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Classic DVD Review: Jimi Hendrix / Band of Gypsys | Live At The Fillmore East

This two-hour documentary captures Hendrix and his short-lived band at their best.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Yes, this disc is a reissue. You find any truly new Jimi Hendrix product out there, you let me know. Until then, we can all make do quite nicely with this newly revived 1999 release: More than two hours of documentary, interview and concert footage of ’60s guitar visionary Jimi and his earthy, short-lived Band Of Gypsys with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox.

The highlight of the set, naturally, is the video of the famous New Year’s shows that were recorded for the contractual-obligation Band Of Gypsys live album. And unlike most DVDs, Live At The Fillmore East lets you view the 80 minutes of concert footage in its uninterrupted entirety. Too bad the quality of the live video is so infuriatingly shabby — it was shot on black-and-white, open-reel videotape by a cameraman either so stoned or stupid that he often pans away from the band to the psychedelic light show during Jimi’s solos. Still, that awesome version of Machine Gun makes it all worthwhile.