Linda McCartney (1942–1998)
Platinum print, 1967 (printed later)
In the late 1960s Jimi Hendrix carried the blues into the twenty-first century by turning the electric guitar into an instrument of vast capabilities and poetic expression. Through a brilliant manipulation of feedback and amplification, Hendrix created soundscapes of deep texture and distortion, of electronic waves and wah-wah. Often dressed in a rainbow riot of color, he wrote songs about other planets and experiences that fit the decade’s hallucinogenic experiences and its mythology of alternate dimensions. On stage he was simultaneously self-possessed and otherworldly, playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back, even setting it on fire. Born of mixed white, black, and Cherokee ancestry, Hendrix was influenced by Elvis, Little Richard, and Muddy Waters; honed his blues chops on the “chitlin’ circuit”; and recorded with the Isley Brothers and King Curtis. His searing instrumental version of the national anthem is a rare example of nonverbal social protest and remains the iconic sound of Woodstock.