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The Magic of Jimi Hendrix


When you have someone as brilliant with talent and aura as Jimi and you're making a film about his music and you have Jimi on site for filming, a 12 string acoustic strung for a left handed player more specifically for Jimi, and he asks you if he can play it what do you do?

Peter Neal who co produced and directed the film Experience had this to say about the filming of Jimi playing Hear My Train Comin:

“Just before we left we asked Jimi if he would mind playing some acoustic blues. We’d decided to ask him to do that beforehand and since I had this 12-string guitar, I took it along thinking it would be more interesting for him than an ordinary 6 string. I’d restrung it so it was ready to be played left-handed, and then left it leaning against the wall in the corner of the room. I noticed how Jimi kept looking at it and then he asked me if he could play it. I said that I’d hoped he would, so he picked it up and launched into that number. We didn’t have much film left at that point, and so I told him that he’d have to do it in one take but it was just one of those magic moments that happen sometimes.”

Jimi is filmed sat on a high stool against a white backdrop, playing Hear My Train A Comin’ which he hadn’t yet recorded at that stage. After settling into it, he requests that Peter stops filming for a second as he’s “scared to death.” After the restart his playing and singing is flawless. It’s one of the most iconic film performances of Hendrix’s career, and the only one to show him playing acoustic guitar. Peter says it was filmed in one roaming take, and the cameraman did an instinctively brilliant job of moving around Jimi as he sang and played. That clip showed Jimi in a different light, but then Peter wanted the film to be a portrait of him, rather than take a more predictable route

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