Two names that mean so much individually, yet are so synonymous with one another.
By the time Woodstock took place in the summer of 1969, Jimi Hendrix was on top of music as the highest paid rock musician in the world.
Hendrix, being the star that he was, drew the headliner spot for the festival with the honor of being the final performer of Woodstock. Since their was a money cap that inhibited any single artist from being paid more than $15,000, they booked Hendrix for two sets to be able to pay him $30,000.
Due to both weather and technical delays, the festival was projected to stretch well past Jimi’s original time slot into the following Monday morning, so they offered to have Jimi go on at midnight but he wanted to remain the festival’s final act. Hendrix didn’t go on until 9am the following Monday morning, and as a result the massive crowd that was originally over 500,000 people had shrunk to less than 200,000 people as people had to return to their lives.
Hendrix performed an epic medley that included some of his biggest songs such as “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and “Purple Haze,” and also featured over five minutes of Hendrix playing unaccompanied. His medley also included his hyper-famous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” While it wasn’t the first time he’d played the US national anthem – there were twenty-eight live recordings of Hendrix playing it even before Woodstock – it was without a doubt his most iconic.
Hendrix played his famous 1968 Olympic white Fender Stratocaster up until the final performance of his life as well.
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, bought the guitar in 1993 for $1.3 million, and displays it at the EMP Museum (which he also owns) in both he and Hendrix’s hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Here’s Hendrix playing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock with his 1968 Fender Stratocaster –