Machine Gun (12:36)

Cover of Band Of Gypsys

From Band Of Gypsys and 47 other releases

“Machine Gun” is a song by American musician and singer Jimi Hendrix, featured on his 1970 first live album Band of Gypsys. Although a studio recording was never officially released, there are several live recordings appearing on (among other live albums) Jimi Hendrix: Live at Berkeley, Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight, and most notably the Band of Gypsys LP, the latter often lauded as one of Hendrix’s finest performances, and has even been considered among the finest performances ever with an electric guitar.

“Machine Gun” debuted in September 1969 by Hendrix and his then bandmates drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox as a lengthy, loosely musically defined (jam-based) protest song to the Vietnam War, and was broadcast on the Dick Cavett Show, the week of September 5. The song is long, with most known performances between ten and twenty minutes in length, and each with different music and lyrics, but share the same opening riff and basslines. The song opens with a recognizable, Univibe Pedal based guitar riff intended to mimic the sounds of a firing machine gun. The memorable (and menacing) bass and drum patterns then commence. The rather sparse lyrics, which differ in every performance, are told from the point of view of a soldier fighting in war:

” Machine gun
Tearin’ my body all apart
Evil man make me kill you
Evil man make you kill me
Even though we’re only families apart.
Well, I pick up my axe and fight like a farmer,
You know what I mean?
Hey, and your bullets keep knockin’ me down…”


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