Died September 18, 1970

Shaping an Era at Woodstock

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The 33-cent Woodstock stamp was issued September 17, 1999.
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The 33-cent Vietnam War stamp was issued September 17, 1999.

After dabbling in the army in the early 60s, Hendrix felt more inclined to lead a music revolution than ship off to the Vietnam War. Combining a medley of styles including rock, blues and jazz, Hendrix drew attention for his originality and unpredictability. His first album, Are You Experienced?, won over his British audience before he became a superstar at home in the U.S. At Woodstock in 1969, Hendrix made a lasting impression not only with his hippie wardrobe, but also because of his incomparable guitar stunts. A true showman, he could play behind his head and with his teeth.

Thoroughly famous in both the US and Britain by the time he performed at Woodstock alongside other greats like Janis Joplin, Neil Young, and the Grateful Dead, Hendrix died in 1970 at the peak of his fame and at the end of an eventful era. The ambiguous and drug-related circumstances of his death at age 27 only add to Hendrix’s mythic reputation.