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Thread: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieRadio View Post
    Eric Burdon Book - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

    Burdon has come to see her as an unstable sex-but-not love interest of Hendrix's who couldn't bear the news that Hendrix was leaving.
    So she spiked his tuna fish sandwich with her sedatives, not to kill him, but in the hope that she could delay his departure.
    Hardly realistic. She took half a tablet, Jimi took nine.

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    And how would Eric Burdon know that? Was he there when she was making the sandwich?

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    i think the tuna fish sandwich story is bullshit anyway.....Even chas discussed finding jimi laying on the bed fully clothed from the night before with his guitar laying across him, so I doubt it was an odd thing for him to do. i also doubt he had plans to stay with her the weekend, so i think the "coming back to pick up his stuff "was more likely.

    she probably convinced him to stay and maybe due to the black bomber he'd taken at the party, he asked if she had any sleepers? those vesperax caused him to get drowsy, then vomit.....she woke, panicked and the rest is history. fuckin waste of a good man.....
    " Coz i'm a million miles away, and at the same time, i'm right here, in your picture frame "

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    "Even chas discussed finding jimi laying on the bed fully clothed from the night before with his guitar laying across him"

    Never heard this before!

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieRadio View Post
    "Even chas discussed finding jimi laying on the bed fully clothed from the night before with his guitar laying across him"

    Never heard this before!
    I think the poster means that Chas has commented on Jimi falling asleep fully clothed with his guitar on top of him on occasion while they shared a flat, not that Chas has commented on what happened at the Sammarkand, because he wasn't there.

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    BOOK EXCERPT

    Inside The Experience - By Mitch Mitchell 1990

    After Fehmarn, I spent the next week taking care of bits and pieces down at my house and giving thoughts to possible musicians to replace Billy. I guess I was half expecting Jimi to ring and say, 'What about so and so?', but he never did. The following Thursday night, the 17th, I had to drive up to London. About quarter to seven I went to see Gerry Stickells, who said that Hendrix had called about fifteen minutes previously, would I give him a call? I called him up and he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was just off to visit Ginger Baker and then we were going out to Heathrow to meet Sly Stone, who was flying in. Jimi was really excited about Sly and said, 'Is there any chance of a play'?' So l said, 'Funny you should say that, yeah, the idea is we're all going down to the Speakeasy for a jam.' Jimi was really up for it and agreed to meet us there about midnight. His agreeing was no surprise: anywhere in the world, Jimi was always up for a play; it took precedence over anything.

    Anyway, we met Sly, who was knocked out that Jimi wanted to play and after checking him in at the hotel, we went down to the club. We got there and we waited and we waited. By one o'clock people were starting to sort of look at each other and by two they were starting to say it was odd. In the end we all sat there till closing time which was about four. I remember having this odd feeling when I left that was hard to define. If nothing else it was just so out of character for Hendrix not to have shown, especially as he'd appeared full of beans earlier and really wanted to do it.

    I drove back to my house, about an hour and a half's drive. I didn't go to bed and sat up for what seemed like a few hours, but may well have been longer. I'm not sure of the time, but I got a call from Eric Barrett, telling me that Jimi had died. l just couldn't believe it. I couldn't release any emotion at all. I finally got some sleep about six the next night, but waking up later, it was a hit like when Jimi had crashed his car in Benedict Canyon and had come in and told me about it, you know, 'Did I dream that?' Again l woke up thinking 'Was that the truth?' and, of course, sadly it was. I couldn't handle it at all.

    The worst thing was the funeral, it was like a circus. l flew out to Seattle with Noel, who I'd seen a few times in the past months. He hadn't seen much of Jimi, but he had been to the opening of the Electric Lady studio and there was still a lot of affection between all of us.

    In Seattle most of us were staying in the same hotel and in all honesty it felt like a gig. There was a knock at the door in the morning and Gerry Stickells stood there and said, 'It's time to go now,' and I'm sure I said, 'What time's the gig'?' l know it sounds sick, but maybe that was the only way I could deal with it. lt was OK until we got to the church and you realized what kind of event the powers that be had made this. I think it started to hit me during the service, especially when we had to walk up the aisle and file past the open coffin. Neither Noel nor I had been through anything like that before. God, it was the most awful thing, Noel and I held hands - that was when it really hit home.

