Titan Top Show (Godfatherecords G.R. 562)
Teatro Brancaccio, Rome, Italy – May 25, 1968
(47:21) First Show: Intro/I Don’t Live Today, Hey Joe, Stone Free, Manic Depression, Foxy Lady, Red House, Wild Thing – Second Show: Intro, Fire, Stone Free
The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a total of four dates in Italy during May 1968. May 23rd at the Piper Club in Milano was followed by two dates, May 24th and 25th in Rome at the Teatro Brancaccio and wrapping up May 26th at Palasport in Bologna.
Titan Top Show from Godfather documents a newly surfaced audience tape from Rome on May 25th. The source is distant with some faint nearby conversation picked up at times but still offers a good listenable document. Rome is a good tight but loose performance from the Experience with the band in top form.
The tape starts out sounding very distant but slowly clears up during “I Don’t Live Today” and by the second track, “Hey Joe”; the quality improves and stays relatively clear for the remainder of the tape. It was around this time that “Stone Free” started making its way back into the set on a more regular basis. The inclusion of “Manic Depression” is also a treat considering the track was only played a small handful of times after this and contains a short drum solo in the middle, to the delight of the audience.
“Red House” is the show stopper tonight. Jimi stretches it out to eleven minutes and appears to be really enjoying himself bringing the dynamics of the song practically down to nothing and back. Hendrix introduces the “new national anthem” which is dedicated to the soldiers fighting in Vietnam before a very slow and heavy version of “Wild Thing”. This closes the first show and is a rather tame version for Jimi’s standards.
The final two tracks on the disc come from the Experience’s second performance and are similar in sound quality to the first set with the crowd being a bit more vocal. “Red House” would be played after “Stone Free” but all that exists is Jimi’s introduction before the recording fades.
Titan Top Show is another excellent Godfather title beautifully packaged in a tri-fold sleeve with stills from the actual performance. It includes a four page insert with some interesting photos including a picture of the venue and an advertisement for the event. In spite of it being a somewhat distant recording it is nice to have an undocumented show on silver disc and is a fascinating new addition to the Hendrix catalog.