Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Was Forty Years Ago Today: Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, on a Monday morning

Just below is Jimi's own take on the U.S. National Anthem, including the atrocities this country committed, in his amazing rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner":

The good news is that among other amazing blues, soul, folk, and rock artists, Jimi Hendrix was chosen to be the closing act at [the original] Woodstock in Bethel, NY forty years ago. The not-so-good news is that it was forty years ago TODAY.

As the poster above indicates, the festival allegedly ran from Friday, August 15th through Sunday, August 17th: a two and a half day affair. The bad news is that due to scheduling delays beginning on Friday, and due to longer sets, Hendrix didn't make it onto the stage until AFTER Woodstock was virtually over: although I suppose we can coin a phrase: "Woodstock ain't over 'til Hendrix plays guitar".

Rather than playing for a live audience of about 450- to 500,000, he played to a significantly less large audience of around 40,000. (Note in the video that there is no massive sea of people, but rather a decent lake of people near the stage.) Apparently, though, Jimi took it all in stride. And history records his performance as great, regardless of how many fantastically muddy people already were making their way home, far away from Yasgur's Farm.

My source for this info is a new documentary called "Woodstock: Now and Then".

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