Speaking to Prog Magazine, Gilmour revealed that while he attended the festival as an average tent-bound punter, he was roped into mixing duties upon finding Pink Floyd’s sound tech Peter Watts in a spot of bother backstage.
“I helped mix the sound for Hendrix at the Isle of Wight in 1970. Not a lot of people know that,” Gilmour told Prog Magazine. “I went down to go to it and I was camping in a tent, just being a punter… I went backstage where our main roadie guy, Peter Watts, was trying to deal with all the mayhem, with Charlie Watkins of WEM. They were very nervous; they were going to have to mix Hendrix’s sound. I did some mixing stuff in those days and they said ‘Help! Help!’ so I did.”
While Hendrix’s set was marred by technical difficulties (at one point during ‘Machine Gun,’ the security’s radio signal could be heard through Hendrix’s amplifiers), the performance went down in history as being the last show Hendrix performed in the UK, with the prodigal guitarist passing away three weeks after the festival on September 18 1970.
The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival lineup also featured the likes of Bob Dylan, Sly and the Family Stone, Joni Mitchell, The Doors and a 40 minute improvised electric jazz set from Miles Davis, Chick Corea and Keith Jarret – no wonder Gilmour wanted to go!
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