Hendrix at the Atlanta Pop Festival, July 1970: Showtime premiering the “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” doc tonight

By on September 4, 2015

Tonight, Friday, September 4 (9pm ET/PT), the Showtime cable channel will be airing Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, a new documentary unveiling previously-unseen footage of Jimi Hendrix’s seminal performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival, a mere ten weeks before his untimely death.

Hailed as the “southern Woodstock,” and held in July 1970 in front of a crowd approximately 400,000 strong, the Atlanta Pop Festival was the largest crowd he’d played in front of, up to that point (Hendrix was the last act to perform at Woodstock, taking the stage on the last day of the festival, Monday morning, at 8:30 a.m. local time — the audience, which had peaked at an estimated 400,000 during the festival, had dwindled down to about 30,000 by that point)

Directed by John McDermott, the documentary details the efforts of promoter Alex Cooley to create the definitive music festival with Hendrix as the centerpiece, and showcases breathtaking, 16mm color footage of Hendrix’s never-before-aired performance, shot by Steve Rash (The Buddy Holly Story), which went unused for decades when filmmakers couldn’t secure a deal to produce the documentary.

The new doc features interviews with Hendrix, and fellow musicians, including Paul McCartney and Hendrix’s Experience bandmates Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell are also featured, as well as conversations with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Steve Winwood, Rich Robinson, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.


On August 28th, Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Legacy Entertainment released a 2-LP and two-disc audio release of the show, named Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival. The DVD/Blu-ray versions of the documentary, which include bonus footage not in the Showtime version, will hit the shelves on October 30, 2015.

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.