Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock



I meant to write about this two days ago, because 50 years ago this past Thursday, August 18th, 1969, was the day of Jimi Hendrix's performance at Woodstock. I've been always been a Jimi Hendrix fan, and I've sort of been looking for a reason to write a post about him. In my not-so-humble opinion, he is one of the greatest and most visionary guitarists of all time. His sound was so unique. And not just his sound, but the way he played -- he treated music itself as poetry, and he always had a purpose or message that he communicated, as in his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock:



This rendition has been misinterpreted, criticized, and straight up demonized by some, but in those cases they overlook what Jimi was trying to say. As a matter of fact, Jimi's version was directed toward those hippie-haters. The song was a critique- a commentary, even. Not an attack on American patriotism, but a reflection on it. Those who shake their heads and make the sign of the cross when they hear this version are part of the same problem that Jimi laments- those who are too blinded by over-patriotic zeal too see that this country, while unique in its ideals, still has/had serious problems.

I could go on and on about my opinions of American patriotism (perhaps more on this in a future post...), and I could write and write and write about Jimi and his opinions and what I think he stood for, but i'm tired right now, so i'll let Jimi speak for himself:

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