Tuesday 25 October 2016

#96 JIMI HENDRIX - Berkeley 1st show, May 30, 1970 (Flac)

Berkeley Community Theatre, 
Berkeley, CA.
Saturday 30 May 1970 
(first show)

Complete Soundboard (ATM-0256/257)

Jimi Hendrix arrived in Berkeley - a town that, in 1970, was synonymous with radical political thinking and protest. A week earlier, a riot over Peoples Park left one man dead and others wounded. The previous month, anti-ROTC demonstrators battled police on the University of California campus, and the destruction was so extensive that the campus had been shut down completely. 

It became well known that a feature-length film was to be made from these performances. Not only did this stir even more controversy, but the clamour for tickets was at a near hysterical state. Over a thousand ticketless fans were outside and determined to get in. These elements all combined to create a pressure-cooker atmosphere. Both the music and film Jimi Plays Berkeley reflect all of these things.

Jimi Hendrix - vocals and guitar
Billy Cox - bass and vocals
Mitch Mitchell - drums

1st speaker Bill Graham
2nd speaker unknown

Recorded on 8-track by Abe Jacob with the Wally Heider mobile truck.

This set is an upgrade of ATM-0123/24 The Berkeley Concerts, now presenting the entire show in continuous uniform soundboard quality. Star Spangled Banner & Purple Haze were completely missing from the older versions of the soundboard tape and the ATM discs, as well as the start of both Foxy Lady & Freedom.  The distortion audible on the previous ATM release is gone.

Disc 1
01. Intro (cut at 2.56)
02. Fire
03. Johnny B Goode
04. Getting My Heart Back Together
05. Foxy Lady
06. Machine Gun

Disc 2
01 Freedom
02 Red House
03 Message to Love
04 Ezy Ryder
05 Star Spangled Banner
06 Purple Haze
07 Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

It seems that all copies of the Berkeley soundboard tapes originated from Bob Terry. The Cooper Owen auction listings for the tapes included three reels with the 2nd part of the concert. It is however probable that Terry also had similar reels for the 1st half, for some reason omitted from the auction (like many other tapes he had), so very likely all of his Berkeley multitrack mixdowns were on 15 ips 10" Ampex reels or similar studio quality tapes.

Several different edits of his Berkeley tapes, were circulated. The basis of this set was a low generation cassette originally received from Bob Terry that came into circulation in 2011. Unlike previous versions this cassette came directly from him and includes all of the music but has some cuts between songs.

This set uses a new transfer of that cassette (made on different equipment than the transfer circulated in 2011) as the main source with cuts between the tracks, some drop-outs, noises and the end of Voodoo child (slight return) patched with the dub/edit of the tape that was used for the previous ATM release 0123/24. There's only one cut remaining and that occurs pre-concert before Jimi enters the stage. There's no way to be sure if Bob Terry used his original reels to dub the cassette used as the main source here, it's also quite possible that he dubbed from a safety copy. So the lineage of the main source would read something like this:

Master (multitrack) > 15ips mixdown reel (> reel?) > cassette > wav
The exact lineage of the patch sources is unknown.

The second show has been officially released.




  1. many thanks for the kind show

  2. Cannot fault the quality, pity Jimi sounds bored on this one.

    1. I cannot agree that Jimi sounds board. He announces some ambivalence about playing Johnny B. Goode, but once he starts playing it, he rocks it.

      The quality of outstanding!

  3. I don't see any link, am i getting blind or... ? Please re-post if i'm not. Tom.

    1. Refer to the column on the right-hand side marked Downloads.

  4. gen. buck turgidson15 November 2020 at 04:56

    i was there and this tape confirms some of my memories of the show: he was more interested in the newer material - the hits were played a bit too fast (for any band this is often a sign of wanting to get a song over with) and lack some of the groove of his better performances. also, he spent a lot of time tuning up - while the need to retune often is completely understandable in light of his technique, i couldn't understand why it took him so long to do it and why he so often failed to do it well, starting songs already out of tune. i still can't make sense of it and i notice he has the same problem in places on the (superior) l.a. forum show. also, i was in a balcony seat and it was indeed "too loud up there" - way too loud! hands down the loudest show i've ever heard. for all of that it was incredible - i'll take an uneven out-of-tune ear busting hendrix show over most anything. and i did - lucky 13 year old me!

  5. Amazing memories, thanks for sharing them.