The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival on July 4, 1970, will be the centerpiece of a new documentary and live album.
Titled Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, the film will focus on the group’s set at Atlanta and the festival itself, which was promoted as a Woodstock-like event. The festival featured the largest audience to which Hendrix ever played, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 600,000.
The documentary will premiere on Showtime on September 4 and be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 30 with bonus footage. In addition to the Hendrix footage, it will include interviews Experience band members Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell as well as Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Kirk Hammett and festival organizer Alex Cooley and more.
Which brings us to the clip presented here. It shows the Experience at the Atlanta Pop Festival performing their version of the Bob Dylan song “All Along the Watchtower.” Moreover, it purports to be Jimi’s isolated guitar track, and while a few commenters on the post suggest it’s not, we’re convinced it is. If we’re wrong, then someone went through a lot of trouble to fake it.
We’ve also posted a video featuring the entire band performance (shown below the isolated-guitar video), and a comparison of the two suggests that this is indeed the isolated guitar track.
“All Along the Watchtower” was a huge hit for Hendrix, and he tired of playing it onstage. In the Atlanta performance, he seems particularly disinterested in the song, or at the very least distracted. He starts the song off in the wrong key and begins singing before he realizes his error. Shifting up to the correct key, he announces, “As I was sayin’,” and starts over again.
Hendrix’s singing on the first verse is rough, and at times he moves away from the mic before completing his lines. His guitar work, as always, is captivating, even though it’s not one of his most inspired performances.
The release of Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church will be preceded by Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival, a two-disc set featuring all of Hendrix’s 16-song set. The album will be released by Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings on CD and vinyl, and the first 5,000 vinyl copies will be individually numbered. See below the videos for the track listing.
Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival Track List
2. “Lover Man”
3. “Spanish Castle Magic”
4. “Red House”
5. “Room Full Of Mirrors”
6. “Hear My Train A Comin’”
7. “Message To Love”
1. “All Along The Watchtower”
3. “Foxy Lady”
4. “Purple Haze”
5. “Hey Joe”
6. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
7. “Stone Free”
8. “Star Spangled Banner”
9. “Straight Ahead”