It was the summer of all times, at least when it comes to music. 45 years ago, in august 1969, Jimi Hendrix stepped onto the stage at the Woodstock music Festival and performed as he would never do it again all without any guitar lessons for beginners. An uninterrupted set that lasted for almost two hours ending with the emblematic solo performance of Star Spangled Banner that would became the symbol not only for the Woodstock Festival but for the 1960’s itself.
In general, that song is the first memory that comes to peoples mind when they think about Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock, but there are other very interesting facts about that performance that make it even more special.
* That performance was made with a temporary band. The original band had broken up at the Monterey Pop Festival two summers before. None of the components of this temporary band had ever performed together, before Woodstock.
* It was the only time that Hendrix included a second guitar player: Larry Lee, which not only backed him up on many songs, but also led two songs: Voodoo Child and Spanish Castle Magic.
* It was in the morning, and this is rare. In fact, it was the only major one ever made in the morning. The performance started at 9am in the morning.
* An encore was performed, another rarity.
* Hendrix was not supposed to close the festival. Roy Rogers declined the offer from Michael Lang to do so. He should have come right after Hendrix to play happy trails.
After three days of festival everybody was winding down, on Sunday. Most of the crowd left the Woodstock festival during the day and not too many were there on monday morning for the most emblematic and final performance of all times. When Jimi Hendrix stepped onto the stage there were only about 250,000 people (even though this crowd was once numbered 500,000). By the time he finished, there were only 25,000 people left to see the show.
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“Lenny” is the famous song about the love of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s life his wife Lenora and his Guitar Lenny. When Stevie was 28 years old his wife Lenora gave him a used Stratocaster guitar that she and some friends obtained from a local pawnshop. Stevie had been eyeing the guitar for a while and his wife and friends knew he was a great guitarist and knew he would make beautiful music with this guitar. At the time he wasn’t yet a well-known star but he had a bright future to look forward to.
This Guitar was found in a pawn shop in Austin, Texas one year after Stevie and Lenora married. All the guys in his band were eyeing this guitar and claiming it as their own. It’s a 1965 maple-neck Fender Stratocaster that had seen better days. But this guitar spoke to Stevie in a way that can’t be explained. Although the guitar cost a whopping $350 dollars Lenora was determined to get this guitar for her husband. So she collected $50 from 7 different people that they knew for a birthday present throw in and purchased the guitar without him knowing. They surprised him with the guitar on his birthday. That night the song “Lenny” by Stevie Ray Vaughan was written.
While playing the song for his wife for the first time she wept at how beautiful it sounded. To this day the song is one very popular song. Over the next few years he played with many famous names while building his first record. One of the famous artist he played with was David Bowie and he was made famous by declining to tour with Bowie. He released his debut album and at ever concert he would play his song “Lenny” with his favorite guitar. Stevie Ray Vaughan brought blues to rock’n’roll making him famous for being a great blues player. But he continued to use the guitar Lenny even after receiving many more guitars throughout his long career.
Years after Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death in the 1990 helicopter crash his brother made the guitar Lenny the only one available for public viewing. In 2004, at the Christies Auction for Eric Clapton’s CrossRoads Rehab center the Lenny guitar was purchased by Guitar Center for $623, 500 a very hefty sum for a guitar but far less than the actual value of the love he had for his guitar.
The distinctive sound of the flamenco guitar is – alongside siestas, tapas and bull-fighting – another thing that is distinctively associated with Spain. Although most of the best flamenco players acquire and perfect their skills in the working-class districts of Spain's biggest cities right from an early age, there are several schools that provide the skills to both natives and foreigners.
They include, but are not limited to:
Granada’s Escuela Carmen de Las Cuevas
Though the flamenco style is popular in many regions of Spain, Andalusia is popularly considered the home of this guitar style, with the Escuela Carmen de Las Cuevas offering a chance for students to hone their skills in the historic city of Granada, Andalusia.
Here, intensive guitar courses are offered – alongside Spanish language classes – for all types of players, including complete beginners as well as intermediate and advanced abilities’ students. There's also a collection of Spanish guitar lessons.
Escuela Montalban, Granada
This school also offers language and culture classes for both private and group guitar-lessons. Students are taught both theoretical and technical aspects in flamenco guitar classrooms that surround a traditional Andalusian townhouse’s courtyard.
Barcelona’s Escuela de Guitarra Flamenca
This school also provides students of all abilities a chance to learn the flamenco guitar in the heart of the city of Barcelona. Joaquin Herrera – a pro who has been playing the flamenco guitar since he was nine and who has also accompanied a retinue of the biggest stars in the flamenco world over several decades – oversees this school. Classes here focus on guitar playing techniques, playing harmony and rhythm.
In addition, the school offers its pupils a chance to understand the flamenco’s history as well as the presentation of different types of this guitar style, including Sevillana, fandango and rumba.
Madrid’s Academia de Guitarra Flamenca
Though established just a few years ago in 2010 – by the world-renowned flamenco guitarist El Entri – this school is one of the most famous flamenco guitar schools in Spain. It offers both one-on-one and group classes. Classes here focus on technique improvement, learning the distinctive Spanish rhythms and playing alone as well as in a group.
Some of the teaching staff here include the who-is-who in Madrid’s flamenco scene, thus students are able to take advantage of their contacts to play flamenco alongside renowned and established musicians, dancers and singers.