The reputation of the Woodstock music festival in 1969 surpasses that of any festival to date. By some accounts it wasn’t as hot shit as some made it out to be. But a crowds ranging from 40,000 to 400,000 says that apparently something was being done right. But even the somewhat naysayers can agree that the Jimi Hendrix’s performance of the National Anthem was the standout of all the woodstock performance, passing in memory the performances of other acts like Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone and others. He did something quite amazing, not only taking the star-spangled banner, originally credited to Francis Scott Key, and making it his own but turning it into an iconic protest song.
Jimi Hendrix’s stage band that day was Gypsy Sun & rainbows consisting of drummer mitch mitchell, percussionist Juma Sultan, guitarist Larry lEE, Jerry Velez and bassist Billy Cox. It was hist first time preforming since the Jimi Hendrix Experience had brokedn up just two months earlier. Eventhoough it was a weekend festival, and hendrix was suppose to play at 11pm on Saturday night, and arrived on time. But timing, promoters, and performances were running so far behind schedule that he went on 9 hours late, on Monday morning. The set included Fire, previously unerlaesed Izabella, Woodstock improvisation, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Hear my Train A Comin, the encore of Hey joe, and of course the Star bangled Banner with improvisations by the legendary guitarists. These included a version of ‘taps’ and a bombs effect around the rocket’s red glare’.
Many speculate as to the inspiration behind performing the song. in fact, on The Dick cavett show just weeks alter Hendrix answered this question with, “I’m American so I played it. I used to have to sing it in school, they made me sing it at school”. He was also in the service. He apart of the United States Army 101st Airborne Division. Bassist Billy Cox was also a ex-serviceman. Flashing the peace sign, the songwriter was a countercounture figure, surely. His politics appeared to be of the hippie kind, thought he showed love for his county and fellow servicemen. And at the time with the beginning of the civil rights movement, Vietnam war, and he used his electric guitar to _____________.