Jimi Hendrix’s final show was a festival parallel to terrible weather, gun firing, and everything you could ask for. On September 6, 1970, Jimi delivered his final concert. It was a 13-song set at the Open Air Love and Peace Festival in Fehmarn, Germany.
The whole festival started with a bang. On top of that, many major acts such as Emerson and John Mayall had even withdrawn from the festival. The very first day was full of violence. According to one of the stage handlers at the festival recalled with Classic Rock magazine, “The Hells Angels were causing so much trouble – they were ransacking the office and giving free tickets to everybody, They kind of took over, and there was a lot of trouble, including gunfire. Machine-gun fire.”
Jimi was supposed to be on the stage at 8 PM on Saturday, September 5 but the weather had other plans. In the book ‘The Final Days of Jimi Hendrix’, drummer Mitch Mitchell recalled, “We got there mid-afternoon and were supposedly on at eight. By about six, we heard this wind and then it turned into a gale. We knew by then there were other problems as well. The usual equipment problems plus Hells Angels with guns.”
That’s the reason Hendrix’s tour manager Gerry Stickells declared, “He’s not playing tonight. Hendrix is not on tonight, not under these conditions.”
Instead, Hendrix and his band rescheduled the play on September 6 at 1 PM. They were not greeted properly and booed. When he walked onstage he said, “Peace anyway, peace.” He continued, “I don’t give a fuck if you boo, long as you boo in key, you mothers.”
Hendrix tried his best to console the audience. Jimi said, “We’d like to play some music for you and we hope you can dig it.” He continued, “We’re sorry we couldn’t come on.” The show continued despite everything else. Suddenly, there was wind and rain again. Butcher said, “The rain was coming in and he was standing there, risking being electrocuted but just carrying on, He didn’t move back from the front of the stage, he just carried on. It was quite amazing, really.”
The show continued. Purple Haze was performed and Voodoo Child was the closing track. His last words on the stage were,
“If I don’t see you no more in this world / Well I’ll meet you in the next one / And don’t be late, don’t be late / ‘Cause I’m a Voodoo Child / Lord knows I’m a Voodoo Child.”
Hendrix and the band exited the stage and a helicopter took them to the mainland. Later on, The Hells Angels took them over and was a banger.
But, this was not the only show. However, it was not a concert of his own but he did take the stage one more time before his death. It was two days before his demise. Hendrix simply wanted to jam that day. His friend, Eric Burdon had teamed up with a Latin rock band War. They were playing at the London Jazz club. Burdon invited Hendrix and then he just started moving. On the evening of September 16, 1970, he covered blues songs ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Tobacco Road’.
Regarding that matter, Burdon remembered, “Hendrix made his entrance during the second set. There was a crack in the air. I introduced Jimi to the audience… the typical London jazz crowd tried to show indifference as he took the stage, but a ripple of applause greeted the greatest guitar player in the world.”
The set list of Jimi for Fehmarn, Germany on September 6, 1970
“Spanish Castle Magic”
“All Along the Watchtower”
“Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)”
“Message to Love”
“Room Full of Mirrors”
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
I was at that gig in Germany, and also the previous gig on the Isle of Wight (uk) the week previously. Both great gigs.