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Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin' (PBS American Masters Series) (1 Viewer)

Bob Magaw

Footballguy
just a heads up, 2 hour doc with never before seen concert footage (miami pop festival, also last concert in germany, AFTER previously last documented isle of wight festival performance) debuts nationally 11-5-13, so mark your calenders and set your DVRs... the two time grammy winning director did the beatles anthology (as well as a few other hendrix docs/concerts), so that sounded promising...

on the same day, there will also be an expanded blu ray/DVD release*, and CD/vinyl release of miami pop festival**...

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jimi-hendrix/film-jimi-hendrix-hear-my-train-a-comin/2660/

* http://www.amazon.com/Jimi-Hendrix-Experience-Train-Blu-ray/dp/B00F031XPS/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1382482192&sr=1-2&keywords=jimi+hendrix

** http://www.amazon.com/Miami-Festival-Jimi-Hendrix-Experience/dp/B00F031X62/ref=pd_bxgy_mov_text_y

 
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For those interested in this...

We're fortunate in the Seattle to have the EMP (Experience Music Project) that is just loaded with stuff. Interviews, clothing, guitars, memorabilia, etc. Anyway, the "Hear the train a comin" stuff has already been here. If you're looking forward to this show, this is the coolest interview you will ever hear with regard to Hendrix.

Chris Squire from Yes talks about his first encounters with Hendrix

 
For those interested in this...

We're fortunate in the Seattle to have the EMP (Experience Music Project) that is just loaded with stuff. Interviews, clothing, guitars, memorabilia, etc. Anyway, the "Hear the train a comin" stuff has already been here. If you're looking forward to this show, this is the coolest interview you will ever hear with regard to Hendrix.

Chris Squire from Yes talks about his first encounters with Hendrix
That place is fantastic.

 
For those interested in this...

We're fortunate in the Seattle to have the EMP (Experience Music Project) that is just loaded with stuff. Interviews, clothing, guitars, memorabilia, etc. Anyway, the "Hear the train a comin" stuff has already been here. If you're looking forward to this show, this is the coolest interview you will ever hear with regard to Hendrix.

Chris Squire from Yes talks about his first encounters with Hendrix
i'll check that out, thanks for the reference.

i'll put up reminder the monday before, but it is a week from tuesday, check local listings and times...

* he must have the #1 electric guitar chair in heaven's orchestra...

seminal instrumentalist and fundamental, almost axiomatic architect of the sound of contemporary rock guitar...

i do think he was a giant in his way with blues and feedback mastery, as bach was with counterpoint form of interwoven voices...

i would pay to hear that duet of tocatta and fugue in D minor! :)

 
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For those interested in this...

We're fortunate in the Seattle to have the EMP (Experience Music Project) that is just loaded with stuff. Interviews, clothing, guitars, memorabilia, etc. Anyway, the "Hear the train a comin" stuff has already been here. If you're looking forward to this show, this is the coolest interview you will ever hear with regard to Hendrix.

Chris Squire from Yes talks about his first encounters with Hendrix
That place is fantastic.
Been a member since they opened. If anyone is ever in town would be glad to get you in for free. I'm actually not in town. I live up north near the Canadian border, but I'm always looking for a reason to get to Seattle. My favorite part of the museum is the headset. Great to have a walking tour in an exhibit and have a voice in your ear explaining details. Hard to say which has been my favorite. Graham Nash had a large photo collection he shared with the EMP a while ago. Listening to him describe in detail the stories that went along with each photo was pretty cool. My daughter loves the Science Fiction Museum. She can spend hours in that place.

EMP & SciFi Museum

 
Hooper31 said:
Sebowski said:
Hooper31 said:
For those interested in this...

We're fortunate in the Seattle to have the EMP (Experience Music Project) that is just loaded with stuff. Interviews, clothing, guitars, memorabilia, etc. Anyway, the "Hear the train a comin" stuff has already been here. If you're looking forward to this show, this is the coolest interview you will ever hear with regard to Hendrix.

