The Byrds, 'He Was a Friend of Mine'
In late 1963, the Byrds' lead guitarist Roger McGuinn rewrote this traditional folk song as a eulogy to the fallen leader. While the line "from a sixth floor window, a gunner shot him down" suggested that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin, band mate David Crosby had another opinion.
Just before the band performed this at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Crosby told the audience, "He was not killed by one man. He was shot from a number of different directions — by different guns. The story has been suppressed, witnesses have been killed, and this is your country."
It was later rumored that the rant prompted the other band members to give Crosby the boot, though he said years later the band had simply drifted apart. Still, McGuinn admitted in one broadcast interview that the statements peeved him. "Come on, give me a break," he said. "He didn't know anything more than anybody else. He was just trying to be Mr. Cool up there. I resented it, frankly."