Jimi Hendrix – lead vocal, space guitar
Billy Cox – fat bass
Buddy Miles – drums, oooooooohs
“Machine Gun” is a mostly-instrumental parable about Vietnam* that has to rank as one of the greatest performances ever captured on film. This is Jimi Hendrix at his hyper-focused best. According to legend, famed promoter, Bill Graham, challenged Jimi to play his performance straight, not shuck-and-jive the audience with his “Wild Man of Borneo” act. It worked. With Buddy Miles and Billy Cox laying down the heavy pocket for Band Of Gypsys, this was Hendrix’s response to Graham. “Fuck you, Bill. Don’t question me. But since you did, here’s the ‘no bullshit’ set.” Pure, sustained brilliance.
* See also Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
Posthumously dedicated to my brother, Craig Davis, the biggest Hendrix fan the world has ever known. RIP Jimi. RIP Craig.