THIRTEEN’s American Masters Co-Produces Documentary Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ Premiering Tuesday, November 5, 2013 on PBS
Features previously unseen footage of Hendrix at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival and home movies; new interviews with family, friends and musicians
Expanded home video edition available on DVD and Blu-ray same day
Preview video and connect with other cultural icons at pbs.org/americanmasters
A pioneering electric guitarist, Jimi Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942-Sept. 18, 1970) had only four years of mainstream exposure and recognition, but his influential music and riveting stage presence left an enduring legacy. THIRTEEN’s American Masters series traces the gone-too-soon guitar great’s remarkable journey from his hardscrabble beginnings in Seattle, through his stint as a U.S. Army paratrooper, unknown sideman to R&B stars such as Little Richard, Joey Dee and the Isley Brothers, and his discovery and ultimate international stardom. American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ premieres nationally Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 9 – 11 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings or pbs.org/americanmasters). The same day, Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release the expanded home video edition of the American Masters documentary, with never-before-released special performance features, on DVD and Blu-ray.
Hear My Train A Comin’ unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell while sourcing an extensive archive of photographs, drawings, family letters and more to provide new insight into the musician’s personality and genius. Recently uncovered film footage of Hendrix at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival is among the previously unseen treasures featured in American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’. A CD and limited edition vinyl set of Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival, the first-ever release of one of the guitar virtuoso’s most sought-after performances, will also be released November 5. The first-ever major rock festival staged on the East Coast, the May 1968 Miami Pop Festival at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., was the first event promoted by Woodstock organizer Michael Lang and Ric O’Barry (dolphin trainer for Flipper TV series), who were inspired by the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, where Hendrix made his U.S. debut and famously set fire to his guitar.
Presented as part of a year-long celebration around Hendrix’s 70th birthday year, American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ uses Hendrix’s own words to tell his story, illustrated through archival interviews and illuminated with commentary from family, well-known friends and musicians, including Paul McCartney, band members Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox, long-time sound engineer Eddie Kramer, Steve Winwood, Vernon Reid, Billy Gibbons, Dweezil Zappa and Dave Mason. The film also features revealing glimpses into Hendrix and his era through interviews with the three women closest to him: Linda Keith (the girlfriend who introduced Jimi to future manager Chas Chandler), Fayne Pridgon (who befriended Hendrix in Harlem in the early 1960s) and Colette Mimram (one of the era’s most influential fashion trendsetters who provided inspiration for Hendrix’s signature look and created such memorable stage costumes as the beaded jacket Hendrix famously wore at Woodstock). Hear My Train A Comin’ details the meteoric rise of the Experience, the creation of his groundbreaking music, the building of Electric Lady Studios, his state-of-the-art recording facility in Greenwich Village, and concludes with poignant footage from his final performance in Germany in September 1970, just 12 days before his death at age 27.
“I’m thrilled that Jimi Hendrix is joining the American Masters library,” said Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of American Masters. “Hendrix has been on my series wish list since the beginning. Working with Experience Hendrix’s incredible archive we are able to finally do his story justice.”
Two-time Grammy-winning director Bob Smeaton, whose credits include Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child, Hendrix: Band of Gypsys, Hendrix 70: Live at Woodstock, Festival Express and The Beatles Anthology, shows a side of Hendrix less frequently explored in American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’. Smeaton explains, “Jimi loved two things: women and playing guitar and that’s what Linda, Faye and Colette all told us. These women shed a totally different light on him than the guys who saw him onstage.”
“Hear My Train A Comin’ is an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Jimi with his own words as well as the words and memories of those that knew him well and were close to him. His impression on the world through his genius, music and talent continue to magically touch the lives of ensuing generations,” commented Janie Hendrix, president and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC and Jimi’s sister, who is interviewed in the film.
Since its 1986 premiere, American Masters has earned 26 Emmy Awards — including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, and two Producers Guild Awards. Now in its 27th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website (http://pbs.org/americanmasters) offers streaming video of select films, interviews, essays, photographs, outtakes, and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full-service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the United States.
American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ is a production of Fuse Films and THIRTEEN’s American Masters in association with WNET. Bob Smeaton is director. Susan Lacy is American Masters series creator and executive producer.
American Masters is a production of THIRTEEN. The series is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, Anne Ray Charitable Trust, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.
About Legacy Recordings
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog division, produces and maintains the world’s foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.
About Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
Founded by James ‘Al’ Hendrix, Jimi’s father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix, has been managed since its inception by the family members handpicked by Al during his tenure as Chairman. It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of their daily operations, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi’s timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.