Jimi Hendrix’s Last Big American Concert Hit Darker Notes


Jimi Hendrix Experience
Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival
Experience Hendrix/Legacy

 

Jimi Hendrix was at a musical crossroads when he played the Atlanta Pop Festival on July 4, 1970. With bandmates Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Billy Cox (bass) in tow, he turned in a fiery 16-song set that mixed reliable crowd-pleasers such as “Purple Haze” and “Foxey [sic] Lady” with less-flashy, socially conscious material like “Message to Love” and “Straight Ahead,” which wouldn’t see official release until after his death less than three months later. While Hendrix could easily have phoned it in on the oldies and still thrilled the crowd, he didn’t, preferring to add different, darker textures to his hits; the bluesy staples “Red House” and “Hear My Train a Comin'” found him, as always, using familiar structures to veer off in exciting, unexpected directions. Whether Hendrix was on the verge of entirely abandoning the rock scene for uncharted territory remains unknown, but Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival suggests big changes were definitely in the offing.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest