Where was Jimi Hendrix's final gig and what did he play?

18 September 2020, 21:16

Jimi Hendrix  at his last concert on 6 September, 1970 in Isle of Fehmarn, Germany.
Jimi Hendrix at his last concert on 6 September, 1970 in Isle of Fehmarn, Germany. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

50 years after his death, we look back at the icon's last ever performance and what tracks he played.

It's now a full half century since the world lost Jiimi Hendrix. The legendary guitarist died on 18 September 1970, tragically becoming a member of the "Forever 27" club.

He was found at his flat in London, having died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates.

The American guitarist, icon and rock pioneer had many brilliant moments in his short life, including his performance at Woodstock 1969, but what was his swan song?

Radio X looks into the last gig the Purple Haze singer ever played, and just what featured on the setlist.

Jimi Hendrix on stage at the Isle of Fehmarn festival, 6 September 1970
Jimi Hendrix on stage at the Isle of Fehmarn festival, 6 September 1970. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Where was Jimi Hendrix's last gig?

Some may think Hendrix's last gig was at the Isle Of Wight Festival, which took place on the British island between 26 and 31 August 1970. However, the musician then went on to play the Open Air Love & Peace Festival in Fehmarn, Germany.

Inspired by the Isle Of Wight event, this show was set to take place on an Island set just North East of Hamburh and a few miles from the Danish coast from 4 to 6 September.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the well-oiled machine it thought it would be, and the festival was fraught with problems due to poor organisation and ticket sales. On the Friday, the weather broke and the festival goers who braved the trip had to contend with wind and rain.

Only a portion of the tickets were sold, and many acts began pulling out of what was beginning to look like a disastrous inaugural event. But luckily Mr. Hendrix had already been paid in advance, so to the island he came...

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Jimi Hendrix rocks out for the final time at the "Love and Peace Festiavl" in Fehmarn, Germany
Jimi Hendrix rocks out for the final time at the "Love and Peace Festiavl" in Fehmarn, Germany. Picture: Feddersen/ullstein bild via Getty Images

According to a reporrt on the Concerts Wiki, Hendrix didn't play the first night he arrived due to poor weather conditions and an issue with tents being too close to his stage.

Just before 1pm on the Sunday, Jimi finally took to the stage, playing what nobody realised would be his last ever public live performance.

Disgruntled with the festival as a whole and his late showing at first, the crowd are believed to have jeered and booed, but Hendrix soon got them onside, kicking off his performance with a cover of Howling Wolf's Killing Floor.

After playing his 1967 track, Spanish Castle Magic, Hendrix launched into his cover of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower.

Opting for his interpretation of Billy Roberts' Hey Joe for track number four, the rocker then played Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Message of Love and the irresistible Foxy Lady, which was first taken from The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1967 debut album Are You Experienced.

Red House, Ezy Rider and Freedom were next up on the setlist, shortly followed by his later work, Room Full Of Mirrors.

Hendrix's 13-track-setlist ended with a duo of absolute belters, with the guitar legend playing a rendition of Purple Haze and Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), which would have no doubt swept the audience up into a frenzy.

It might not have been the glitziest of festivals, but thanks to a dodgy bootleg recording by the promoters on site, its memory has been preserved.

Once the bootleg had resurfaced, it was later mixed and produced into a live album in 2005, entitled Live at the Isle of Fehmarn, ready to be enjoyed by generations of fans born long after Hendrix passed away.

Jimi Hendrix's set at the Isle of Fehmarn festival in Germany on Sunday 6 September 1970

1. Killing Floor (originally by Howlin’ Wolf)
2. Spanish Castle Magic
3. All Along the Watchtower (originally by Bob Dylan)
4. Hey Joe
5. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
6. Message of Love
7. Foxy Lady
8. Red House
9. Ezy Ryder
10. Freedom
11. Room Full of Mirrors
12. Purple Haze
13. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

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