Hey Joe from Woodstock on the Vinyl Version

By the Monday morning of the 500,000 people at Woodstock, only about 180,000 fans actually saw Hendrix’s performance due to weather and an array of technical difficulties. Only about a third of the crowd witnessed Hendrix’s two hour set. Hendrix performed with a temporary band that had only rehearsed twice before the show.  The Jimi Hendrix Experience, had broken up, so Hendrix assembled a group he called Gypsy Suns and Rainbows. One of his largest bands, It was the only Hendrix band that included a second guitarist. Larry Lee backed up Hendrix on a number of songs, played some lead on a few numbers, and even sang lead on two songs.

One of the band members said the band was nervous before Woodstock saying the credit has to go to Jimi and the strength of his onstage presence.

Woodstock was not the first time Hendrix had performed The Star Spangled Banner. In fact, there are nearly 50 live recordings of Hendrix playing the national anthem, 28 made before Woodstock. They range from about a minute to more than six minutes; the Woodstock version was three minutes and 46 seconds

Hendrix was not supposed to close Woodstock. Organizer Michael Lang wanted Roy Rogers to come on after Hendrix and play Happy Trails. The cowboy crooner declined

After the longest set of his career Hendrix still performed an encore, a song he almost never performed live  but at Woodstock, as the crowd was dwindling to just a few thousands dirty hippies who had been partying for almost a week Hendrix did: Hey Joe, his first hit song.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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