    One small side event of the day of the funeral happened before we left to go to the church. I'd heard that Buddy Miles, maybe incorrectly, but I don't think so, was slagging me off as some kind of racist pig who had a thing against blacks. I lost my rag completely. I went to his room and put him up on the wall, there's like eight and half stone of me. So I held him up there and said, 'Don't you fucking dare!' I'd been nothing else but kind to him, as had Jimi, which is more than I can say about some of his attitudes over the years. He started apologizing and said, 'Maybe you heard it wrongly.' He didn't say that it wasn't true.

    They'd booked the Seattle Coliseum or somewhere, for the wake, a place we'd played, certainly. It was really gauche, but probably not a bad idea in retrospect. People got up and played, Noel and I did play later in the day, but I kept a pretty low profile and got an early flight home. It was one of the worst days of my life. Even after I got home it was hard to accept that he was dead; it still felt as though he was right there.

    ULTIMATELY, OF COURSE, NOTHING CAN alter the fact that on September 18 1970, at 11.45 a.m. Jimi Hendrix was admitted to St Mary Abbot's Hospital in London and that at 12.15 p. m. he was officially pronounced dead. The verdict was inhalation of vomit. The only drug content found at the autopsy was quinal barbitone, more commonly known as seconal, approximately nine tablets. What led up to Jimi's death remains a matter of speculation and is unlikely ever to be fully explained. Suicide is generally ruled out, although he wasn't going through a wonderfully happy period, and foul play seems more the stuff of conspiracy theories, which leaves 'accidental death' as the most likely cause.

    The whole thing with the night Jimi died is odd. There are definitely a couple of hours in there that no one can account for. We know that he went to see Alan Douglas, who was in town, likewise Devon Wilson. Devon was staying in Mayfair, not far from the Speakeasy, so I can see him going there to pick her up en route to the club. Earlier on in the evening Jimi is supposed to have got stuck in traffic at Marble Arch and talked to people in an adjacent car, who invited him to a party, which he ultimately went to. I find that very odd as well. At some point, later on, he definitely phoned someone - Gerry, I think - in the course of which he said something like, 'I'll never do that again,' but what that referred to I don't know.

    Jimi was spending most of those last days with Monika Danneman, who- no offence to her - was not the great love of Jimi's life. There had only really been two of these, Cathy Etchingham in the early days in England and Devon Wilson. I do know, though, that Devon was becoming a bit of a handful by then and he wasn't overjoyed to discover she was over here as well. Sadly Devon died under mysterious circumstances herself a few years later.

    What did happen we'll probably never know. I certainly don't think it was suicide. Undoubtedly he'd been tired and depressed, especially after those last European gigs, but definitely not suicidal. I think it was a tragic accident, but some of the circumstances surrounding it are certainly odd.

    In the end all you can say is, 'What a fucking waste.' He was irreplaceable, both as a friend and musician. I miss him as much today as twenty years ago. There was so much more that he was capable of and his music would have changed as would the musicians he worked with, including drummers. I like to think, though, not that I was the perfect drummer for Jimi, but that maybe once a year we'd always get together to do some gigs, each of us having played with other people in the mean time. There is no doubt, though, that he was not simply a hard act to follow - more an impossible act to follow.
    Last edited by RobbieRadio; 04-09-19 at 01:58 PM.

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    PAT O'DAY - Seattle Radio DJ

    Jimi Hendrix was dead at 27 of an accidental barbiturate overdose.

    “Jimi’s dad, Al Hendrix, asked me to fly to London and find out what was happening,” O’Day remembers.

    “Tom Hulet, a Garfield High guy, was one of my partners at the time. We discovered the body was still at the morgue and nobody was doing anything. I had a letter from Jimi’s dad, so they allowed us to claim the body. We bought a coffin and brought him home. It was one of the saddest duties of my life. What a tragedy. In my view, he’s the greatest rock guitarist ever—a transcendent genius.”

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    NOEL REDDING - Vintage Guitar Magazine - November 1992

    Here's a story I don't think I've ever told a publication before: In late summer 1970, I was in New York making demos, and Hendrix was on tour in Europe; the name "Experience" had been dropped by then. I got a call from the tour manager, Gerry Stickles; he said that Billy Cox was sick and could I fly over and finish out the tour with the band. I said no problem, but two days before I was supposed to go over to England, Jimi died.

