Maybe just in time for the world premiere of Andre Benjamin’s biopic All Is By My Side, at TIFF last month, a new two-hour documentary on the life of Jimi Hendrix, titled Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin, will be broadcast on PBS tonight, Tuesday, November 5, at 9pm, as part of its American Masters series.
The DVD package will be accompanied by a CD with a previously-unreleased 1968 concert recording by the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Miami Pop Festival that year.
The documentary is directed by Bob Smeaton whose credits include several other music-themed films like The Beatles Anthology, Festival Express, as well as several Hendrix projects: Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child (2010) and Hendrix 70: Live at Woodstock (2012).
Regarding this new film, director Smeaton told the New York Times in an interview that:
“The biggest challenge was that having done a number of Hendrix projects in the past, I had to find a way of getting everything I wanted into the film without having it run six hours, and without having it turn into the same film I did in the past. You’ve got to hit certain points: when he came to London, when he played Monterey, certain albums, Woodstock, building his recording studio. But you also want to get a different take. And that’s the hardest thing – trying to stay fresh.”
Included in the doc are interviews with those close to Hendrix, whether personally or professionally, who knew him well and worked with him.
“In the past, I’ve interviewed mainly guys. And with guys, it always comes down to, ‘He was a great guitar player, he looked good on stage, he died too young.’ And that’s all true. But the women offer a different take. They say ‘He was shy,’ or ‘He was gentle.’ The women bring an interesting insight, and maybe for once we know more about him.”
By the way, Hear My Train A Comin’ (aka, Getting My Heart Back Together Again) is a blues song written by Hendrix, recorded between 1967 and 1970, but was not released until after his death.
Look for Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin tonight, on PBS and on DVD.
The release is all part of a multi-year celebration of Hendrix’s 70th birthday (which would’ve been last year, 2012), which saw previous releases of unseen Hendrix material, amongst other things.
A trailer is embedded below; but first, a new clip from the film, showing newly-discovered footage of Hendrix performing at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival: