Jimi Hendrix Live @ LA Forum April 25, 1970 [YouTube Playlist]

Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published May 14, 2013

Jimi Hendrix. Without question, the single most powerful and influential guitarist of all time.

JimiHendrixVevo, Experience Hendix LLC, and Sony Music have teamed up to offer one of Jimi's most well known bootleg concert recordings through YouTube. Every day they are releasing another song from the set. At the time this is being written, 4 of the 13 songs have been released.

This show is particularly notable because it was the opening show of the 1970 tour which saw Billy Cox replace Noel Redding on bass in The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Sadly, Jimi would pass away less than 5 months later on September 18th, 1970.

Also, check out the really cool writeup on the concert available on YouTube.

April 25, 1970 | Los Angeles Forum | Inglewood, California

The second edition of The Jimi Hendrix Experience made its public debut on April 25, 1970, opening their 1970 US tour with a superb performance. With the Los Angeles Forum filled to its capacity, Jimi, Mitch, and Billy Cox presented an effective blend of favorites such as "Purple Haze" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" along with such new material as "Room Full Of Mirrors", "Freedom", "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)", and "Machine Gun".

Touring in 1970 would be done as never before for Jimi Hendrix. With Electric Lady Studios, his state of the art Greenwich Village recording facility in the latter stages of construction, Hendrix was eager to begin recording at the new studio and complete the double album First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Jimi agreed to resume touring provided his manager Michael Jeffery break up the proposed schedule by allowing the guitarist to record during the week and fly out to perform concerts on weekends. This new arrangement proved less taxing on the group and Hendrix in particular. Moreover, concert appearances at venues such as the Los Angeles Forum provided a much needed cash infusion for the fledgling studio project which had been beset by cost overruns during its thirteen months of construction.

According to Billy Cox, Jimi never predetermined set lists and preferred to call tunes out onstage. Jimi, Cox recalls, would measure the audience and determine what would work best. On many occasions, Jimi would announce the first one or two numbers in the dressing room for Cox and Mitchell and leave the balance to his imagination. In this age of preordained set lists, teleprompters for lead singers, light cues, and scripted encores, Jimi's simple, organic method seems downright charming.

While no professional recording is known to have been made of Jimi's Forum appearance, several amateur audience recordings from this fateful night reveal a great deal. Billy Cox's bass work had a marked impact on Jimi's sound. In addition, Billy offered backing vocals on staples such as "Fire" as well as new songs such as "Message To Love" whose studio recording he had contributed to. Live arrangements of "Spanish Castle Magic" and "Lover Man" were retooled. Studio recordings of new material such as "Ezy Ryder" and "Room Full Of Mirrors" had not yet been completed while "Freedom" and "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" had not even been recorded. Nonetheless, Jimi offered enthusiastic renditions of each, seemingly happy to expand his stage repertoire.

Jimi's 1970 Forum performance took on special significance with many of his fans when an amateur audience recording was pressed up as a double album vinyl bootleg in the months after the concert. There have been countless bootlegs issued in the three decades since Jimi's death, but none perhaps as sturdy in its appeal as this Los Angeles Forum recording. While the fidelity of the existing audience recordings are far from professional quality, they remain an invaluable historical resource.

℗ © 2013, Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment.

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