Thu, 07 Jun 2012 18:37:41 GMT | By Sean Plummer
Most shocking moments in music

Jimi Hendrix mangles "The Star-Spangled Banner"?



Jimi Hendrix (© REUTERS/COPYRIGHT AMALIE R. ROTHSCHILD/THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE)
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  • Photo of Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, with the Grateful Dead, performing live onstage (© Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
  • Singer Sinead O'Connor rips up a picture of Pope John Paul II October 3, 1992 on the TV show "Saturday Night Live". (© Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
  • British punk-rock group the Sex Pistols. Left to right: Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon), Steve Jones and Paul Cook. The Sex Pistols were formed in 1975 by Malcolm McLaren, the owner of a clothes shop called Sex, who touted the group as the 'latest teen craze called 'Punk Rock'. (© Express/Getty Images)
  • Britney Spears shaves her head (© AP Photo/KABC-TV)
  • Jimi Hendrix (© REUTERS/COPYRIGHT AMALIE R. ROTHSCHILD/THE BETTMANN ARCHIVE)
  • Elvis plays the Ed Sullivan Show (© Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive;)
  • David Bowie says "I'm gay" (© Getty Images/Redferns/Getty Images)
  • Live Aid politicizes pop (© Mark Allan/AP Images)
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He had actually performed it at least three times in the year prior, often as a lead-in into Purple Haze, but Jimi Hendrix's distorted rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Festival on the morning of August 18, 1969, is often seen as a political statement against the Vietnam War, with some claiming that his solo imitated the sound of falling bombs and machine gun fire. Hendrix himself never admitted as much, although he later told talk show host Dick Cavett that he meant no harm by it, and actually found his rendition, characterized by its alternately tender and violent melodies, "pretty."

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