Jimi Hendrix Reinvents 'Star-Spangled Banner' at Woodstock - Rolling Stone
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‘The Star-Spangled Banner’: Jimi Hendrix Reinvents National Anthem

The U.S. national anthem is familiar to most people as a patriotic tune played by military bands, or sung reverently in an operatic style

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Read how Rolling Stone's coverage of Woodstock and Altamont revealed two very different sides of the American counterculture.


At Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix reinvented “The Star-Spangled Banner” from top to bottom as a showcase for what could be done with extreme, high-volume electric guitar distortion, his riffs often interpreted as mimicking weapons explosions and bombs dropping from the sky. Asked by Dick Cavett on national television shortly after the festival about whether the version was blasphemous, Hendrix simply stated, “I thought it was beautiful.”

In This Article: dick cavett, Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock


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