Shreveport History: Jimi Hendrix Plays Municipal Auditorium [VIDEO]
It was 1968 and America was in turmoil. The Vietnam War - and protests - were at their zenith. The Martin Luther King assassination had taken place just months before and racial tensions were never more strained. And culturally, the country was undergoing changes in movies, television and music.
And at the cutting edge of that musical revolution was a guitarist like no one had ever seen, and his name was Jimi Hendrix. And on July 31, 1968, the Detroit native brought his revolutionary style to Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium.
Garry Howard was a teenager, then living in Texarkana, who attended the show:
"The opening act was Soft Machine. They were undoubtedly the loudest band I have ever heard in concert, and I have heard quite a few since then. When they started playing my brother broke out in hives with welts all over his chest and stomach. As soon as they stopped playing it went away.
The stage setting was sparse. No elaborate light show or sound equipment, just the amps sitting on the stage. Also...people were able to just walk up to the front of the stage to take pictures."
By all accounts, the show was sellout (about 5,000 to 6,000) and a huge hit with Hendrix fans. Sadly, it was Jimi's only visit to the ArkLaTex, and even sadder, Hendrix had barely two years to live. He died of a drug overdose in September of 1970.