It’s hard to imagine there’s much in the Hendrix family archives that’s worth hearing or seeing at this point, but Jimi Hendrix — Hear My Train A Comin’, which aired last month on PBS’ American Masters series, certainly fits the bill.
Below, you can watch the entire American Masters version of the documentary, courtesy of PBS.
While the ancient Jimi Hendrix documentary is, well, ancient, and the Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child film (narrated by Bootsy Collins as Hendrix) from last year was disappointing, Hear My Train A Comin' is a first-class addition to the Hendrix catalog.
It tells Hendrix’s story in an intimate and refreshing way. All the key players — Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, Chas Chandler, Eddie Kramer, Steve Winwood, Fayne Pridgeon, Linda Keith, etc. — are shown in new interviews or archival pieces that are either unfamiliar or used in new and interesting ways.
While Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton are notably absent, that’s more than made up for by a wonderful, relaxed interview with Paul McCartney. There’s also loads of newly discovered audio and video, and what we have heard and seen before looks and sounds better than ever.
Even better than the American Masters version of Hear My Train A Comin’ is the expanded Blu-ray/DVD version, which is available now. Everything looks and sounds fantastic, especially in the 5.1 DTS mix on the Blu-ray version. And the bonus features — near-complete versions of 1968's Miami Pop Festival, 1970's New York Pop Festival and newly discovered archival footage from Hendrix’s appearance at 1970's Love & Peace Festival in Germany synched to a cleaned-up amateur recording of the performance, along with his legendary 1967 Top of the Pops appearance — are worth the price of the home video version alone.