Jimi Hendrix and Writing with Sound

Is it possible to write poetry with music? Not lyrics … but full-blown words in the guise of clefs, lines, notes, and rests rather than letters?

A man named Hendrix did the second he strapped his Stratocaster upside down and pulled the first chord of The Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in August, 1969.

If it’s not in your collection already, find it on iTunes, strap yourself in and let the angst of an era roll over your skin in waves.

It wasn’t the first time Jimi Hendrix played that tune. According to Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor, Joel Brattin, he’d played it at least 28 times prior, but Woodstock’s sortie made it “iconic”, to use Brattin’s term.

In my mind it was not only emblematic of 60s poetic majesty but predictive of what would become, decades later, the reverence that Vietnam War veterans would receive, immortalized in their stunning memorial wall in Washington, DC. Indeed, if played for the first time today, it might even be embraced by a new generation imbued with similar meaning. If you haven’t heard it before, you’re in for a massive audio treat.

And with that I bring the Adam Parker Writing blog to a close for 2015.

Thanks for reading this year and to those who’ve offered likes and comments; remember there’s featured writing to enjoy over at the Parkerpinion website too. Just click “Relax”.

See you in the New Year—not forgetting to write in the time in between.

For more on the Hendrix Woodstock story, including a host of other interesting facts, see https://www.wpi.edu/news/20090/woodstock.html.