Watch Jimi Hendrix Play ‘Purple Haze’ in a Clip From New ‘Electric Church’ Concert Documentary
Can't wait to watch the new documentary Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church when it premieres on Showtime Sept. 4? Good news: You don't have to.
Rolling Stone offered the exclusive premiere of the above clip from the film, which reveals a behind-the-scenes perspective on the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970, including Hendrix's set; in these few minutes, you can see Hendrix performing "Purple Haze" in front of the largest U.S. audience he'd face during his too-brief career — an estimated 300,000 people in all.
As previously reported, the Electric Church film will arrive alongside the double-disc set Freedom: Jimi Hendrix Experience Atlanta Pop Festival, which collects 16 Hendrix performances from the milestone performance. In addition to concert footage, the documentary includes new interviews from Hendrix’s Experience bandmates Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell as well as Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood, Kirk Hammett, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, among others.
"Jimi was at the peak of his creative and commercial powers that summer," Electric Church director John McDermott tells Rolling Stone. "He was making progress on his next studio album at his new recording facility, Electric Lady Studios, and confident to perform many of the projected songs live for his fans. The likes of 'Straight Ahead,' 'Freedom' and 'Room Full of Mirrors' fit comfortably among classic songs such as 'Purple Haze' at Atlanta."
While there's certainly been no shortage of posthumous Hendrix titles over the years, McDermott insists there's a wealth of can't-miss content here for fans.
"There are relatively so few examples of Jimi performing on film that this footage of him performing before the largest U.S. audience of his career is significant," he added. "Younger fans should take note that Jimi didn't need set lists, dance steps, stage backdrops and lighting cues to connect with his audience. He wanted them to be with him in what he would often describe as their own little world together, his 'electric church,' as he described it."
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