Super Concert 70 - Berlin

Super Concert 70 - Berlin
Authored By John Nicholson

Super Concert '70 was a one-day music festival held at the Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, Germany, on September 4, 1970. It went down in history for one reason; it was to be Jimi Hendrix’s penultimate live show. And as it happened it was not a happy experience because he was booed. Robin Trower, then the guitarist in Procol Harum remembers it well. 

“We opened up the show for him. He was huge. Obviously, he was a phenomenal player, but it wasn't a good night for him, unfortunately. The band wasn't really cooking, the audience started booing and it was a bit sad really. I think that was three-four weeks before he died."

The full line-up was Birth Control (local proggy German band), Procol Harum, Canned Heat, Ten Years After, The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The bad vibes didn’t stop with Jimi. Canned Heat’s brilliant guitarist Blind Owl Al Wilson died of a barbiturate overdose the day before, having been found dead on a hillside behind band mate Bob Hite's Topanga Canyon home. They heard this news shortly before they were due to fly out to play this gig, but they flew anyway and played their first gig without him the following day.

Cat Mother and Cold Blood were advertised to play but didn’t make it. Birth Control opened, then came Procol, Canned Heat, TYA and Jimi. TYA went down a storm and were very popular in Germany at the time, not least because they toured there a lot. 

Hendrix’s set is widely available and it’s true they were not on top form and that the crowd began to boo. One fan later wrote “the Berlin audience was not enthusiastic about Jimi Hendrix's performance. So he plays manic depression. The people cheer. He asks: “Did you like that?” More cheers in the auditorium! Then Hendrix said: “This is the worst song I ever wrote.” 

All sounds a bit heavy. But Super Concert ‘70 is an important piece in the jigsaw of early European big rock shows and has its own place in rock n roll history.

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