Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Twilight's last gleaming: One last electric version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on 7th Street
[Photo last night by Sarah Larson]
In case you were headed over to Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue this evening to hear the Jimi Hendrix-style version of "the Star-Spangled Banner" ... last night marked the final performance.
Starting on April 3, Seventh Street resident John the Baptist (aka John Fredericks) played the anthem on his Bobkat with a Stratocaster neck from his fire escape during the 7 p.m. cheer for health-care workers.
The song became a tradition, even attracting two off-duty ER doctors from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx who wanted to hear it live.
He recalled one night where he didn't break out his guitar, and "people were looking up at our fire escape, and they were, like pissed," he told Sarah Larson as part of The New Yorker's cover story on a day in the life in NYC during COVID-19.
The tribute was always personal, as his father and two brothers are ER doctors, per The New Yorker. It also received the approval of Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister.
Here's a flashback to April 20 ... to a video via Stacie Joy...
And an upclose version that Rainer Turim shot for Gothamist...