|Issue 3 - March 1972|
|On Feb 3rd,
Newcastle's Mecca Ballroom 'The Mayfair' gave the Jimi Hendrix 'Live at
Berkeley' film a showing. Added to this was the attraction of two American
groups live on stage, 'Catmother' and 'Jimmy and Vella'. Unfortunately,
both of which although quite good were not well received by the audience,
largely of young Hendrix fans.
Finally their moment came and fifty minutes of nostalgia began with the film switching from Jimi in the rear of a car and people boycotting the Woodstock movie outside a local cinema, to the rehearsals with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox on Bass.
Then it's the real thing as Jimi plays 'Johnny B Good'. But the film really takes your attention as he plays his adaptation of 'The Star Spangled Banner' going into 'Purple Haze' bringing back nice memories and ending by smashing his guitar against the microphone stand. Next, with a new guitar, he plays 'Machine Gun' while the picture alternates from the stage to National Guardsmen running riot at Berkeley State University. Tear-gassing, arresting and clubbing (in one sequence a girl), stone-throwing students.
The film has some excellent colour work and sound recording but is rather disjointed, especially near the beginning, and never really flows smoothly. However, a film well worth seeing if you get the chance and would like to see Jimi live.
This very nice memorial ends rightfully enough with 'Voodoo Chile' and, as in the rest of the film the good close-ups illustrate the skill and feeling with which this man played.