The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 10, 1992 - Page 7
Jimi Hendrix lives..
Jimi Hendrix at
the Isle of Wight
dir. Murray Lerner
by Annette Petruso
J imi Hendrix' rendition of "The
Star-Spangled Banner," immortal-
ized as the finale of the Woodstock
film, captured something magnifi-
tent. Hendrix and his large Band of
Gypsies executed the anthem some-
what sloppily early in the morning
of the festival's fourth day, as a few
thousand stragglers listened, but
the essence of the performance was
the new life Hendrix and his guitar
gave to the song.
That awe-inspiring aura, how-
ever, is missing from Hendrix' last
performance, captured in the concert
film Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of
While Hendrix performed with
a three-piece band - the format
with which he had the most
commercial success - the tightness
and fluidity best realized in such a
lineup only sparks in a few songs
during the hour-long movie.
The 11-song set does not contain
Hendrix' greatest hits. The most
well-known numbers are his covers
of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" and
Bob Dylan's "All Along the
Watchtower," as well as Hendrix'
performed with a
three-piece band -
the format with which
he had the most
- the tightness and
fluidity best realized
in such a lineup only
sparks in a few songs
during the hour-long
original "Voodoo Chile." Similar
to his Woodstock performance,
Hendrix interprets "God Save the
Queen" for the half million specta-
tors at this British music festival.
. sort of
All these songs fall within the
first half of Hendrix' set, which
was plagued with technical diffi-
culties. But no matter what Hen-
drix played or what problems en-
sued, this film is important and
gripping for a number of reasons.
Most of the shots are tight
close-ups on Hendrix' face and
hands. You can see every gesture, ev-
ery reaction. The exact problems he
was having with the equipment are
never told to the viewer or the orig-
inal audience, but one can see in his
facial contortions (and hear in his
playing) how Hendrix felt. When
the band grooved, as during "Red
House," the nonchalance of his
stance turned into confident concen-
There are only a handful of com-
plete Hendrix performances on
film. The only thing most people,
younger audiences especially, have
seen of Hendrix is the clip from
Monterey where he sets his guitar
on fire. He only did that once in a
See HENDRIX, Page 8
Jimi jams at the '70 Isle of Wight Festival. Too bad technical difficulties plagued his final performance. He's still
one of the coolest icons of his time. Notice the cigarette in his guitar.
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