- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 1 February 2022, 8:39AM
A clip of Jimi Hendrix's final public performance appears in the upcoming documentary film Ronnie's, highlighting the beloved London music club where it took place.
Hendrix sat in with Eric Burdon & War at Ronnie Scott's jazz club on September 16, 1970, two nights before he passed away.
The band's performance of "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road" was captured on a reel-to-reel tape recorder that one of the club's regulars, Bill Baker, snuck into the venue that evening.
Ronnie's director Oliver Murray explained in a recent conversation with Rolling Stone that his team was able to clean up the original audio so that it highlighted Hendrix's playing.
"It's unmistakably Jimi from the moment he takes the stage," Murray said. "His touch and tone is unique to this day even after the hordes of players who have tried to replicate it. It's so lyrical and fits right in with the colorful, jazz-tinged jam that Eric Burdon and War are laying on for the audience."
In a clip from the documentary, which you can watch above, War guitarist Howard Scott recalls seeing Hendrix approach the stage, Stratocaster in hand.
"...[I] noticed his eyes were just so white and wide open, you know, he was ready to play," Scott says. "We started jamming a song called 'Mother Earth,' which was this hardcore blues. Jimi lit into a guitar solo. I mean, me and Jimi were just cuttin' the place up. We were tearin' it up. Me and him, back-and-forth back-and-forth. Great night. ...That night at Ronnie's, my feet weren't touching the ground.
"The next night we got word after the set that Jimi had died. It was terrible, terrible thought right there that I was the last guitarist to play with him."
You can watch the clip from Ronnie's via the player above.
Ronnie's will be available in select theaters and digitally, starting February 11.
In addition to the rare Hendrix audio, the documentary includes performances by music greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Van Morrison and many others.