From the Vault...


Jimi Hendrix
"Isle Of Wight '70"

© Polydor Records

Year of Release: 1991

track listing
  • Intro/God Save The Queen
  • Message To Love
  • Voodoo Chile
  • Lover Man
  • Machine Gun
  • Dolly Dagger
  • Red House
  • In From The Storm
  • New Rising Sun

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    Jimi Hendrix
    "Isle Of Wight '70"

    There is no one compared to the late Jimi Hendrix. His guitar playing was so unique; his psychedelic style inspired so many guitarists after him (Robin Trower, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Joe Satriani, to name a few). His live concert, Isle Of Wight '70 was recorded 18 days before his death of a drug overdose.

    "God Save The Queen" is another American anthem as in the style of his Woodstock rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. "God Save The Queen" is his version of "My Country 'Tis Of Thee." "Message Of Love" was originally from another live album, Band Of Gypsys. "Voodoo Chile" is another song originally from his studio album Electric Ladyland, and both songs are exciting as the originals.

    "Lover Man" is another great rocker in the vein of "Rock Me Baby (Rock Me All Night Long)." His protest song to the Vietnam war, "Machine Gun", a 12+ minute jam (also originally from Band Of Gypsys) is here, and as always, Hendrix displays his unique sound with the guitar.

    "Dolly Dagger" features rock with blues, and speaking of the blues, "Red House" defines the true sound of slow, driving blues. "In From The Storm" is heard here, as it was one of Hendrix's last recordings, originally recorded from his studio album, released as The Cry Of Love. "New Rising Sun" is the last song from the concert, as it features a different kind of rock and blues mix. It obviously features the sound that would be heard on The Cry Of Love album, yet "New Rising Sun" was the working title of what would become the actual title (New Rays Of The Rising Sun) if Hendrix had not died. Hendrix was creating a new sound, focusing more on blues than rock. We can only imagine how much more he would of accomplished had he not passed away.

    Shortly after this concert (18 days to be exact), the news was reported that Hendrix had died of a drug overdose. In reading the facts of his death, it was said that he died from inhaling his own vomit from the overdose.

    From the biography, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky by David Henderson,
    © Bantam Books:

    "Instead of laying him down, they sit him in a chair and strap him upright. He tries to bend over so he can vomit but one of the attendants quickly pushes his head back and straps him even tighter. Jimi's head lolls back as the ambulance takes off, the knell-like wail of its siren clearing the busy streets. The speeding ambulance presses his body back in the chair and makes it even more difficult for him to get his head down. He feels bile and vomit near his Adam's apple. He tries frantically to get his head forward, but one of the attendants is making sure it does not tip forward. Jimi is unable to speak. Even if he could, the ball of vomit in his throat would prevent him. More vomit wells up from his stomach. He cannot breathe. The vomit is strangling him. He tries to open his eyes. He tries to scream. He tries to move body over sideways, but he is strapped in tight. The vomit masses in his vocal cords. Jimi's lungs become congested. His heart begins to pump harder and harder, the right ventricle dilates. Fluid begins to seep into his lungs. He is rushed from the ambulance into St. Mary's Abbott Hospital. The doctors work on him for over an hour. The fluid in his lungs and his overworked heart are difficult to overcome."

    Maybe Hendrix could of survived this incident, and realize afterwards that drugs is not the way to live, as he possibly could of kicked his ongoing drug habit, like many other rock artists would do long after his death. (The best rock act to compare this "kick the habit" story is Stephen Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith.) Whenever a well-liked rock artist dies in tragedy (whether it be an overdose in Hendrix's case, a transportation accident, as in the helicopter crash that killed Stevie Ray Vaughan, or even the assassination of John Lennon), everyone would love to see their favorite performers live a long and healthy life. Many rock stars are living today because they kicked their drug habits, and we can only imagine if Elvis Presley had done the same, he would live as long as Frank Sinatra did, as we would enjoy watching him grow better with age. (He would of been 63 if he was alive today -- 1999.)

    Jimi Hendrix's Isle Of Wight '70 is an excellent concert, where at the time, Hendrix was growing tired as his personal life was encountering some downfalls. But that is not heard here, as his performances are energetic. In his last few months of living, he did what he always did best: He knew how to rock, and he knew how to roll.

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