I hope you all get some kind of feeling about this thing,” said Jimi Hendrix, tearing into “Voodoo Child” on May 30th, 1970, less than four months before he died. Luckily, cameras were on hand to shoot the evening’s two sets, and what remains is Jimi Plays Berkeley, digitally transferred and mixed in surround sound for a DVD unveiling. (A previously unreleased audio mix of the second set is a major bonus.) Highlight: watching Jimi’s massive hands contort his Stratocaster on “Johnny B. Goode,” Downside: Some ill performances (such as “Machine Gun”) are spliced with unrelated Sixties protest footage, due to some shoddy concert camerawork. Said one of the film’s editors, “The cameramen must have been on acid.”
This story is from the November 13th, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.