Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys
Image by basspunk via Flickr

The Fillmore East established a rich heritage of live rock music with groundbreaking acts and hosting legends in an intimate setting. When Jimi Hendrix decided to premier his new musical group, Band of Gypsys he chose the house that rock built, The Fillmore East as the venue to record the historic New Years Eve concert on December 31, 1969.

It was more than fitting that Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys ushered in the next decade 1970, which proved to be a monumental year for the music industry. Jimi Hendrix had broken the mold of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and was seeking a new live sound and direction for his music. He partnered with ex-Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles (who also appeared on Electric Ladyland) and his old Air Force buddy Billy Cox, on bass.

My personal memories about these concerts are that a late friend of mine, Rudy Graham attended the New Years Show. I’ll never forget bumping into Rudy on New Years Day. He had spent the previous evening and most of the next morning hanging out at a special after party hosted for Jimi Hendrix. Rudy was always in the know for music happenings. He and I ran the concert committee at Norwalk Community College later that year. Rudy was smiling ear to ear. He said to me, “Ed, man you missed a great show at the Fillmore East last night. I caught Jimi Hendrix bringing down the house with his new group, The Band of Gypsys.”  I was excited to get first hand information about Jimi Hendrix fresh from the show from Rudy. I’ll never forget talking to Rudy on the street as he wore his Fillmore East green and yellow Fillmore jersey he was given as a present at the party. He was soaring about Hendrix’s guitar playing. All he would say was. Hendrix hit the stratosphere last night into today.” 😉

There is the now famous Band of Gypsys recording available as well as a DVD of The Fillmore East concerts, Band of Gypsys: Live at the Fillmore East which features film shot by a fan in attendance on a hand held movie camera. Find a copy and rent it or better yet own it. 

Here are the real set lists of all four shows on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (First Fillmore East set)

  1. “Power of Soul”
  2. “Lover Man”
  3. “Hear My Train A-Comin'” ~ +
  4. “Them Changes” +
  5. “Izabella” +
  6. “Machine Gun”
  7. “Stop”
  8. “Ezy Ryder”
  9. “Bleeding Heart”
  10. “Earth Blues”
  11. “Burning Desire”

Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (Second Fillmore East set)

  1. “Auld Lang Syne” +
  2. “Who Knows” +
  3. “Stepping Stone”
  4. “Burning Desire”
  5. “Fire” ^
  6. “Ezy Ryder”
  7. “Machine Gun” +
  8. “Power of Soul”
  9. “Stone Free/Nutcracker Suite/Drum Solo/Outside Woman Blues/Cherokee Mist/Sunshine Of Your Love” ^
  10. “Them Changes”
  11. “Message of Love”
  12. “Stop”
  13. “Foxy Lady” ^
  14. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
  15. “Purple Haze”

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Third Fillmore East set)

  1. “Who Knows” *
  2. “Machine Gun *
  3. “Them Changes”
  4. “Power of Soul” +
  5. “Stepping Stone” +
  6. “Foxy Lady” ~
  7. “Stop” ~ +
  8. “Hear My Train A-Comin”
  9. “Earth Blues”
  10. “Burning Desire” +

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Fourth Fillmore East set)

  1. “Stone Free/Little Drummer Boy” +
  2. “Them Changes” *
  3. “Power of Soul” *
  4. “Message of Love” *
  5. “Earth Blues” +
  6. “Machine Gun” +
  7. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” +
  8. “We Gotta Live Together” * +
  9. “Wild Thing” +
  10. “Hey Joe”
  11. “Purple Haze”

(I plan to update this blog post with more specifics when my schedule permits later this week….)

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