Lost 1967 concert film: Xmas on Earth Continued (Jimi, Pink Floyd, Traffic, The Move)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chris M, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    I've been obsessed with this event for years. 22 December 1967 at Olympia Exhibition Hall in London. An all day and night event with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd with Syd, Traffic, The Move, Soft Machine, Tomorrow and Eric Burdon & The New Animals. The entire thing was professionally filmed but save for 3 JHE songs the footage is thought to be lost or buried deep underground.

    Sgt. Pepper and Wild Thing from this event are are seen at the beginning of Jimi Plays Monterey film. It doesn't look that good but I have no idea what was used as a source. Frustrating as we don't have that much pro footage of the JHE from 1967 and Jimi seems to be totally into it.

    There is also an obscure Joe Cocker promo film for With A Little Help From My Friends that has short clips of most acts on the bill including different Jimi footage (the clips of Jimi playing the Flying V are from Red House), a very short bit of the Floyd set and (oddly enough) outtakes from the A Day In The Life promo film. Then there is an official CD release of Tomorrow's set called the 50 Minute Technicolor Dream leading me to beleive that the audio for the other bands is out there somewhere.

    Anyone know if the raw elements from this event survive? I'd also love to hear how this footage ended up being used in the Jimi Plays Monterey film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR0xMR-1z2U - the Joe Cocker promo I referred to with the unique Jimi and Beatles footage.

    http://www.amazon.com/50-Minute-Technicolor-Dream-Tomorrow/dp/B000026B89 - Tomorrow's set

    Attached Files:

    kees1954 likes this.
  2. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    from Record Collector No. 20 Dec 1997. Note that the Who, while listed on the posters, did not perform at this event.

    ‘Christmas On Earth Continued’ & The Pink Floyd, Olympia, London, Friday 22nd December 1967

    Jeff Dexter (Punter):
    “Pink Floyd: Not a great gig. A sad night for them. People had realised Syd was losing it but
    that was acceptable, if you were on the underground scene, man! It was all experimental, but it
    got boring – they carried on with an experimental riff for what seemed like ages.

    David Larcher filmed it for the promoters, Image Inc. It was early days and Hendrix was
    overpriced for those times in the U.K., and there wasn’t enough money to pay everybody. The idea
    was that they’d sell the film to pay the cost of putting on the show, because shows didn’t make
    any money. But old film stock was used, which wasn’t very good, so most of the film was pretty
    useless. The Hendrix clip is the only bit to have surfaced – on Live At Monterey.”

    John Newey (Punter):
    “There’s a legend about Syd Barrett, that he sat in the dressing room and dolloped this crumbled
    Mandrax (a prescription sleeping drug) and Brylcreem on his head, which melted under the lights
    and ran down his head. I remember seeing this liquidy stuff – I thought his black eye make up
    was running. And he was sweating profusely.

    It was Syd’s last big gig with Pink Floyd. He just stood there as if he was on another planet.
    He contributed very little and his arms were hanging limply down. It looked sad and all over the
    place. They had coloured perspex triangles on stage that lit up. There were long rambling
    ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ jams. But it was far from Floyd at their best.”

    John Love (Co-organiser):
    “The real disaster, long term, was the the film was no good. The person who took care of the
    filming bought outdated film stock which, had it been good, would have made us all millionaires.
    Very little was usable.”

    Noel Redding (Performer):
    “Syd Barrett was going silly by that point.”

    Keith West (Performer):
    “There was a film made and a soundtrack recorded. After the show, we went round to (producer)
    Joe Boyd’s house and watched it. I can remember it vividly because we had a tan!”

    Sam Gopal (Performer):
    “Pink Floyd is a blur. They don’t register in my brain somehow. Syd? Well there were a few
    characters up in the clouds!”

    Andrew King (Co-manager of Pink Floyd):
    “This was after the U.K. package tour with Hendrix. Alan Dale was the chief hustler of Christmas
    On Earth, a Fulham boy. We were wary of doing business with Image. Gigs were still our principal
    source of income. In retrospect, I reckon there were people who saw their interest in pink Floyd
    and one way was to put financial pressure on them.

    I was part of that underground culture, the same age, nut never an out –and-out hippie. I
    certainly didn’t drop acid that night. It would have been a horrendous experience. The evening
    was gruesome because the Floyd were falling apart in front of our eyes in an alarming manner. I
    saw them worse when we were in America but this was bad enough. It gives me shivers even to
    think of it.

    There was little communication between Syd and the rest of the band. It’s hard to manage a band
    in that state. Could you have a conversation with him? Yeah, he seemed withdrawn but a lot of
    the time he was fine. The band – everyone – felt, how can we go on like this? I’m sure Syd did
    too. Unreliability was an element but there was more to it. They were totally directionless. I
    don’t think they’ve ever played worse. The rest of the band just gritted their teeth, stood
    there for an hour and sort of played their instruments.

