When thrash titans Metallica took the field at San Francisco’s AT&T Park to play “The Star Spangled Banner” last week, they were but the latest in a long line of high energy decibel dealers putting their rough stamp on our hallowed National Anthem. Ever since Jimi Hendrix serenaded the Woodstock faithful that bleary August morning in 1969 with his electric-fried version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” rockers have been figuring out daring different ways to rock Francis Scott Key’s composition in instrumental form. We now present to you the 10 Most Rocking Versions of The National Anthem. Give us your feedback on vote on where you think they rank and remember to vote early and vote often.
Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, August 18, 1969
When rock’s most innovative picker plugged “The Star Spangled Banner” into a bevy of guitar effects pedals at ear-splitting volume he created a sonic firestorm tone poem that many thought was an allegory for the nation’s troubles in the Vietnam War. Jimi and his then backing band Gypsy Sun & Rainbows took the stage at 9am due to errant thunderstorms pushing the previous night’s performances back several hours. Not a bad way to wake up.