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    BOOK EXCERPT: NOEL REDDING - ARE YOU EXPERIENCED 1990

    Jimi should have been conserving his energy for the Isle of Wight gig. When he arrived in England on 30 August he had been up all night and had to wait until two a.m. to go on. I didn't attend, but Mum was there. She was utterly shocked at how tired and run down Jimi looked. She had a soft spot for him, and he for her. He made sure she was taken care of and took her up on stage for the show. For most of the concert Jimi had his back to the audience and pumped his guitar, trying to drive the bass and generate excitement. Billy had become deeply paranoid and it was said that he refused to eat because he feared his food had been poisoned. Maybe he had picked up on the bad vibes surrounding Jimi. After the show Stickells telephoned me and asked if l would be willing to step in and replace Billy. Of course I would. I had wanted to be on the tour from the outset.

    It must have been terrible for Jimi, plodding away like this. The European tour was a nightmare. You have to see the film made in Stockholm to believe it. I'd never seen Jimi looking so drunk on stage before. Next was a festival on Fehmam, a German island. I think Jimi was too tired to care. The set was horrific. A riot started. The rest of the tour was abandoned and Jimi went for a breather in London.

    He saw Chas and once again asked him to help sort out his music, as he'd lost touch with what he wanted to do. Jimi had been complaining to Buddy Miles about his situation. He knew money had been 'lost' that he would never know about. In self defence, he tried to stop trusting people. About Jeffery he probably thought, better the devil you know ... Even though Jeffery had been fired several times, he still did interviews saying, 'Jimi never wanted to change management, even though there were times I just couldn't devote energy to helping him. People outside the circle mistook this for discontent. If he wanted to split, he would have split.' Jimi phoned Steingarten saying once again that he wanted to leave Jeffery even if he had to stop working until the contract ran out. Steingarten said he wanted evidence against Jeffery. There were also meetings about PPX. I didn't give him the nickname 'Henpecked' for nothing. He stood them up.
    Jimi looked up old friends, he hung out, he jammed at Ronnie Scott's with War - staying in the background but enjoying a relaxed play which was well received and pleased him no end - he thought he was finished in Europe.

    He had lots of girlfriends, some steadier than others. But this time he was seeing one of his less frequent companions, Monika Danneman. Why her, I don't know, but Jimi hated to be alone. When he was, he'd often do his 'bat' routine, sitting in his room with the curtains drawn and the lights down, feeling weird.

    Interviews with Monika tell this story: On the night of 17 September, Jimi asked Monika to drive him to 'some people's apartment' near Marble Arch. She can't remember where. He told her not to come in because they weren't his friends and he didn't like them. She picked him up an hour later.
    Back in her hotel room, Jimi relaxed and wrote a poem, later entitled The Story of Life. They ate, they drank, they took sleeping pills, and went to bed. Monika woke a few hours later and noticedJimi had been a bit sick. She felt something was wrong and soon afterwards decided to call an ambulance. Not much later, on 18 September 1970, Jimi Hendrix was dead.

    As I lay struggling through the aftermath of a heavy night on the town, the phone in my New York hotel room insisted on waking me. 'Hello. A friend of yours is dead.'
    'Oh, yeah, who's that?'
    'Hendrix.'
    I hung up, numbed. A thousand thoughts and feelings flooded my head. Was this a joke? If so, it wasn't funny. He couldn't be dead. People don't die when they're only twenty-seven.

    Jimi was the first person I was close to, my first intimate friend, to die. Suddenly, I felt mortal and very alone. The next few hours were unreal. The phone rang unceasingly. Girls pounded on my door, crying and hoping to commit suicide from my hotel room window. I was forced to leave for privacy and sanity's sake and was drawn, unexpectedly for me, into a church. More expectedly, I then gathered up the ladies, took them to a bar and began to get drunk. I ran into Paul Jones, who kindly kept me company in my misery and soon ... oblivion. If your high reflects how together you feel, I had reached a new low.

    There are lots of questions surrounding Jimi's death. Jimi had taken several sleepers - the German brand Monika took called Vesperax (which has two barbiturates in it, slow and fast acting, plus an antihistamine which may be there to counteract a tendency for the drugs to congest mucous membranes) with a normal dose of half a tablet - and he had been drinking wine. A very dodgy mixture. Plus he'd taken something at the flat he'd visited.

    On 21 September, the pathologist at St George's Hospital, Westminster, checking Jimi's blood, urine and liver, found evidence of Durophet and amphetamine - the main ingredients of a Black Bomber, which normally contains some downers too. This may have been the source of two of the barbiturates found - Seconal and Allobarbital. He found evidence of the three ingredients of Vesperax - Brallobarbitone, Quinalbarbitone and a unidentifiable substance which he guessed might be a possible metabolite of hydroxyethyl hydroxyzine - the antihistamine. The only base detected was nicotine. Alcohol in the urine was 46mg/100 ml, so blood alcohol was probably 1OOmg at the time he took the Vesperax.

