Townshend would not be denied a chance at creating his own iconic guitar-destroying moment, however. Hendrix be damned! When off-kilter anti–Vietnam War protester Abbie Hoffman ran onstage during the Who’s Woodstock performance, Townshend got it. Hoffman — who once tried to levitate the Pentagon through mass meditation — commandeered the microphone during “Pinball Wizard” in order to protest the jailing of White Panther leader John Sinclair.
That didn’t sit well with Townshend, who told Hoffman to “f___ off” before smashing him with his guitar, knocking him from the stage. The guitar was destroyed and Townshend had his moment — though that’s little consolation to Hoffman, who probably didn’t appreciate becoming a footnote in rock’s history in such a painfully embarrassing way.