Published on November 26, 2013 | by Nina Hoogstraate

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Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’ documentary

Hear My Train A Comin' DVD Cover

The film focuses more on Hendrix ‘the man’ than ‘the musician’

★★★★

The soundtrack to this documentary was always bound to be incredible, and like all the other films about Hendrix out there – it is.

Hendrix’s music is spiritually engaging and the visuals of live performances – which can be seen alongside the tracks – only enhance it.

The film chronicles his life from his first introduction to the guitar – which never left his side – to his time in the US Army, through 1966 when he moved to London, his live performances from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival and the 1970 New York Pop Festival; and finally to newly-discovered footage from the 1970’s Love and Peace Festival in Germany.

The film is made in a chronological order, and shows Hendrix at his best. But as there have been many documentaries made about this ‘guitar-playing God’, I wondered whether there was anything else to learn?

My scepticism was proven wrong.

This isn’t a story about another rock star who died young; it is about a man who had an incredible talent for guitar playing and performing and who was a humble, loving, shy and humorous man when off-stage.

With unseen, undiscovered footage and interviews from Jimi’s father, cousin and ex-girlfriend Fayne Pridgeon, the story doesn’t necessarily shed new light on Hendrix’s story. However it does have an emotional effect, as every person speaks of Jimi with such passion and joy.

The documentary steers away from the stereotypes of all the elements of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.

Hendrix’s drug use and love for women is briefly mentioned, but there is not one part that focuses on it.

This is extremely refreshing; as it simply shows his human characteristics and the unbelievably resilient affection he had towards music.

As well as interviews with family members, there is also a nice selection of people who were Hendrix’s band members and friends: from Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding – both members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience – to Linda Keith and Chas Chandler, both of whom discovered Jimi’s talent, as well as a laid-back interview with Paul McCartney.

Another nice addition to the film are the snippets from an interview with Hendrix on a bed, with Persian carpets on the walls, paisley prints everywhere; his own bohemian paradise.

A good balance was created between live performances and others speaking of what Hendrix meant to them, as well as a few words and opinions from the man himself.

Although Hendrix passed away more than forty years ago, it’s touching to see how much of a legend he has become, and will continue to be.

You can watch Hear My Train A Comin’ on  Netflix.

 

 

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