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5 Must See Jimi Hendrix Performances

Posted by Ryan Polsky on

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Here are 5 MUST SEE performances from the man himself!

1. “Wild Thing” at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival

Who the hell would be so insane as to soak his guitar with kerosene, throw a match on it, watch it burn, and then smash it up to pieces? Only Jimi Hendrix. The man himself answered that question at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival during his rendition of The Troggs’ “Wild Thing.” This performance gave a whole new meaning to guitar players showboating during solos, and no doubt inspired future guitar greats, such as Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and Slash.

2. “Hey Joe” at an unknown television recording

Beginning with the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, rock music began to appear on television to the mainstream public. Soon, more pop-rock bands appeared in television, such as the Monkees. However, Jimi Hendrix’s television performances showed Americans the hard, flamboyant direction rock music was taking. Watch this performance of the Hendrix classic, as Jimi shows off techniques such as playing with his teeth and playing behind his back. Don’t try this at home, or else you may break your guitar!

3.“The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock

The 1969 festival was filled with famous performances, but none memorable than this one. Here, Hendrix takes our traditional, sacred anthem and turns it completely upside down with guitar feedback and complicated solos, giving new meaning to “bombs bursting in mid air.” Why isn’t this played before every sporting event today instead of traditional singing?! In addition, this performance reinforced patriotism within the Woodstock community in the midst of Anti-Vietnam protests and demonstrations.

4. “Hear My Train A Comin’” on an Acoustic 12 String Guitar

This one is my personal favorite. I could watch it all day and not stop being mesmerized. Jimi Hendrix is known for his loud, complicated, flamboyant guitar solos. However, how many people have ever seen him play an acoustic guitar? And not just a regular acoustic guitar, but a 12 String?! Watch Jimi give a different interpretation of one of his loudest songs in this intimate performance.

5. “Purple Haze” at the 1969 Atlanta Pop Festival

Hendrix flawlessly rocks out on his guitar, commands the stage, and engages with his band during this iconic performance. Already a known act, the Jimi Hendrix Experience establishes themselves as one of the premier rock and roll bands with this banger at one of the largest festivals of the year at the time. Furthermore, Hendrix can be seen wearing a brightly covered robe and headband, which was often worn by musicians and fans within the counterculture movement.

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