Hendrix Fans Demand Release of “Holy Grail of Lost Films” Documenting Final U.K. Performance
The 1969 concert at the Royal Albert Hall on February 24 was to be the last show in Europe for Hendrix's original line-up.
On this day, in 1969, the original Jimi Hendrix Experience line-up featuring bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell performed for the final time on British soil at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
This historic concert was captured on film and a screening of the enhanced footage was exhibited at the Royal Albert Hall itself in October 2019, some 50 years after the show took place.
Titled The Jimi Hendrix Experience: The Royal Albert Hall this infamous concert recording has “long been considered the holy grail of ‘lost’ films,” according to the official Jimi Hendrix website.
“It has never before been released on any format nor commercially screened anywhere in the world,” reads the event’s promotional literature. “It has remained unseen and been the subject of death, litigation and intrigue since its creation fifty years ago.”
Featuring a remastered soundtrack mixed by Hendrix’s recording engineer Eddie Kramer, the color-corrected film captures this historic performance by the Jimi Hendrix Experience as well as backstage footage and scenes shot in the aftermath of the riotous London show.
Later in ‘69, Redding parted ways with the band amid personal tensions, while Mitchell continued performing with Hendrix, including the guitarist’s unforgettable Woodstock appearance. He was replaced the following year by drummer Buddy Miles who featured alongside bassist Billy Cox on Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys 1970 live album.
Bootlegs and unofficial low-quality YouTube snippets aside, there is little to see of this revamped Hendrix flick aside from a frustratingly enticing one-minute-fourteen-seconds-long trailer.
Meanwhile, fans are screaming out for an official release (read the YouTube comments section for a measure of their current level of frustration!)
For now, we can only hope a digital release is in the pipeline…
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.
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