4 october 2017, 6 pm, block museum, northwestern university: jimi hendrix, the devil’s tritone, & the countercultural politics of the uncategorizable.
Can you squeeze liberation out of a guitar string? Jimi Hendrix tried to. Refusing to be pinned down to any conventional ideology or identity (Black Panther, New Leftist, former Army paratrooper, guitar-god superstar, hippie utopian), he instead fingered the limits of freedom in his musical performances by quite literally noting the pain and dissonance involved in pursuing a countercultural politics of the uncategorizable—even as he also amplified the emancipatory drive at the heart of 1960s protest.
I will be speaking (briefly, but with music and pictures) on Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 6 pm at “Love and Then Some: 1960s Protest and Liberation, Civil & Human Rights” panel as part of the Block Museum’s programming for the exhibition William Blake and the Age of Aquarius.
Addendum: You can now hear the talk, or view a slightly revised text of it.