This 45-minute concert video was recorded at a small all-day festival in the town of Gardner, MA on July 6, 1974 when blues legend John Lee Hooker was 57 years old. There were - according to the DVDs notes - 6,000 people there and it was recorded for broadcast on a local TV station. (This was before cable TV.). The packaging - with an insert with background on the concert and a copy of a contemporary newspaper article - is nice. Simple; but nice.
It's when you put this DVD on that you will be disappointed - especially if you excpect "broadcast quality". The folks that recorded this performance - I'm guessing it was the concert promoter - used multiple cameras and there are continuous jump-cuts between Hooker's face, his knees (yep!) and the audience (which seems to be standing at least 50 yards (!) away from the stage behind a barrier. No one is in front of the stage at a reasonable distance.
Okay, so maybe the true JLH fan can accept the above faults. But then there is the real kicker: the black and white videotape has two rolling lines each about one-third from the top of the screen that are there throughout the full performance. This makes it nearly impossible to watch for any length of time. I'm sure my copy is not a defective DVD. This is in the master tape and these defects can't be corrected.
I'm not sure how rare filmed performance footage of Hooker is from this foint in his career but this DVD would really only serve the purpose of documenting his playing style if no other similar footage existed.
What a shame. As I said the packaging is nice. It's the contents that fail.