Grabber: The song just played is called Purple Haze and is one of Jimi Hendrix’s most prestigious songs. However none of his songs had expressed so much about America’s views during the 1960’s and had such an impact on the nation, as Hendrix’s rendition of the star spangled banner at the 1969 Woodstock festival.
Main Part: During the period in which many had mixed emotion towards the main problems America was facing, jimi Hendrix could not have chosen a better time to leave an everlasting impact on the nation by playing his own version of the star spangled banner. Some saw it as an act of patriotism in a new form, stars and stripes played in a psychedelic style. However others couldn't even recognize the melody, just showing a drugged up Hendrix ruining a symbolic American song. It was a work that evoked the chaos of the times in a manner which was frightening, but at the same time, exceedingly optimistic. Just to show how much of an influence the song had on the time musical historian, Shaar Murray, explains that Hendrix's adaptation of the national anthem, "is probably the most complex and powerful work of art to deal with the Vietnam War and its corrupting, distorting effect on successive generations of the American psyche. One man with one guitar said more in three and a half minutes about that noticeably disgusting war and its reverberations than all the novels, memoirs, and movies put together." Hendrix used a wahwah pedal to amplify the music and electric guitar to create a new elevated sound. He follows “and the rockets’ red glare...” with the wail of a falling bomb and its explosion, mashing his Stratocaster’s vibrato bar to its lowest position. The final stanza beginning with “Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave” is played normally but is changed by the wahwah effect leaving a fading sound, with the word “wave” held through successions of fed-back harmonic overtones. With an unexpected stop, Hendrix resumes with “o’er the land of the...
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