Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jack Ripper, Jimi Hendrix, and An Anthem

So you're a 12-year-old guitar prodigy. You have the kind of hair that would get you a part as an extra in Airheads, a fresh-faced look that harkens back to the days of Hanson, and your shredding - as one Blabbermouth commentator put it - might one day put Skwisgaar Skwigelf to shame. Your stage name is Jack Ripper, a clever doulbe entendre that encompasses both your playing skills and the grotesque horror favored amongst metal denizens in general and your favorite rocker, Alice Cooper, in particular. You are playing Rocklohoma, some rock music festival in the middle of our fair country. What do you choose to play?

As you can see in the clip above, Jack Ripper chose "The Star Spangled Banner." In fact, not just "The Star Spangled Banner;" a version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that at the very least owes an enormous spiritual debt to Jimi Hendrix's iconic rendition from Woodstock. Interesting choice when you - or, more likely, some adult behind you - is trying to market you as the next big guitar god, but somehow I doubt young Jackie's got the context for Hendrix's version down just yet. And heck, even if he does, is Hendrix the guy you want to follow directly? 27 is a pretty young age to die.

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