Star Spangled Banner (4:12)

Cover of Experience Hendrix Box Set

From Experience Hendrix Box Set and 49 other releases

One of the greatest and most controversial renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” was Jimi Hendrix’s solo guitar performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Hendrix played the anthem with a number of distorted regressions (such as mimicking planes, bombs, and screams in reference to the Vietnam War), to great acclaim from the audience. The performance still has a number of detractors. It was voted 52nd on the list of the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time by readers of Guitar World Magazine. Hendrix also recorded a studio version of The Star-Spangled Banner some time before Woodstock festival. That version features numerous guitar tracks played through octave shifting effects. The resulting sound is somewhat unique. The studio version is available on the Rainbow Bridge album and Cornerstones collection. In a Dick cavett interview, Hendrix called the peformance, “beautiful” in defending the performance against potential hate mail writers, prompting cavett to reply “don’t you think there’s a certain mad beauty in unorthodoxy?

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