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Hendrix, Jimi/Jimi Hendrix Research Paper

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Question
1. What is your opinion on Jimi's performance at Woodstock?
2. How do you think his performance of the Star  Spangled Banner Impact the Audience?
3. Was Jimi Hendrix hooked onto many drugs? And what kind?
4. How big of an impact do you think Jimi Hendrix has on people after his death?
5. What feelings do you have when you listen to his music?
6. Why is Jimi Hendrix known as a guitar legend?
7. Why is Jimi Hendrix's performance at Woodstock known as one of the greatest in history?

These questions will really help me complete my research paper on Jimi Hendrix. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer them!

-Tina(:

Answer
Hi Tina,

Here we go:

1. What is your opinion on Jimi's performance at Woodstock?

Well first of all, the band had only been recently assembled as Jimi's bass player (Noel Redding) had quit only a few weeks earlier. Jimi rapidly assembled a new band, not only bringing in his old army buddy Billy Cox on bass but also another friend Larry Lee on rhythm guitar and a couple of percussionists.
They quickly rehearsed in a rented house near the festival but weren't really together enough for the show. Fortunately, Jimi was on top form and he just carried the tatty band along in his wake. Luckily Mitch Mitchell was still there on drums and Cox was a true professional bass player and they followed Jimi's every move. So it was a terrific performance by Jimi under the circumstances.

2. How do you think his performance of the Star Spangled Banner Impact the Audience?

Woodstock wasn't the first time he had played it of course but every time, it hit the audience hard. Some found it funny, some found it disrespectful perhaps but many got Jimi's message about the state of the USA at the time, with its aggressive foreign policy. The song took on more power at the festival because it was such a huge event, a gigantic symbol of the counter-culture and here was his interpretation, trashing the national anthem with electric sounds of bombs, jets, screams,…
It's quite moving in the film when the camera catches the faces of the young men looking on. Kids who perhaps had friends and brothers in Vietnam, kids who might be soon themselves flown out to die there.
Note that Larry Lee had recently returned from the front.


3. Was Jimi Hendrix hooked onto many drugs? And what kind

Jimi did have a big appetite for drugs but from all accounts, he was never actually addicted. The autopsy revealed no needle scars for example. He did consume a lot however (marijuana, LSD, cocaine, amphetamines, LSD, sleeping tablets,… and he perhaps tried snorting heroin a little but this is debated). He sometimes took too much and his playing suffered from it.

4. How big of an impact do you think Jimi Hendrix has on people after his death?

Jimi's music still has very far reaching impact. His albums still sell remarkably well. He is still among the top five deceased artists to be big sellers (along with Lennon, Marley, Presley, Jackson,…). Many are drawn to him because of his "guitar god" reputation but it's his songwriting which makes his music last also.


5. What feelings do you have when you listen to his music?

Difficult to say. I just feel great. His music is so profound, so convoluted, so funky, so bluesy, so knowledgeable, so…beautiful. Again, the key is that he was such a masterful songwriter. The supreme guitar playing is the bonus.

6. Why is Jimi Hendrix known as a guitar legend?

It's important to listen to music that preceded him to understand his importance. His approach to guitar playing, particularly with his use of feedback, high volume and distortion was pretty well unheard of at the time. What he was doing had been hinted at by Johnny Guitar Watson, Jeff Beck, Clapton, Townshend, Marriott (and even Little Walter's amplified harmonica) but Jimi took it all to another level and left them all literally in awe.
Apart from being a soloist who compares with the jazz sax players like Coltrane or Parker, Jimi was also a terrific rhythm player and a beautiful soft ballad player (check out Little Wing, One Rainy Wish, Wind Cries Mary, Hey Baby or the instrumental Pali Gap,...). He seemingly effortlessly fused all these talents together in a way that still hasn't been equalled.

7. Why is Jimi Hendrix's performance at Woodstock known as one of the greatest in history?

I'm not sure that it really was because as I said, the band weren't really together. It's a huge symbol of the times and the way he wrapped it up (the set, the festival and the 60s!) was very heroic. That last suite of "Voodoo Child/Stepping Stone/Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze/Improvisation/Villanova Junction Blues" is simply breathtaking.
Other performances are more highly regarded by Hendrix fans. here are some examples:

Winterland 1968
San Diego 1969 - check out that version of "Red House"
Royal Albert Hall 1969 - Entire concert is magnificent
FIllmore East 1969 (Band Of Gypsys) - check out "Machine Gun"
Berkeley Community Theatre 1970 - check ou "Johnny B. Goode" and "Hear My Train A Comin"

Also, even some audience recorded bootlegs feature some stunning performances.

Good luck with the paper and don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Cheers

Jim

Hendrix, Jimi

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James Hawthorn

Expertise

I can answer just about any question concerning Jimi Hendrix. I cannot give the value of records, CDs or tapes relating to the work of Jimi hendrix.

Experience

I am the author of The Jimi Hendrix Record Guide:
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/hendrix.guide/hendrix.htm

Education/Credentials
B.A. Hons. Degree in Graphic Design

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