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Song IconJimi Hendrix "Machine Gun"

About "Machine Gun"

"Machine Gun" is a song written by American musician Jimi Hendrix, and originally recorded for the 1970 Band of Gypsys album, with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. It is a lengthy, loosely defined (jam-based) protest of the Vietnam War, and perhaps a broader comment on conflict of any kind.

At a performance in Berkeley, California, Hendrix introduced the song:



I'd like to dedicate this song to soldiers fighting in Berkeley—you know what soldiers I'm talking about—and oh yeah, the soldiers fighting in Vietnam too ... and dedicate [it] to other people that might be fighting wars too, but within themselves, not facing up to the realities.

Hendrix's 12-minute performance of "Machine Gun" for the Band of Gypsys is often lauded as his greatest, and is considered a stunning display of guitar virtuosity. Hendrix's long guitar solos and percussive riffs combine with controlled feedback to simulate the sounds of a battlefield, such as helicopters, dropping bombs, explosions, machine guns, and the screams and cries of those wounded or grieving. Although a proper studio recording was never realized, several other live recordings exist.

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