    The organisers just got the event wrong. There was no reason why it shouldn’t have sold out. It
    was too much of an imitation of the 14-Hour Technicolour Dream and events like that. There had
    been too many of them. Every time you opened Melody Maker, there were adverts for this Happening
    and that Freakout. It got like that with raves and dance music in the last few years. Some of
    them did well and some went down the tubes.”

    Pete Jenner (Co-manager of Pink Floyd):
    “Not a great event. It didn’t develop a head of steam. It reads better than it was, a cash-in
    plus the horrors of the Olympia acoustics. Mind you, our life with the Floyd was getting
    turbulent. Syd and Mandrax? That sounds more like a myth. I remember the story of him pouring
    loads of gunk into his hair in America. Mandrax wasn’t very psychedelic. It was a very unhip drug.

    I think it was a disaster. Someone lost a lot of money. Little did they know that we may have
    all been extremely alternative but even the most ardent hippies went home at Christmas for the
    presents!”

    Attached Files:

    kees1954 likes this.
  3. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver
    The "Black Gold" Hendrix book has a tiny blurb that's a rehash of one of the quotes.
  4. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Location:
    Newport, NH USA
    I didn't know anything about this concert film. That's quite a bill. The day this footage is recovered will be a great one indeed.
  5. Mike Dow

    Mike Dow I kind of like the music

    Location:
    Bangor, Maine
    Thanks for digging up some of that info, Chris. I seem to remember reading an article about this show in MOJO years ago. Anyone else recall that?

    I've also wondered why and how those Jimi tunes came to be tacked on to the front of the Jimi Plays Monterey movie. It could be that the Douglas Administration didn't have much else to work with from '67 and wanted to add something from the same year as the feature attraction. But then the question arises...how and where did it come from and where is the rest of it?
  6. beatlematt

    beatlematt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gadsden, Alabama
    It is shown in the 1985 video for Are You Experienced at 3:00 and 3:51. Looks like pretty good quality to me. It also looks like he was defintely "on" during that concert.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn8goXWBm3I

    I have wondered for 24 years where that footage came from!
    Rooster_Ties likes this.
  7. ottoman79

    ottoman79 Active Member

    Location:
    Bogotá, Colombia
    If whoever has this would surface it, that'd be pretty cool!
  8. SoundAdvice

    SoundAdvice Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver
    I looks a bit too much like surveilance footage. Plus they may have gone crazy with the "zooming" effect.

    Good luck getting Traffic/Winwood and Floyd giving clearance(especially if it's a dog gig). Or would they have possibly signed them away at the time?
  9. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Good catch! Those shots are definitely from this show. Maybe Alan Douglas had the raw footage?
  10. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Just watched all of the Jimi footage from this set that does the rounds. Basically Sgt Pepper and Wild Thing from Jimi Plays Monterey, Foxy Lady (not sure where it originally appeared), the silent bits from the Cocker promo and some backstage footage of Noel and Jimi. Quality isn't great but this is clearly a pro-shot multi camera footage. I'd say 4 cameras were filming. What is really odd is Foxy Lady has overdubbed vocals. You can hear the live vocal as well as a second vocal.

    I'm told that one song from Eric Burdon's set is available. A "Tommy Weber" is thanked in the credits. I remember that name from the (awful) PBS or A&E Jimi biography from 2001 or so. My google-fu shows that Stones biographer and former Rolling Stone editor Robert Greenfield wrote a book recently about Weber that detailed "the tragic true story of a family that fell prey to drugs, infidelity and madness in swinging '60s London" and that Weber tried to make a movie about Hendrix and failed. I'll have to check out the book and see if it provides more details about this footage..

    FWIW in the 3-4 seconds of footage of Pink Floyd's set Syd is clearly playing guitar. I only mention that since many of the books mention that he stood on stage with his arms at his side at this show. This was the last show they did before Gilmour was roped in.
  11. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hi Chris M., not sure if you're still looking for Christmas on Earth 1967 footage, but I've recently come across a couple songs from the Traffic set that are up on YT. They do "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Giving to You" -- enjoy!



    One odd thing to notice in the Hendrix footage (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHc7XeCFzu8): after a minute-long blues in the dressing room, as he walks out of the room, the film flashes the credits for the film so fast, almost subliminally. If you go along frame-by-frame, you might be able to find out the people who worked on the film, and maybe contact them and learn more about its whereabouts. Best of luck!
  12. A bump for any new discussion. (Totally missed this thread the first time around.)
  13. Dario Ciriello

    Dario Ciriello New Member

    I understand Chris M being obsessed with this event for years. I was there, at the age of 15, and it was a terrific night. It was an unusual event in many ways, largely because of the absolutely huge collection of talent under one roof, but also because it was so (relatively) poorly-attended; I always had the impression, confirmed by Chris's quoted material above, that the promoters hadn't advertised it early and thoroughly enough. The Hendrix performance was remarkable, and I was close to the front of the crowd for the whole show.

    It made enough of an impression on me that I wrote a short scene set right at the concert in my 2013 novel, "Sutherland's Rules". We'll never see the like of that show again.

    Thanks for this thread, and thanks everyone for the great links to the footage :)