Chris Squire from Yes talks about his first encounters with Hendrix
That place is fantastic.
Been a member since they opened. If anyone is ever in town would be glad to get you in for free. I'm actually not in town. I live up north near the Canadian border, but I'm always looking for a reason to get to Seattle. My favorite part of the museum is the headset. Great to have a walking tour in an exhibit and have a voice in your ear explaining details. Hard to say which has been my favorite. Graham Nash had a large photo collection he shared with the EMP a while ago. Listening to him describe in detail the stories that went along with each photo was pretty cool. My daughter loves the Science Fiction Museum. She can spend hours in that place.

EMP & SciFi Museum
How often do they change the exhibits? I went in March and then was just in Seattle last week and it was the same exhibits. I think just one of the SciFi ones changed. Couldn't justify it with the circumstances. First time was with my old friend/ex-bandmate. We had no idea what to expect. I just heard it was a cool place and we had a couple hours to kill. We ended up spending most of the day there. Truly incredible place for anyone into music. Especially if you at least like to dabble in playing and go with someone else who does as well.

 
How often do they change the exhibits? I went in March and then was just in Seattle last week and it was the same exhibits.
Generally I think they stay in place from six to nine months. I make sure I get down at least twice a year and find that about half of it is the same.

 
my favorite scene (with a bullet) from probably the most well known, eponymous doc (jimi hendrix :) )... on a stool, with his 12 string acoustic, unaccompanied, against a stark white background, improvising blues riffs from hear my train a comin... magisterial in its simplicity and authenticity... not by accident it made the cover...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPtv14q9ZDg

rainbow bridge, a lesser known concert doc... the similarly lesser known opening song (a studio version that made it onto the live soundtrack, as i think some tapes were lost), pali gap*, is maybe my favorite hendrix song (a lot is going on here, if you listen carefully... good headphone song... electric ladyland favorite album, speaking of great headphone music)... the second song (actual live version more well known from axis: bold as love) might be my second favorite, spanish castle magic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Cg-UFaOR3Q

* Pali Gap (Voodoo Soup Version)... hendrix was best known as arguably the greatest lead guitarist ever, but he put a lot of stock in musical versatility, and the ability to play rhythym... imo, his genius at improvising on top of and over basic rhythm tracks with overdubbed, interwoven melodic and lead lines was on the level of bach's counterpoint mastery in the preludes and fugues of the well tempered clavier...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T59qVSCy02A

** from the posthumous nine to the universe... check out young/hendrix (16:40-27:05... also next song easy blues from 27:05-31:37 has some very understated but tasty grooves), a loose, improvisational fusion jam with the brilliant jazz organist larry young, who played on miles davis pioneering, trailblazing biatches brew, and was featured on some of the first fusion genre albums with fellow, more integral miles musicians tony williams and john mclaughlin (though you could make a strong case that electric ladyland was one of the first fusion albums... before the genre even had a name yet - sort of like the first movie in the classic noir cycle, maltese falcon, was made long before french critics gave the american genre a name)...

miles younger wife betty mabry was "instrumental" in introducing miles to the more contemporary, urban and youthful soul, funk and rock sounds of james brown, sly stone and jimi, which informed the fertile crossover sonic ground he mined in the late '60s and early '70s with the likes of tribute to jack johnson, get up with it, afro-indian world music precursor on the corner, and apocalyptic sonic assaults and mid-'70s, pre-comeback "retirement" terminus points, dark magus, agharta and pangaea... shortly before his death, jimi and miles spoke about possible future collaborations... we can only imagine what alternate musical pathways might have been opened and explored through such a collaboration...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qheXceGpf54

* great music endures through the centuries... like bach, if the earth exists in something like its present form, and humans still listen to music, hendrix will still be listened to hundreds of years from now... the biebs or lady gaga... maybe not?

 
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In a way, Jimi's guitar-playing prowess has been a bad thing. Not his fault, but two or three generations of pickers have tried to emulate him instead of doing their own thing. EVERY AOR rock guitarist of the 70s wanted to "update" Hendrix. Every one of them failed, because almost all of them thought the bludgeoning power-chording of "Purple Haze" was what made Jimi great; the rest thought using a wah-wah pedal was the secret.

