Jimi Hendrix Live At Woodstock – The Star Spangled Banner
Experiencing Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock in 1969 may have been the most surreal moment anyone could possibly feel after 3 spacey days of living life. I’ve heard some describe it as a strong sense of deja vu. Anyone who has ever experienced The Jimi Hendrix Experience should right now take a moment to remember the grooves coming out these cat’s earthly instruments…for real.
Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, WA and began his music career after being discharged from the Army. His career began in Clarksville, TN which is apparently where he learned to play the guitar with his teeth as that is the custom there.
With not much success in the South, Hendrix moved to New York where he won an award for best amateur at the Apollo (that’s pretty much the only time you will hear him called that), and became the guitarist for the Isley Brothers. From there he gravitated from band to band and finally began his own and called it The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
The band gained massive amounts of popularity in the UK and eventually the US with the assistance of highly regarded entries in the cool books of such guitarists as Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. He was signed to Track Records where he produced records that even the most faithful practitioners of music snobbery must revere.
Of the 500,000 peak of the people at Woodstock, only about 180,000 fans actually saw Hendrix’s performance due to weather and an array of technical difficulties. Thus only about a third of the crowd witnessed one of the most memorable rock and roll performances of all time as well as Hendrix’s version of the Star Spangled Banner, which is now a symbol of an entire era.
The two hour set during Woodstock 1969 was the longest of Hendrix’s career and in that span he’d managed to outpace his entire backing band and continue on his own as a face melting solo act.
The influence of Hendrix is quite possibly one of the most prevalent of all time and he is still revered as one of the best guitarists in history 39 years after his death in 1970.
Those who follow rock music undoubtedly are familiar with the sonic train wreck that is often associated with hard rock which is a direct effect of the style implemented by Hendrix. Hard rock and heavy metal would be mere myths without the technically sound yet chaotic brilliance that Hendrix pioneered. The use of the wah-wah pedal combined with pitch changes in guitar solos which were popularized by Cream are a result of Hendrix’s brilliance and are a staple in the heavy metal world. The funk style guitar fused with the classic blues feel can be observed in the music styles of such guitarists as Prince, and Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic .
The myriad of elemints that Hendrix used in his guitar playing encompasses many genres and stretches to the regions of hip hop as well. Artists such as ?uestlove, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and Ice-T of Body Count have all claimed Jimi Hendrix as an influence.