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Jimi Hendrix. Flow Through Me
Anger on the strings of a guitar
Bethel, Woodstock Festival. Aug 1969
In August '69,
it was the turn of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair.
It was in Bethel, a small rural town in New York State, in the middle of a blazing summer when hippie culture was at its peak. In the collective imagination of music, Woodstock was the most memorable and representative event of the freedom to love and live music that told of flower power. Initially, my guitar performance had been scheduled for the closing of the festival,
on the evening of 18th of August, the third and last day of the great event. That evening it rained heavily and, because of this, as well as a number of technical problems, my performance was postponed until the next day. There wasn't much left of the previous day's crowd; I performed in front of the exhausted and stoned die-hards after three days of non-stop partying...
but I didn't lose heart. My rendition of The Star Spangled Banner became a symbol of the festival itself, as well as of the pacifist thinking of those years. Following my inner strength, I attacked the American anthem with an impetus that would be remembered for decades; I interspersed it with blind rage, shaping notes that reminded me of the bombings,
the incessant firing of machine guns in the villages of Vietnam, the sirens and sounds of battle... All this relying only on the soul of my guitar.
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