18 June : Rock’s perfect moment – The Guitar Sacrifice

When Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival he created one of rock’s most perfect moments.

James Marshall “JimiHendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. … The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”.

Jimi Hendrix was a demigod with a guitar. However, while his guitar playing skills have achieved immortality, he did not. His favorite guitar was a black 1968 Stratocaster with maple neck. Towards the later part of his career Hendrix started using different guitars. Hendrix could play guitar with both hands. Jimi modified his first (right-handed) guitars for his natural leftism – restringing and changing the nut. But when Al was around, he felt he had to play a right-handed guitar simply flipped over (treble E at the top). So Jimi taught himself to be “both-handed.” … And Hendrix still played brilliantly.


Standing in the front row of that concert was a 17-year-old boy named Ed Caraeff. Caraeff had never seen Hendrix before nor heard his music, but he had a camera with him and there was one shot left in his roll of film. As Hendrix lit his guitar, Caraeff took a final photo. It would become one of the most famous images in rock and roll.