This video of Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969 is a three minute and fifty two second demonstration of fearless creativity that’s just pure inspiration.
At the biggest gig of the 60s, in front of thousands on people there and millions who would watch in years to come, Jimi Hendrix took on the playing of the national anthem – most probably stoned – and proceeded to improvise, explore and create in real-time – live in front of everybody. He wasn’t fearful that he he was breaking new territory on stage, he didn’t even seem to really care too much whether the crowd liked it or not -he just did his thing.
Yes he makes mistakes, a few wayward notes slip in there now and again. But that’s what makes it so cool. It’s real, unpractised, unpolished, unedited…unmistakably Jimi Hendrix.