"Finesse" is what separated Hendrix from his (non) peers. He knew how to write lines that actually enhanced the song (a couple of levels down, the same thing happened with 80s/90s guitarists trying to be EVH) as opposed to sounding like something from a different record pasted on for effect.

And let's not kid ourselves - Hendrix is deified because he was a black dude who played what became "white" rock and died the same death Jim & Janis did. He crossed over to "us" - not the other way around. If he had been white his death, while certainly tragic, would carry about the same weight as Brian Jones' or Kurt Cobain's - in other words, a sympathetic :shrug:

Back to picks & frets, it's undeniable the affection that his peers (hahahahah) had for him. Mike Bloomfield (himself, one of the most narcissistic figures in rock history):

"I was performing with Paul Butterfield, and I was the hot-shot guitarist on the block - I thought I was it. I went right across the street and saw him. Hendrix knew who I was, and that day, in front of my eyes, he burned me to death. I didn't even get my guitar out. H-bombs were going off, guided missiles were flying - I can't tell you the sounds he was getting out of his instrument. He was getting every sound I was ever to hear him get right there in that room with a Stratocaster, a Twin (amp), a Maestro fuzz tone, and that was all - he was doing it mainly through extreme volume. How he did this, I wish I understood. He just got right up in my face with that axe, and I didn't even want to pick up a guitar for the next year".

That was the "flash" Jimi had. However, the most underrated talent he had was what caused him the most grief: his voice. That guy could sing - not like Luther Vandross or Tony Bennett - but he had a knack for melody and how to sell his lyrics. He was certainly a better singer than poseurs like Hetfield or Ozzie.

 
good butterfield anecdote, reminiscent of some stories told by future piano greats about art tatum...

when hank jones (brother of thad and elvin, a ridiculously musical family) father played some tatum for hank as a child, he assumed it was two-three pianists!

the first time oscar peterson heard tatum, he was crushed, and gave up the instruement briefly (later becoming one of the best jazz pianists in the world).

* agree jimi's soul was more important than the pyrotechnics, and that couldn't be reproduced.

duke ellington's instrument was his band. he composed differently for johnny hodges than other sax players, and talked about how individual artists had particular "tonal qualities".

hendrix was an early example of studio as instrument (though george martin and the beatles earlier, and probably most definitive examples)...

 
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To be fair, a lot of rock mythology is written by the survivors. Bloomfield didn't survive, but #######$ like Eric Burdon did. And most of what we "know" about Hendrix towards the end is from Burdon. He's claimed to have "lost" Hendrix tapes, "know" what Jimi would've wanted, and basically distanced himself from Hendrix's death while at the same time claiming to have been there.

 
And let's not kid ourselves - Hendrix is deified because he was a black dude who played what became "white" rock and died the same death Jim & Janis did. He crossed over to "us" - not the other way around. If he had been white his death, while certainly tragic, would carry about the same weight as Brian Jones' or Kurt Cobain's - in other words, a sympathetic :shrug:
I don't believe that. I don't care what color Hendrix was or how he died. He was an extraordinary guitarist. He became one with his guitar, and the sounds he created were like his soul sounding through the strings. He was an exciting performer, and he was also a fine lyricist. Nobody was like him of any color or genre.

 
And let's not kid ourselves - Hendrix is deified because he was a black dude who played what became "white" rock and died the same death Jim & Janis did. He crossed over to "us" - not the other way around. If he had been white his death, while certainly tragic, would carry about the same weight as Brian Jones' or Kurt Cobain's - in other words, a sympathetic :shrug:
Um...no.

 
i found interesting the kind of mirror image symmetry between english rock stars and hendrix...

beatles and stones had to make it big in america to really be propelled to international super stardom.

hendrix was american, and laboring as a sideman (for stars and bands like little richard and the isley brothers?)... it took the animals chas chandler to discover him, repackage him and make him a star in england, before he became a star in america...

a lot of rock music comes from the blues... but bands like the stones were playing watered down interpretations...

one of hendrix's lasting legacies, imo, was that he was synthesizing authentic blues within the rock idiom, which might have been a large reason he was idolized by the likes of the beatles and stones (townshend, clapton, etc.), apart from the admitted technical and pyrotechnic mastery of his instrument.

