September 14, 2014
Two hundred years ago – September 14, 2014 — Francis Scott Key composed “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” the song we now know as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Eighty-three years ago, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was declared the national anthem.
Forty-five years ago, Jimi Hendrix played “The Star-Spangled Banner” with a Stratocaster and a wall of Marshall amplifiers during the Festival of Peace & Music near Woodstock, New York.
Twelve years ago, the cellist Matt Haimovitz played “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Jimi Hendrix’s version – live at CBGB. The story is told in Reinventing Bach. Haimovitz studied with Yo-Yo Ma, enrolled at Harvard, and then dropped out of college and the classical-music recital circuit at once. The gig at CBGB – in October 2002 – was just one gig in a tour of nightclubs, cafes and restaurants in support of a self-financed CD. He played three of Bach’s cello suites, a recent piece by a living composer, and a four-string acoustic reduction of the Hendrix anthem from Woodstock — rendering feedback, string bends, dive-bomb runs, and discordura, and interpolating a few bars of “Taps.” TheWall Street Journal‘s critic griped that he couldn’t hear the cello over the clinking bottles.
Three years ago, Haimovitz played the Hendrixian “Star-Spangled Banner” at Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street.
O say, can you hear …
By: Paul Elie
Read at: Everything That Rises