Saturday Night Music, July 4: Jimi Hendrix, “The Star Spangled Banner,” Woodstock, August 1969


I’m not that kind of person to put Toby Keith on this blog. I’m a very proud mid-Boomer, Jones Generation type. I’m not a flag waver. For me, patriotism goes deeper than that. It’s not a religion. I thought about putting Brother Ray Charles on singing, “America the Beautiful,” but he seemed to be surrounded by flags and/or spotlights and showbiz while he was singing, and I was put off. It would have been best if Charles had simply been singing against a backdrop of people digging in the earth, growing things, taking care of children, building something good, laughing. And forget the screeching eagles with talons extended, the soldiers who haven’t been wounded yet, the soldiers riding motorcycles, and the flags, and the mountains with no valleys.

Instead, we have another patriot, James Marshall Hendrix, a.k.a. Jimi. I’m willing to forgive Jimi for sounding like Limbaugh and O’Reilly; it turns out that he wasn’t very appreciative of some of his white hippie, peacenik audiences in a recently released interview. That was coming from his indoctrination as an Army paratrooper. He did, however, evince sympathy for soldiers in Vietnam in the same interview he disparaged those who wanted peace. He didn’t get it–that those same peaceniks blowing weed (as he did) were trying to get those guys out of Vietnam. Or perhaps, he was doing a Brer Rabbit–that is, trying to pacify those elements back in the States that didn’t like how he turned on white kids with just his Stratocaster. No doubt, the FBI and the CIA had tabs on Jimi Hendrix for that reason alone.

This is from the Woodstock film–of course, he came on last, waking the kids up who had been rained on, who had had no dinner, who were coming out of both slumber and celebration, to find breakfast brought to them in their damp sleeping bags.

Hope your Fourth has been a great one.

~ by blksista on July 4, 2009.

One Response to “Saturday Night Music, July 4: Jimi Hendrix, “The Star Spangled Banner,” Woodstock, August 1969”

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