Nearly 47 years ago, Jimi Hendrix made a grand entry into the Woodstock Music Festival in New York. It is there that he delivered his electrifying performance, and the rest, as they say, is history. But it’s not really history - the performance still lives on. The two-hour long stage concert included the “Star Spangled Banner” that wowed the world.
To many people, the national anthem performance defined Jimi Hendrix forever - but not to Joel Brattin. The literature professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute thinks certain aspects of the August 18th, 1969 performance made Hendrix stand out and tower over his peers at the time. Joel notes three things that made the performance exceptional and extraordinary:
1. The Temporary Band
About two years prior to the Woodstock performance, Hendrix had parted ways with his band. Faced with experience of performing before a mammoth crowd that year, he had to come up with a creative plan and put in place a reputable band. But Hendrix organized a temporary band in the mean time. Dubbed the Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, it included some people who never performed in front of a crowd of such magnitude. But at the end of the show, it was all cheers.
2. The Only Major Morning Performance
In the 1960s, Hendrix was a national sensation. Although he was slated to take the stage late into the night after other artists, unfavorable weather ensued - and it worked to his advantage. Hendrix would perform in the morning. The bright light of the fresh day helped media to film the event clearly. It helped to make for an unforgettable experience.
3. Low Pre-Show Ratings
There are those pundits who reckoned that Hendrix’s performance was ill-timed. Given that he had broken up with his trusted band two years earlier, his readiness was in question. The expectation of the crowd that night required a well-prepared artist. But Hendrix proved them wrong and against all odds, he delivered a rapturous performance. His credibility and ability, were no longer in question.
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