    The ambulance crew strapped Jimi into a sitting position for the trip to the hospital, though the usual position for a person being sick is lying on his side. He vomited and choked. There was no attempt to use resuscitation equipment. The post mortem showed 400ml of free fluid in the left chest with the left lung partially collapsed. Both lungs were congested and swollen with vomit even in the smaller bronchi. Contrary to some reports, Jimi was still alive when he reached the hospital. There is much speculation over the twenty-to-forty-minute period after he reached the hospital. To my knowledge, no files have been found, and neither the ambulance crew, hospital personnel nor the pathologist have been available for questioning, though many fans have tried to trace them.
    My theories include accident, suicide, and murder. Each treads on toes.

    A more frequent girlfriend of Jimi's, Devon, was in London and was very likely one of the people Jimi had gone to see when Monika dropped him off near Marble Arch. Devon, who later died under mysterious circumstances (falling out of a New York hotel window), was a junkie and may have supplied Jimi with drugs that night. Upon Jimi's return, he and Monika stayed up talking until the sleeping pills took effect- not surprising given the amount of speed in his system. At about six a.m., she says he complained that there was something wrong and wondered whether someone had slipped him an OD. If only he'd seen a doctor then.

    Suicide didn't seem to be on Jimi's list of things to do, but you never know. Monika says Jimi had urged her not to commit suicide. Had they been discussing it? The poem Jimi wrote earlier in the evening has been called a suicide note, most widely by Eric Burdon. But Jimi had been talking of new beginnings, of rediscovering his own amazing creativity, of waiting the business mess out, of taking a year off to study music, to try jazz, to write and perhaps expand into films. If he did take nine downers, it's extremely difficult to believe he could have swallowed that many without knowing, though Monika insists that Jimi never took any drugs at all and has tried to persuade me to say the same. How could I say that? Jimi had taken drugs, though he'd also started to look at his drug use more objectively, and did an interview saying, 'You know the drug scene has come to a head. It opened minds, but it let in other things that people couldn't handle. Music can do that without drugs.' Another argument against suicide is Monika's presence. If you really want to kill yourself, you don't have people around who might save you. I know lots of people who have 'tried' suicide. I mean, you haven't lived until you've felt like bumping yourself off - darkness before the dawn and all that. But they tried it in circumstances where they'd be found and helped.

    Jimi had also spoken recently to his father, telling him he'd put some money away and would tell him about it as soon as he returned from Europe. He seemed too full of hope and plans for suicide. But then again, his career was entering the crunch stage, there was no guarantee that any of his future plans would prove successful artistically or commercially; and anyway, Chalpin was still hanging over everything he'd done or planned to do. He died on a day when he was due to attend heavy legal meetings over PPX. The pressure on him was unimaginable.

    You could argue that it wasn't the pills which did Jimi in, but the way he was 'rescued' - that he died from sheer stupidity, his own and everybody else's. He could have radically misjudged just how many drugs he could take. Or if he truly felt he had been slipped on OD, he might, in his depression, have gone along with it. There weren't that many drugs in his system for a person with a large tolerance, but Jimi was always covered in spots and blemishes, symptomatic of a rundown condition. The cumulative effects of bad health and complete fatigue could have precipitated an accidental death. Bodies do give up. And Jimi did take heroin, which due to the control of the market by unscrupulous profiteers is often cut with dangerous contaminants. But at that period of time in London, more deaths were caused by some unusually strong heroin being made available as the Chinese made a play for the market. I'm sometimes amazed that I made it through alive when so many of my friends didn't. But anyway, Jimi died from choking on his vomit, and that should have been a preventable cause of death.

    An interviewer once asked Weiss if he had any reason to suspect that jimi died from other than natural causes. Weiss looked stunned, 'Do you mean poison?' The interviewer was stunned, 'No. Suicide.'

    The really paranoid theory is that someone was paid to kill Jimi. Or scare him. I think murder is a distinct possibility. Jimi may have been under surveillance. Were the ambulance men really ambulance men? Was it a plot, like the kidnapping in the sack? Recently, while working in Italy, I was told that a French hitman had definitely been hired to kill Jimi, and did it by getting him to take something at the house he visited. There is no question that Jimi was a mess and was involved with some pretty creepy people. Billy Cox wasn't the only one to feel threatening vibes. In an interview, jazz musician Sam Rivers once discussed the possibility that Jimi was murdered by organised crime because of his determination to set up a union to arrange concerts and produce and distribute records. I can't see Jirni being able to do this, but his participation would have attracted many to the effort. Or might there have been a personal vendetta - a pregnant woman, a rejected lover or business associate? I doubt that anyone will ever know for sure - unless there is a murderer out there.

