Watch the Japanese Consul General to the US play a ripping Hendrix-inspired version of The Star-Spangled Banner

We’re a few days past July 4, but it’s never an inappropriate time to hear a Hendrix-inspired electric guitar rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Especially when the performance is by Japan's bow-tied Consul General to the United States, Kanji Yamanouchi.

“Today I would like express my heartfelt gratitude to those who have been working so hard to fight against COVID-19,” Yamanouchi, who also plays in the band @K4, says in the video. “Especially medical professionals and essential workers.

“I would like to perform the American national anthem with my deepest gratitude and respect – inspired by Jimi Hendrix – to strengthen the friendship between the United States and Japan.”

Then, armed with a Fender Strat and a Vox guitar amp, Yamanouchi does just that.

You can check out the performance above.

And as the caption under the YouTube video reads, “Would Japan's Consul General run divebombs down the length of a distorted open E string to portray the rockets red glare as Jimi Hendrix did in his psychedelic version of The Star-Spangled Banner in 1969? Why yes he would. And he'd put a little vibrato on it before he little winged it out his 10-watt Vox amp.

“Consul General Yamanouchi would have made Jimi righteous proud, laughing, and slapping palms. The Japanese people should be proud too.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.