Jimi Hendrix – ‘Guitar Hero’ Classic Rock Fan Pack

Jimi Hendrix - Classic Rock Fan Pack - DVD cover
Jimi Hendrix - Guitar Hero DVD Cover

When I got the Motörhead FanPack I looked on Amazon to see about pre-ordering the Whitesnake one, and came across this Hendrix one. Unlike the others it doesn’t come with a new album (obviously). Instead it comes with a documentary movie by Jon Brewer. Unlike the Slash, Motörhead and forthcoming Whitesnake editions, this Jimi Hendrix one is 100% unofficial. The Magazine itself celebrates the life and music of Jimi Hendrix, with interviews with Slash, Jon Brewer and others. Initially I wasn’t sure whether to buy this, but as it was available for £5.77 on amazon I decided it was too good a price to ignore and so bought it.

What you get:

  • DVD (1hr:39mins length)– Jimi Hendrix – Guitar Hero
  • 132-page special limited edition magazine
  • Poster

The DVD:

The DVD forms part of the ‘Classic Artists’ range of documentary movies by Jon Brewer.

The DVD includes:

  •  Narration by Slash
  •  Interviews with Eric Clapton, Slash, Lemmy, Eric Burdon, Stephen Stills, Leon Hendrix and many more.
  •  Book format case, with insert including photos of Jimi Hendrix, information about his life.

The DVD starts off with a variety of people retelling how Hendrix came to the London scene of 1966/7 and blew the likes of Eric Clapton away. It then continues to document his fast paced growth on that scene.

It documents well the time and scene of the time, and what every top guitarist of the time (Eric Clapton, et al) was aspiring to (black american blues rock), and how Hendrix came in and blew them all away. How he stole the show by jamming at a Cream gig (something that had never happened to Cream prior) performing Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor.

It continues with interesting retellings from people who were around then and around Hendrix (Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Dave Mason and others).

It documents as well how the likes of Clapton and Townshend went to see him play and were awed by what they saw.

It is interesting learning what a person he was both on stage and off, and the insights into that era are fascinating to watch/listen/learn.

It also documents how he struggled to get recognition in his home country – in large part due to the then segregation between white and black – and the difficulty of his early life, and the irony of how getting success in England lead to him getting noticed finally in the US.

What I found heart-string tugging was the words of Hendrix’s brother Leon, on their upbringing, and how he got started with the guitar, a rather spectacular story involving a 1-string ukulele! As well as how the death of his mother when he was 15 affected him greatly and influenced a lot of his writing.

The accounts are very interesting as well from a historical viewpoint – history being one of my big interests.

Particularly of interest I found where the input of Slash and Lemmy. Slash as he clearly is heavily influenced and a massive fan of Hendrix. Lemmy because he was a roadie for Hendrix in the 60s and witnessed how he played, and as Lemmy is one of my favourite musical icons. Lemmy’s accounts being particularly amusing in places, whereas Slash’s being very admiring.

What comes across a lot in the film is how talented, creative, fearless and inventive he was, as well as how intelligent he was. His love of guitar playing comes across well too.

It then goes onto the start of the spiral out of control towards the end of Hendrix’s life. Including how drugs affected his output and life.

Overall I found the documentary on the included DVD very moving, informative and interesting. As a fan of rock, metal and blues music (I do have a rather an eclectic taste!), I found it a very good gap-filler in my knowledge of a musician who undoubtedly influenced many of the bands and artists I listen to regularly (the likes of Motörhead/Lemmy, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the majority of the rock and metal bands that came in the 70s and beyond).

Certainly a valuable addition to my collection of music DVDs I think. I learnt a lot about him with this DVD.

I wonder what he’d make of music today if he were alive?

The Magazine:

Jimi Hendrix - Classic Rock Fan Pack - Magazine

Magazine Cover

The foreword is provided by Joe Bonamassa, celebrated blues guitarist.

The magazine starts with an interview with Jon Brewer (director/producer of DVD). Featuring his thoughts on Jimi Hendrix’s life, why he decided to do the film, and how he went about getting contributions from artists like Slash, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills and others.

Following this is an interview with Slash – narrator on the DVD – saying how influential Hendrix was to him and why he agreed to do the DVD with Jon Brewer.

Other items include:

  •  Highlights and interviews with people featured on the included DVD
  •  Information/interviews with members of Pink Floyd, Amen Corner, The Nice and The Move.
  •  Articles and interviews from artists around the time of his explosion onto the rock scene of the mid-60s, and his death in 1970.
  •  An article on the ‘search’ for a ‘new rising son’ in Jimi Hendrix’s stead.
  •  Reviews of Jimi Hendrix’s musical output, both during his life and posthumously.
  •  Reviews of books about Hendrix.
  •  DVD reviews.
  •  Also there are numerous archive photos from Hendrix’s youth and career.

I found the magazine a good lengthy read, with plenty of interesting information for both old and new rock fans.

The interview with Jon Brewer I found very interesting and informative, with interesting facts and information thrown in. And the interesting fact that Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Stills jammed and recorded an album together, which has never as yet been released.

The account of the ‘package tour’ of 1967 with The Jimi Hendrix Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice and others, was particularly interesting, as it gives an insight into the different types of music put together then and how Jimi Hendrix was as a person.

The included review of the recently released 4-CD anthology was quite an interesting inclusion and read I found. This and the reviews of all of his other work shows just how prolific he was in the short time he was around, imagine how much he might of put out if he’d lived longer, there are likely still unreleased items to come as it is.

The accounts of Jimi Hendrix’s last days and last gigs were also something of interest, giving an insight into the physical and mental state of him at the time.

Reading the article about Jimi Hendrix’s last moments and the controversies and speculation over how he died, and whether he was murdered or not is again a good, well written article, that leaves the reader informed and wondering what really happened. I doubt anyone will ever know for sure, but either way it was an untimely death.

As someone who wasn’t born till 8 years after Jimi Hendrix’s death, all the information included in the magazine is very interesting from the point of view of wanting to learn more about such an iconic musician, especially considering his career effectively consisted of 4 years! I don’t think there has been such a influential musician since who was around for such a short time, but with such a huge influence.

Like most Classic Rock magazine publications it is well laid out, with good content from a good selection of people. It goes into depth in the right places I felt, with a nice variety of the people interviewed.

In Summary:

Fan Pack rear cover

Before picking this magazine/DVD pack up I’d listened to some Hendrix, but never really listened in any great detail, or knew much about him as a person and musician. This magazine and DVD have corrected that, something I’m very grateful for.

If you’re a fan of Rock music in general it is worth a read to learn about one of the most, if not the most influential electric guitar players of all time. If you’re a Hendrix fan, then there is no denying you want this.

I very much enjoyed reading this magazine, and watching the documentary on the DVD. It filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge of the man and his impact and tragic demise. As I was able to get it for £5.77 I felt it represented fantastic value too!

DVD Rating: 4.5/5
Magazine Rating: 4.5/5
Value Rating: 4/5

Overall Rating: 9/10

Starring: Slash (narrator), Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Mason, Paul Rodgers, Eric Burdon, Leon Hendrix, Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Bev Bevan, Stephen Stills

Director: Jon Brewer
Producer: Jon Brewer
Studio: Bound Productions, Image Entertainment

Classic Rock Magazine
Jimi Hendrix Website

About the Author

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Kelly Harding
30 something geek; gamer; sci-fi/fantasy fan, discworld fan; loves rock/metal/electronic music, seals, penguins and polarbears; linux, xbmc, mac & drupal user