Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

Photo: Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock Date: August 18, 1969 Source: Hendrix, Janie . “Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock.” ign.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. <http://dvdmedia.ign.com/media/reviews/i

Photo: Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock

Date: August 18, 1969

This photo is a clear representation of the mood and aura of the 1960s in America. During a time in which civil unrest was rampant, and young boys were being shipped off to meaningless wars, music and free love became the counter-culture. As people began to strike back against the status quo, a new splinter group emerged, the Hippies. Believing in the ideas of total liberty, freedom of expression and hatred for “The Man,” hippies began to populate America. And on August 15, 1969, high in the New York Catskills a concert for “3 days of peace and music” was created, and exploded.

As over 400,000 people poured into the small festival grounds everyday, the importance of the event came clear. This Woodstock festival was becoming one of the biggest moments of both musical history, and the counterculture movement.

The most influential act of the festival took place on August 18, 1969 when Jimi Hendrix, a young black, left-handed guitarist took the stage. After christening his set with the Star-Spangled Banner he unleashed a flurry of rock and roll music that rocked the hearts of half a million people.

My photo is important for many reasons. Of course Woodstock was a grand event from beginning the end, but the photo that captures a young black man being applauded by 400,000 people for his breadth and talent shows the acceptance that most Americans had trouble finding in the 1960s. Furthermore, Hendrix holding up the peace sign to the crowd is both an emotional and powerful signal. He stands with everyone against all violence and terror, and in that single moment everyone at Woodstock is united. This photo may not be world famous, or impressive to many people, but to me it shows how music can overcome all controversy and break down any wall, especially when someone shreds the Star-Spangled Banner


5 thoughts on “Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock”

  1. I really like this photo. Although the physical image is much different from my post, I think they both aim to create the same message: social change. Jimi Hendrix was instrumental in giving the younger generation of America a voice during the 1960’s. Social crises, such as Vietnam and the mistreatment of African Americans, had shook america to its core, and the country found itself in a bit of an identity crisis. Here stands America, a country that fought off Hitler, and the communist machine in North Korea – we had inspired democracy across the most of Europe, yet we cannot come together as a country and accept one another. It is a very powerful image in my opinion, very nice choice.

  2. Yeah, this image is excellent. I definitely agree with the idea of the peace sign representing the emotional and social changes that were happening during this era. From the point of view as a guitar player myself, it is definitely obscure to see Hendrix holding the righty Stratocaster guitar flip-sided. He evoked a ton of emotions at this particular event and you can see how many people came out to watch this one man and his talents. Anyway, great choice.

  3. This is personally one of my favorite time periods to learn about in American history because there are truly some great images that capture the counterculture and the essence of the American youth and I think this is one of them. During a time where there was so much unrest around the world, Jimi Hendrix’s peace sign sent a simple message to the immense and diverse crowd at Woodstock.

  4. I haven’t seen this photo before but I’m happy to now come across it. I think this photo captures the forward thinking of the youth of the 1960’s. The elder generations were the main supporters of separatism and racism, and the young adults and teenagers were some of the most prominent supporters of social change and equity for all. Even nowadays, it seems that the youth are sometimes more proactive and more involved in getting things done than the elders. It appears that as people grow older, they grow less and less susceptible to change and new ideas. It is because of this that the youth of America should be given more opportunities to have their voice be heard and formulate their own personal opinions.

  5. This photograph is great. After hearing about how gross and disgusting Woodstock was and what a financial failure it was, it is awesome to see the event from the perspective of one of the performers. From the fans perspective it seems like the event was a gathering of people of all types and still legendary enough given the circumstances. From the performers perspective it seems like a much different situation. Although in this photograph Jimi seems to be acknowledging his fans, overall from what I have heard the event was a rather hostile environment for performers and generally not a pleasant experience. To see Jimi’s enthusiasm is awesome and it is even crazier to see the extent to which the venue was overfilled.

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