 
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And to save a tiny bit of face, I didn't say Jimi wasn't a great player - he was the best I've ever heard. Just that some of his appeal to his (mostly) white audience was the fact that he was black.

It's long since been rewritten, but the first edition of Rolling Stone's Illustrated History Of Rock & Roll ('76, IIRC) had an essay on Hendrix and called him Super Spade and the Electric Dandy.

 
And to save a tiny bit of face, I didn't say Jimi wasn't a great player - he was the best I've ever heard. Just that some of his appeal to his (mostly) white audience was the fact that he was black.
I've always been in awe of his musicianship, and he remains one of my favorites. Him being black had and has absolutely zero to do with that.

 
i'm about 30 minutes into it...

so far, better than previous docs i've seen (though of course there is previously seen material reedited)...

outstanding sound, can't wait to hear the new material highlights, like miami pop festival and his final (recorded?) concert...

* i was reminded what a great drummer mitch mitchell was... buddy miles was a powerful drummer, but mitchell could do these big band orchestral fills, and was the best drummer he had... noel redding was a former guitarist, funny when jimi, probably half seriously, said redding got hired for his hair... :) billy cox was the best bassist he had... i think one reason redding became disinterested and left was jimi would just overdub his bass parts himself at times, when he couldn't deliver the sound hendrix was seeking.

 
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pretty complete foxy lady from miami pop festival...

sounds like he always had a guitar with him, and had a total commitment to music bordering on obsession seen in world class artists from other fields...

before leaving for Europe the last time, he mentioned to a friend a premonition that he would die before he was 30... she said you should never talk like that, and he said, no, i know it and am OK with it, but his only regret was that he had so much music left in him.

 
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pretty complete foxy lady from miami pop festival...

sounds like he always had a guitar with him, and had a total commitment to music bordering on obsession seen in world class artists from other fields...

before leaving for Europe the last time, he mentioned to a friend a premonition that he would die before he was 30... she said you should never talk like that, and he said, no, i know it and am OK with it, but his only regret was that he had so much music left in him.
Not sure I see that as a "premonition" as much as a realization that the danger involved in the drugs he was into at that point had escalated. I think a lot of people using hard drugs are acutely aware of the idea that their days could be numbered. That fact that he died so soon after saying that suggests that he felt he had already cheated death a time or two. It's not Pete Townshend posturing, saying I hope I die before I get old, but one friend to another in private.

Are you sure the Miami footage is new? I feel like I've seen that before. The STP thing was news to me, though. The guy's ability to not only keep firm command of his instrument while most would be off chasing birds was ridiculous, never mind the fact that he would take it to the next level and way beyond. It's difficult to play the guitar when that high. It's obscene to play it that fluently. That's a whole other talent he had that was not really touched on in the doc beyond simply stating that he took STP before Miami.

 
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pretty complete foxy lady from miami pop festival...

sounds like he always had a guitar with him, and had a total commitment to music bordering on obsession seen in world class artists from other fields...

before leaving for Europe the last time, he mentioned to a friend a premonition that he would die before he was 30... she said you should never talk like that, and he said, no, i know it and am OK with it, but his only regret was that he had so much music left in him.
I would bet he'd be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum today.

 
cstu said:
pretty complete foxy lady from miami pop festival...

sounds like he always had a guitar with him, and had a total commitment to music bordering on obsession seen in world class artists from other fields...

before leaving for Europe the last time, he mentioned to a friend a premonition that he would die before he was 30... she said you should never talk like that, and he said, no, i know it and am OK with it, but his only regret was that he had so much music left in him.
I would bet he'd be diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum today.
i was thinking the exact same thing, maybe something like aspbergers...

he was very successful with the ladies, so he wasn't a complete monk, hermit or recluse...

but there are some high functioning possibilities within the autism spectrum... and a lot of his friends, said that he did need to be watched over, by them and managers/handlers?

whatever the source/s of his inspiration and muse were to his creativility and genius, we are collectively lucky to have the legacy of his extraordinary musical spirit (albeit tragically curtailed and corporeally truncated).

 
pretty complete foxy lady from miami pop festival...

