Jimi Plays Berkeley (1974)

48 or 55 mins | Documentary, Performance | 24 July 1974

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HISTORY

The concert is juxtaposed with footage from violent student political demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley.
       The two, consecutive 30 May 1970 Memorial Day concerts at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, CA, were among Jimi Hendrix’s final performances in the U.S. during the “Cry of Love” tour before his death at age twenty-seven on 18 Sep 1970 in London, U.K. According to the musician’s official website, the footage from the Berkeley concerts, which was filmed “more as a test than a true documentary,” was quickly edited and released theatrically as a feature film after Hendrix’s death. The picture was screened during a posthumous European tour that showcased other musicians who were represented by Hendrix’s former manager, Michael Jeffery, despite allegations from several colleagues that Jeffery was responsible for Hendrix’s death.
       An 8 Aug 1973 Var news item announced that New Line Cinema had expanded its distribution operation by acquiring rights to five feature films, including Jimi Plays Berkeley, that were set to be released in “the last quarter of 1973.” However, the film’s first theatrical opening documented in AMPAS library production files was 24 Jul 1974 at the Nuart and Encore Theatres in Los Angeles, CA. A 1974 edition of Screen World reported that the film was scheduled for a Sep 1973 release, but no reviews were found in production files to confirm that the picture opened at that time.
       On 4 Jun 2012, Guitar World announced that a newly “restored and expanded” version of the picture would be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 Jul 2012. The film’s original 16mm negative ...

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The concert is juxtaposed with footage from violent student political demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley.
       The two, consecutive 30 May 1970 Memorial Day concerts at the Berkeley Community Theatre in Berkeley, CA, were among Jimi Hendrix’s final performances in the U.S. during the “Cry of Love” tour before his death at age twenty-seven on 18 Sep 1970 in London, U.K. According to the musician’s official website, the footage from the Berkeley concerts, which was filmed “more as a test than a true documentary,” was quickly edited and released theatrically as a feature film after Hendrix’s death. The picture was screened during a posthumous European tour that showcased other musicians who were represented by Hendrix’s former manager, Michael Jeffery, despite allegations from several colleagues that Jeffery was responsible for Hendrix’s death.
       An 8 Aug 1973 Var news item announced that New Line Cinema had expanded its distribution operation by acquiring rights to five feature films, including Jimi Plays Berkeley, that were set to be released in “the last quarter of 1973.” However, the film’s first theatrical opening documented in AMPAS library production files was 24 Jul 1974 at the Nuart and Encore Theatres in Los Angeles, CA. A 1974 edition of Screen World reported that the film was scheduled for a Sep 1973 release, but no reviews were found in production files to confirm that the picture opened at that time.
       On 4 Jun 2012, Guitar World announced that a newly “restored and expanded” version of the picture would be released on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 Jul 2012. The film’s original 16mm negative was digitally restored and transferred and fifteen minutes of “previously unseen documentary and performance footage” were added to the new version, including scenes of Hendrix playing “Voodoo Child,” “Hear My Train A Comin’” and “Machine Gun.” The DVD, co-produced by Hendrix’s sister, Janie Hendrix, was released to commemorate the musician’s “70th birthday year.”

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Sep 1973
---
Box Office
8 Aug 1974
---
Guitar World
4 Jun 2012
---
Screen World
1974
---
Variety
8 Aug 1973
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The American Film Board presents
A Dor Jamm Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
A film by
A film by
A film by
A film by
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Berkeley riot footage
Asst cam
Asst cam
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod asst
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Star-Spangled Banner," music by John Stafford Smith, lyrics by Francis Scott Key; "Johnny B. Goode," music and lyrics by Chuck Berry; "Hear My Train A Comin' (Gettin' My Heart Back Together Again)," "Purple Haze," "I Don't Live Today," "Machine Gun," "Voodoo Child," music and lyrics by Jimi Hendrix.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 July 1974
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 24 Jul 1974 at NuArt and Encore Theatres
Production Date:
30 May 1970 in Berkeley, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
gauge
16mm
Duration(in mins):
48 or 55
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

On Memorial Day 1970 in Berkeley, California, guitarist Jimi Hendrix arrives at the Berkeley Community Theatre with his girlfriend and his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, featuring bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell. As the stage is set, the men perform a sound check. Outside, hippies hold placards boycotting the 1970 film Woodstock, claiming that Warner Bros. released the picture to exploit young people, and they are confronted by a man on his way to a bar. That night, Jimi performs Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” picking the guitar strings with his teeth during a solo, followed by “Hear My Train A Comin’ (Gettin' My Heart Back Together Again),” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Purple Haze.” Offstage, audience members break glass doors and conflict with security guards while crowds gather outside the theatre. As the concert continues, Jimi plays “I Don’t Live Today,” “Machine Gun” and “Voodoo Child.” Walking offstage, Jimi turns off several Marshall amplifiers that are stacked in rows and waves farewell to the cheering ...

More Less

On Memorial Day 1970 in Berkeley, California, guitarist Jimi Hendrix arrives at the Berkeley Community Theatre with his girlfriend and his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, featuring bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell. As the stage is set, the men perform a sound check. Outside, hippies hold placards boycotting the 1970 film Woodstock, claiming that Warner Bros. released the picture to exploit young people, and they are confronted by a man on his way to a bar. That night, Jimi performs Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” picking the guitar strings with his teeth during a solo, followed by “Hear My Train A Comin’ (Gettin' My Heart Back Together Again),” “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Purple Haze.” Offstage, audience members break glass doors and conflict with security guards while crowds gather outside the theatre. As the concert continues, Jimi plays “I Don’t Live Today,” “Machine Gun” and “Voodoo Child.” Walking offstage, Jimi turns off several Marshall amplifiers that are stacked in rows and waves farewell to the cheering crowd.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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