Hendrix. One of the most important figures in the music scene from the mid 1960s until his death in 1970, Hendrix's influence remains a constant in the world of rock and pop today. He was, and still is a legend - someone who took electric guitar playing to a whole new level of creativity, while at the same time paying homage to those who came before him - and a player who approached performance with the sensibility of a fine artist.

Towards the end of his life, Hendrix was on par with some of the more socially conscious players of his era, bringing a sense of intellectual importance to the music he and other artists created during those years. For him the guitar was a tool that he could use to reach out to people through the language of music - and in interviews he had an almost metaphysical way of looking at how music was linked to the social issues of the day. Part playful trickster and part elder statesman, his turbulent childhood and tragic death were eclipsed by the heights he reached during the peak of his career.  And throughout it all, he left a lasting impression on those who he encountered - and a lasting legacy for those of us who discovered him long after he was gone.

Hendrix with the amazing Buddy Miles during their Band of Gypsys days

Here are a few clips of Hendrix in action ... a) from a press conference in September, 1969, promoting a benefit concert for the United Block Association (UBA) in Harlem, at which he performed ... b) his interview and performance on the Dick Cavett Show in 1970 (if you who would like to skip Cavett's monologue, just fast forward to 5min 35sec) ... c) his absolutely brilliant performance of "Machine Gun" during the New Years concert at the Filmore East in 1970 ... and finally, d) a clip of Hendrix performing "In From the Storm" from the film Rainbow Bridge, filmed during the concert on Maui (July, 1970) ... enjoy!

(skip forward to 5:35 to see the Hendrix interview and performance)

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