sounds like he always had a guitar with him, and had a total commitment to music bordering on obsession seen in world class artists from other fields...

before leaving for Europe the last time, he mentioned to a friend a premonition that he would die before he was 30... she said you should never talk like that, and he said, no, i know it and am OK with it, but his only regret was that he had so much music left in him.
Not sure I see that as a "premonition" as much as a realization that the danger involved in the drugs he was into at that point had escalated. I think a lot of people using hard drugs are acutely aware of the idea that their days could be numbered. That fact that he died so soon after saying that suggests that he felt he had already cheated death a time or two. It's not Pete Townshend posturing, saying I hope I die before I get old, but one friend to another in private.

Are you sure the Miami footage is new? I feel like I've seen that before. The STP thing was news to me, though. The guy's ability to not only keep firm command of his instrument while most would be off chasing birds was ridiculous, never mind the fact that he would take it to the next level and way beyond. It's difficult to play the guitar when that high. It's obscene to play it that fluently. That's a whole other talent he had that was not really touched on in the doc beyond simply stating that he took STP before Miami.
maybe.

i'm not sure what hard drugs he was taking... nobody ODs physically from pot or LSD (though in syd barrett and maybe brian wilson's case, it has been speculated that heavy use of hallucinogens may have brought to the surface latent mental or emotional illnesses... as far as we know, hendrix seemed to have his wits about him, though i have read in bios that at that point in his life he was despondent at times about financial issues, in part from the cliche of getting ripped off by an earlier bad contract he signed... but others have said he was finally extricating himself from these earlier bad decisions and financial messes, and was in good spirits because of that at the end, so NOT likely to committ suicide)...

not sure if he was a heavy heroin user (like keith richards, and many musicians in many genres over the years), but i don't think so?

it was mentioned that he had trouble sleeping and used sleeping pills (barbitutates)... that can definitely lead to death, especially in combination with alcohol, and pretty sure jimi imbibed (a lot?)... but it also said the last night might have been a misunderstanding based on not knowing the strength of the sleeping pills... which didn't sound like it would be a common thing?

perhaps he had a dream about his death, even though he thought he was taking adequate precations to not OD... he was not "seeing the future" before it happened... but he reported it, maybe believed it could be a premonition... than he died...

no doubt, if he had been scared straight by the "premonition" and stopped taking drugs, and taken matters that were in his hands to control as much as possible, he wouldn't have ODed.

* my understanding is that seemingly to incentivize buying the doc, in the extras, there is more from the the miami pop festival, that is new... i don't recall if i have seen complete performances of foxy lady from miami pop before? those extras also contain more material from the last recorded concert in europe, AFTER isle of wight (though the audio is i think unprofessionally recorded, but all the hendrix estate has in their possession to doucment it... not sure, but i think this has been synched to existing, possibly professionally recorded video?)...

i'm more familiar with the '73 biopic (this was similar, probably too many talking heads, would like to have seem more long form uninterrupted performances - but than there are many existing audio documents of concerts, and less, but still a lot, relatively speaking, in the video archives, for that purpose)...

also monterey pop, woodstock, band of gypsies, jimi plays berkeley, rainbow bridge (part concert doc strangely interwoven with other fictional/dramatic film elements, as i recall?), isle of wight...

there is a recommended making of electric ladyland album (possibly from VH1 series, but not avail streaming from neflix) documentary DVD... it is my favorite album of his, so i appreciated the greater depth which could be explored about the lengthy process involved in its gestation, and greater details about his and engineer eddie kramer's methods)...

also, the recent hendrix back-catalog remasterings/reissues, there are interesting short docs (kind of like beatles counterparts) on the three albums he released during his life, and a few posthumous ones (like first rays of the new rising sun - some of the PBS doc stuff in studio with kramer breaking down dolly dagger may have been sourced from this... and possibly blues and the BBC sessions?)...

 
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Finally watched this and I did think it was very good. I never knew about all the backing guitar he did for all those established musicians.

I thought that the documentary was really well-done in the sense that it really just laid all the facts out there and took no sides at all, which I guess is how the AM series works, but with the prevalence of docs today that have a slant, this was nice to see.

 

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