Add a Review

  • This is yet,another in the myriad of midnight films I had the pleasure of seeing in the early 1980's,when late shows were still plentiful (and just about the time when late night audiences were beginning to act out of line,thus heralding the beginning of the end of the midnight movie---the video revolution didn't exactly help either). With the exception of the first ten minutes of this film,which is given to footage of protesters refusing to see Woodstock at their local cinema,due to a epidemic of what I referred to as "armchair Marxism" (rich college kids who wanted the world handed to them on a silver platter),the film launches into a non stop Hendrix concert for the rest of the bulk of the film. Some cynics have stated that this was not Jimi's best performance, but you would not know that with the reaction of the crowd that was in attendance that night (plus,the cinema had the good sense to crank the volume up to concert level,as there wasn't another film in progress). This "rockumentary" (or rock doc,as they're calling them these days)is well worth seeking out for Hendrix fans (and fans of period music,as well)
  • Despite its shortcomings this is my favorite official Jimi film.I first saw it at the local midnight flicks when I was in my early teens.I never missed it again.Even then (late 70s)I really wanted one of the "new " VCRs just to play this movie.The performances are outstanding.In my opinion Mr. Hendrix was at the top of his game in 1970 and this shows edited performances from two shows he did on the same night.Backstage scenes of a rehearsal and the limo ride to the show are very interesting.Songs such as Lover Man and Hey Baby are spotlighted along with better known songs (in 1970 anyway)including Purple Haze,Star Spangled Banner,Voodoo Child,and a great version of the recently (in 1970) released Machine Gun,ruined in my opinion by the intercut shots of the Berkeley riots.Maybe this was needed in 1970.The modern era of everybody seeing everything was still very far away.Anyway,too many edits,too much intercut footage and too short.Still THE classic documentary of Jimi in 1970.Nothing against any other official show.I love them all.This one though ,is special.
  • A quick explanation of the rating: 9.5 out of 10 for Hendrix, 2 out of 10 for the crap camera work, editing, nonsensical irrelevant footage, filler and other junk. And deduct a million more stars for gratuitously editing Jimi's guitar solos in Machine Gun, Voodoo Child and others. Seriously, what the f...? So anyway, average em out and (since you can't actually deduct a million stars) you come to six stars. It pains me to rate a Hendrix video so low, but honestly, this film looks like it was done by a bunch of kids with dad's super 8 camera.

    Hendrix himself is, of course, incendiary and his backup, the Band of Gypsys era duo featuring Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums, are also pretty on-form. Jimi's performances, as I've often said, tend to be kind of like sex: when they're good they're awesome, and when they're bad... they're still pretty darn good! I've heard that there's an expanded re-release of this video coming out or is already available. Might be worth looking for, if only to restore what should never have been removed in the first place. Editing a Hendrix solo is a bit like abridging the Bible: the six commandments, the one and a half gospels, the sermon on the little knoll, the penultimate supper, Paul's telegrams to the Corinthians, Jesus's pretrial hearing before Pontius Pilate's younger brother, and so on. In other words: sacrilege!
  • I give this five out of 10. All five marks are for Hendrix who delivers a very decent set of his latter day material. Unfortunately the quality of the camera work and editing is verging on the appalling! We have countless full-face shots of Hendrix where he could almost be doing anything, taking a pee perhaps? We don't see his hands on the guitar thats the point! Also we're given plenty shots of Hendrix from behind? There appears to be three cameras on Hendrix, but amateur fools operate all of them. The guy in front of Hendrix seems to be keen to wander his focus lazily about the stage as if Hendrix on the guitar is a mere distraction. While the guy behind is keener on zeroing in on a few chicks in the stalls than actually documenting the incredible guitar work thats bleeding out the amps (the sound recording is good thanks to Wally Heider) Interspersed on the tracks are clips of student losers protesting against Vietnam etc on tracks like Machine Gun, complete waste of film! If Hendrix had lived even another two years Berkeley is one of those things that would never have seen the light of day as far as a complete official release goes. The one gem it does contain is the incredible Johnny B Good but all in a pretty poor visual document of the great man and inferior to both Woodstock and Isle of Wight
  • I had a chance to see this concert. I was serving out my hitch as a US Army draftee at Fort Ord (a few hours south of Berkeley). A fellow Army friend with tickets, knowing I was a Hendrix fan and had never seen him perform, invited me to the Berkeley concert. Since I was scheduled for duty that night, I had to decline. But figured no problem, I'll catch Jimi another time.

    The Berkeley concert was in May, I believe. Four months later I walked into the office and someone said, "Hey, did you hear? Jimi Hendrix died."
  • The number one reason that I like this film is because Hendrix was awesome. The music is mind blowing, which is a given because it is Hendrix. But in my favorite part of the film Jimmy does not even have a guitar in his hand. It's before the show even starts. In my opinion it is when he is on the way to the show. It is there when you get to see maybe what Jimmy was like. He seems so calm and collective. He seems so quite. After the limo pulls up to the venue, he gets out and walks up to the door. It's this point that I watch over and over again. The way he walks up to the door. It's almost like he knows, yep, I am a bad mouth. He knows it, but he wouldn't shout it out. He will just keep it in his head, keep it to himself.

    After I get past this part, the rest of the film is awesome as well. It is pretty much like the rest of the live Hendrix material you will see. Watching him perform is amazing. He was so violent with his guitar, but yet he had so much control. Hendrix was an amazing guitar player there is no doubt about that.
  • Hendrix was such a fantastic icon/musician, who definitely deserved the best presentation and unfortunately that wasn't/isn't always the case - far from! If you consider that there actually only was four original albums released during Hendrix' life, which all was amazing, all the rest vast number of releases was posthumous material. A little handful of those are fortunately great stuff, but a lot of it should never had seen the light of day. Hendrix Plays Berkeley is fortunately very nicely recorded and highlights from the Berkeley concerts was released on the posthumous album "Hendrix in the West" - very nice live album. Unfortunately the film is kind of an amateurish effort, but worst of all is the total insensitive editing where big parts is brutally cut out in the middle of his solos, which makes the film quite irritating to watch, specially when the very same performances is familiar to you, in their full length, on various albums. They should be able, with the modern technology, to improve the film quality and make a way to avoid the cut outs of music, so it would be a presentable film - that said for a fan it is worth having, at least it is better than nothing and the song Johnny B. Goode is presented in its entirety.