Videos: Amazing Jimi Hendrix Suffolk footage revealed
IT WAS a stage graced by rock legends including The Beatles and the Rolling Stones – and now unique footage has emerged of Jimi Hendrix playing at one of Suffolk’s greatest music venues.
Videos of the ground-breaking guitarist performing at the Ipswich Gaumont – now Regent Theatre – have been posted on website YouTube.
The two pieces of black and white footage show the enigmatic frontman delighting the crowds with Purple Haze and a cover of The Troggs’ Wild Thing.
Accompanied by the rest of the Jimi Hendrix Experience – drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding – he pulls out many of the trademark moves for which he is renowned, playing the guitar behind his back and with his teeth. At the start of Wild Thing Hendrix dedicates the song to “the little girl in the green.”
The footage is believed to have been recorded for a French documentary which was never aired. The band were performing in a show which also featured Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdinck.
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They were supporting The Walker Brothers’ farewell tour, which visited Ipswich on April 1, 1967. At that time Hendrix – widely recognised as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th Century – was in the early stages of his career and the band had released just two singles, Hey Joe and Purple Haze.
William Martin, of Sudbourne, near Woodbridge, was one of the lucky few who managed to secure a ticket for the Gaumont performance.
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“He wore a yellow suit and closed the first half of the show,” he said yesterday. “I think he was on for about 20 minutes. The atmosphere was incredible. Obviously I’d heard of him but at that time he was only really just starting out. He got a great reception and there was a real sense of excitement. I was 22 at the time and I’d never seen anything like it. It was very flamboyant. I think we all knew we were witnessing something very special.”
Last night BBC Radio Suffolk’s Stephen Foster said the footage was “superb.” “It’s the best I’ve ever seen of anything from the Gaumont in the 1960s. Apart from the TV footage of The Beatles, it’s really some of the most important footage of that era,” he said.
To view the videos visit www.eadt.co.uk.
Were you the little girl in the green? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the newsdesk on 01473 324732.