Jimi HendrixThe Dick Cavett Show (MCA)
The new Experience Hendrix DVD is classy, inexpensive, and a real treasure for Jimi Hendrix fans and collectors. When Hendrix appeared on The Dick Cavett Show
on July 7, 1969, it was the guitarist's American TV debut, even though his trio the Experience had previously appeared on dozens of live and taped programs in England, Germany, Sweden, and France. In his native country, however, only the Monterey Pop film featuring his stunning performance of "Wild Thing" had been broadcast. While rather conservative himself, Cavett had been embraced by young and hip audiences, and his show was considered among the coolest on TV at the time. With Hendrix at the peak of his popularity, it was a golden opportunity for him to reach middle America, and as it transpired, the telecast wound up being the most brilliant interview footage of the musician ever filmed -- funny, playful, warm, and thoroughly exciting and quotable. This DVD presents both of the Cavett appearances in sterling visual and audio quality, intact as they were originally aired, including Cavett's introductory monologue at the beginning of each show (the other guests are thankfully edited out). The July appearance clocks in at just under 18 minutes, including monologue, the delightful interview between a bemused Cavett and a too-cool Hendrix, plus of course an absolutely brilliant performance of "Hear My Train a-Comin'." The second performance from September 9, 1969 -- 19 minutes -- was a rescheduled appearance to make up for Hendrix missing the Woodstock Cavett episode (featuring Crosby, Stills, Joni Mitchell, and Jefferson Airplane), which was taped in the afternoon only a few hours after the guitarist had closed the behind-schedule festival. It features another witty and insightful interview, and Hendrix backed by basically the same musicians as at Woodstock performing incendiary versions of "Izabella" and "Machine Gun." You can run through each episode intact, play monologues, interviews, or individual songs, and there's also a brand-new 55-minute documentary about the Hendrix-Cavett shows, featuring Mitch Mitchell, bassist Billy Cox, and of course Cavett himself.