Jimi: All Is By My Side, the biopic following a young Jimi Hendrix, opened this weekend. In the movie, André Benjamin just about nails Jimi's distinctive, wandering way of talking. Tonight, let's go to the source: Jimi Hendrix's final interview, recorded just seven days before he died in September 1970.
Jimi's boisterous stage presence, his flamboyant fashion, his raucous and mind-bending music — and yes, his drug use — all concocted an outsized, aggressive persona. In truth, Jimi was more shy, more gentle and pensive than his image portrayed.
You can hear that in this Keith Altham interview. The sheepish chuckle, the yearning to explain the depth and pondering behind the rock 'n' roll swagger. It's a quiet voice that you don't expect to hear coming from the same throat that belted out Foxey Lady.
Jimi died in the midst of putting together his most ambitious album, one he hoped would signal the artistic shift he alludes to in this interview. He may never have completed that project, but the mark he left on music is indelible.