Swedish Television discovers rare Hendrix tapes

Lovers of '60s music, it is time to rejoice and get down on your knees to the rock Gods. For Swedish Television has unearthed rare footage of guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix performing in Stockholm in 1969.

The footage was discovered when SVT was cleaning out its enormous Stockholm archives. Technicians had been working to digitize all archived footage and they found the unmarked film at the back of a shelf where extra scraps of tape and old Tom and Jerry cartoons were kept.

They started looking through the tape and saw some Jimi Hendrix on it. Then they saw that it had a lot of Jimi Hendrix – an entire concert in fact, which makes the tape unique.

The tape was shot on January 9, 1969 at Stockholm’s Konserthuset for a pop music show called “Nummer 9”. Only ten minutes of the concert was broadcast on January 21st of that year.

It shows the legendary guitarist, along with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, dedicating their performance to U.S. soldiers refusing to serve in Vietnam – probably a reference to the many draft resisters who found haven in Sweden during the Vietnam era. The trio then launch into such classics as ‘Spanish castle magic’ and ‘All along the watchtower’.

The discovery came as a surprise because many tapes from the ’60’s were erased and re-used as a cost-cutting measure. But before that could happen to this particular tape, an employee asked to view it, then left it on a shelf and forgot about it.

The 56 minute film, which has now been digitized, has never been shown in its entirety and when the public will get its chance to see it is still unclear. SVT is in the process of determining whether or not it still has the rights to show the entire broadcast.

Judi Lembke