The sheer emotional impact of Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sparked my fascination. His squealing guitar effects depicting the incoming descent of bombs that were soon “bursting in air,” grabbed me, especially as intensified on film when Hendrix “lip synched” the resulting cries and screams. His performance makes the abstract so very human. For me Hendrix’s Woodstock anthem of August 18, 1969, remains atop the list of the most powerful performances of Francis Scott Key’s song ever created.
The Woodstock anthem gets even more interesting when compared with the other 40 or so surviving recordings of Hendrix performing the song. They reveal Hendrix’s artistic as well as political evolution and define the critical and patriotic extremes of his expression to place Woodstock firmly in the middle as a combination of both. Here's a look at five incredible Hendrix versions of "The Star Spangled Banner.' Want more Hendrix? Catch Mark Clague going deep on all-things Hendrix at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives on Wednesday, March 25, 2015!
Hendrix first references the anthem melody a year ...
“You can play or you can transcend. You can go as far, there’s no boundaries how far you can go in your own body and how far your mind can expand while you are playing and Jimi showed me that... I learned that from Jimi.” - Neil Young, inducting the Jimi Hendrix Experience into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1992
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle Washington. Hendrix’s first studio recording was in March 1964, on the Isley Brothers' track “Testify.” From 1964 to 1966, Hendrix recorded and toured with a number of artists from Arthur Lee of Love to Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner and King Curtis. In September of 1966, Hendrix went to London with Chas Chandler of the Animals, who was instrumental in forming the Experience.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in London in October 1966, and was composed of singer, songwriter and guitarist, Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell.
The Experience didn’t come into prominence in the United States until their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the band’s performance ended with Hendrix ...
In 2000, Al Hendrix, father of legendary guitarist, songwriter and musician Jimi Hendrix, sat down for an interview in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Jimi Hendrix exhibit. In this clip, Al Hendrix shares memories of his son, including Jimi's first interest in music and playing the guitar, Jimi's move to London, the first time he heard Are You Experienced, seeing his son perform for the first time, hearing Jimi's version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and more.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to a singular collection of Jimi Hendrix artifacts that help tell his story, from his boyhood days in Seattle, Washington, through his meteoric rise to superstardom.
In this clip, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum curatorial director Howard Kramer tells the story behind two of the guitars featured in the Rock Hall's Jimi Hendrix exhibit: the 1967 Gibson Flying V dubbed "Love Drops" and the 1960s 12-string Zemaitis acoustic made famous when Hendrix played it in the 1973 movie A Film About Jimi Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix was born 70 years ago today, on November 27, 1942. The Library and Archives’ collections showcase Hendrix as much as – if not more than – most inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His great rock and roll legacy is the basis for expansive collections that include books, magazine and journal articles, commercial and bootleg audio and video recordings; concert handbills, postcards and posters; record executive artist, business and subject files; promotional and concert photographs, and handwritten lyrics – all related to Hendrix’s meteoric career.
Library and Archives collections focused on Hendrix include those donated by Michael Goldstein, Ed Chalpin, and Jeff Gold. Goldstein is a New York City publicist who served as Hendrix's press manager and publicist from 1967 until Hendrix's death in 1970, and his collection contains clippings, printed ephemera, photographs and press releases related to Hendrix and other artists with whom Goldstein worked.
Ed Chalpin, an entrepreneur and record producer, signed a three-year recording contract with Hendrix and his New York-based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, in October of 1965. The contract gave Hendrix only one percent of any royalties that his recordings earned and the sum of ...
On November 27, 1942, arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music was born: Jimi Hendrix. In less than three decades, he expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll. Hendrix helped usher in the age of psychedelia with his 1967 debut, Are You Experienced, and the impact of his brief but meteoric career on popular music continues to be felt.
More than any other musician, Jimi Hendrix realized the fullest range of sound that could be obtained from an amplified instrument. He was influenced by the songwriting of Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and bridged myriad genres, from acid rock, Delta blues and free jazz to hardcore funk, R&B and soul. Yet the songs and sounds generated by Hendrix were original, otherworldly and virtually indescribable. In essence, Hendrix channeled the music of the cosmos, anchoring it to the earthy beat of rock and roll.
Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix in Seattle to 17-year-old mother Lucille Jeter and father James "Al" Hendrix, who was ...
More than any other musician, Jimi Hendrix realized the fullest range of sound that could be obtained from an amplified instrument. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll. Hendrix helped usher in the age of psychedelia with his 1967 debut, Are You Experienced, and the impact of his brief but meteoric career on popular music continues to be felt. With such an incredible catalog of work, it's impossible to overstate the impact of the 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. The Rock Hall selected 10 songs that we feel are essential listening. What songs would be on your list?
"The Wind Cries Mary" (Are You Experienced, 1967)
"Hey Joe" (Are you Experienced, 1967)
"Red House" (Are You Experienced, 1967)
"Little Wing" (Axis: Bold As Love, 1967)
"Castles Made of Sand" (Axis: Bold As Love, 1967)
"If 6 was 9" (Axis: Bold As Love, 1967)
"All Along The Watchtower" (Electric Ladyland, 1969)
"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (Electric Ladyland, 1969)
"Crosstown Traffic" (Electric Ladyland, 1969)
"Machine Gun" (Band ...
I was fortunate to spend this past weekend in Chicago, where Eric Clapton held his third Crossroads Guitar Festival on Saturday. The shows benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, a rehab facility in Antigua, and they are a virtual who’s who of great guitar players. This year’s festival, at Toyota Park, featured performances by everyone from B.B. King and Buddy Guy, to Ron Wood, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter, to such relative newcomers as John Mayer, Johnny Lang and Citizen Cope.
Terry Stewart, the Rock Hall’s President and CEO, was also there, and we were able to spend time with some of our inductees, as well as with Larry Yellen, a filmmaker who works on our annual induction videos, and other folks from the music business.
The show always features one-of-a-kind performances, and some of my favorites this year included Robert Cray’s set with Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin, ZZ Top’s take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Buddy Guy’s performances with Ron Wood and Johnny Lang. John Mayer once again displayed his virtuosity on the guitar, backed by Pino Palladino on bass and Steve Jordan on drums, and Derek Truck ...