By: Ane Taylor
Happy Fourth of July! Nobody celebrates our country in quite the same way as our favorite Rock and Rollers, so we’d like to start the holiday off right by paying homage to the Top Five Guitar Renditions of the “Star-Spangled Banner!”
1. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is one of the first guitarists to ever put a rockin’ spin on the National Anthem. In 1969, Hendrix took the stage at the annual Woodstock Festival and played a version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” that left people in awe and mesmerized. Hendrix himself was once even quoted as saying his performance was “beautiful.”
2. Steve Vai
Whitesnake’s Steve Vai performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” on his vividly-patterned pink and yellow guitar. His combination of screeching notes and rockin’ riffs sent the crowd wild, applauding and shaking their baseball hats along to the beat. Vai ended his performance like a true rock star by kissing his guitar and throwing it up in the air!
3. Zakk Wylde
As heavy as Zakk Wylde’s music can be, it has never interfered with his love for his country! In 2010, Wylde performed the National Anthem at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, transforming the “Star-Spangled Banner” into a full-fledged heavy metal jam! Wylde also performed the National Anthem at the 2008 X Games and game six of the 2009 NBA playoffs between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
On October 12, 2010, Guns’ N’ Roses guitarist Slash performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a hockey game for the Los Angeles Kings. Unlike Jimi Hendrix, Slash kept it traditional. His old school version of the National Anthem was smooth, clean, and classic, and that’s what makes it one of the best!
Nothing is more patriotic than when America’s pastime meets our country’s National Anthem. On May 3, Metallica combined the two when they opened up for the San Francisco Giants baseball game at AT&T Park. Before drummer Lars Ulrich threw out the first pitch, guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett played a version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” that was classic but truly rockin’!