    The coroner gave an open verdict, which was kept very quiet. Both Warner Brothers and Jeffery and Chandler Inc. had Jimi insured for a million dollars. Generally, insurance companies don't pay if it's suicide, though I believe some do if the policy has been held for more than two years. No one bothered to look for clues or call for a police investigation, preferring him to go down as just another musician who couldn't handle his additives.

    Alan Douglas flew to London and with Stickells brought the body back. Someone suggested a Madison Square Garden extravaganza with the body on display. During our touring days, there were times when we'd discussed our deaths and how we wanted them to be. jimi had always said he wanted to be buried in England, where he'd been given a chance and had 'made it'. Jimi's family brought his body home to Seattle, but they had control over very little else. I'd only met Jimi's father a few times and found him to be a gentle and sincere person - too nice to be confronted with this freak scene. It was bad enough to lose your son, without having the tragedy commemorated with a circus. Jimi had been away for such a long time. Suddenly he was a star, and suddenly he was dead and all these vultures were hanging around trying to be photographed with the family. As next of kin,Jimi's dad became surrogate 'star'. How could he hope to cope?
    The funeral was a complete nightmare for me. The coffin was open. I think it's a ghastly custom. Everyone was expected to parade by and look, but I just couldn't. Mitch and I cried and held hands for strength.

    I looked around and was horrified. Everyone was vying for attention. Everyone had been Jimi's 'best friend'. Some who hadn't cared a lot for him alive came because it was the place to be seen. There were about twenty five limos. The preacher went on and on when he should have just said, 'We loved him. He played great guitar and gave so much and now he's dead.' His white Fender guitar should have been buried with him, but instead it disappeared.

    Jirni always said he wanted a party when he died. We rented a hall, gathered up a few instruments and gave him a good send off: Buddy Miles, Johnny Winter, Mitch and myself were the nucleus of a jam session that lasted hours. Jimi would have enjoyed it. Photographs have recently surfaced, but I don't think I want to see them.

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    Re: "Until We Meet Again : The Last Weeks Of Jimi Hendrix"

    From: John McDermott with Eddie Kramer - Setting the Record Straight (1992)

    To facilitate Chandler's return as producer, Hendrix knew he
    would have to put distance between Jeffery and Chandler—as well as
    Jeffery and himself—if the move was to be successful. If needed,
    Hendrix told Chandler, his friend Alan Douglas had pledged his sup
    port. "The first time I ever heard the name Alan Douglas was that
    Wednesday night," explains Chas. "Hendrix told me that he had spent
    the previous night with him at Douglas's friend's flat in Knightsbridge,
    and that this guy would be available to help if we decided to ease out
    Jeffery. Then he said to me—and I remember the sentence—'He can
    help, but I don't want that guy to have anything to do with my music' "
    Following his consultation with Chandler, Hendrix traveled to
    Ronnie Scott's Club, hoping to sit in with Eric Burdon and War. Hendrix
    had been to the club once before that week, joining Alan and Stella
    Douglas, Devon Wilson and a group of friends. At that time, however,
    284 ♦ HENDRIX
    Terry McVay, formerly road manager for the Animals and now with
    War, refused to let him take the stage. "When he came in here the first
    time," says McVay, "I wouldn't let him jam. He looked disoriented
    [several members of War would later say Hendrix looked slightly
    "smacked out," a possibility considering Wilson's presence and the
    unrelenting grip heroin had over her]. When he came back [September
    16], he was alone, looking clean and sharp. With a smile, Jimi asked,
    'Can I play now? I've even brought my own cord!' I told him I would
    consider it a pleasure. He plugged into Howard Scott's [War's guitarist]
    Yamaha GE 12 and those two went at it all night. Hendrix played well,
    and that was one of Scott's best nights ever."
    On that night Hendrix phoned Gerry Stickells. "He was very en
    thusiastic," says Stickells, "saying he wanted to get back to New York
    and finish the album. He was very positive about returning to the
    music and the studio."
    "Gerry Stickells told me that I would be flying back to New York
    with Hendrix," recalls Gene McFadden. "Since we weren't going to be
    touring for a while, management wanted me home. As it turned out,
    I flew back to New York beside an empty seat."
    Hendrix spent most of September 17 with Monika Dannemann, a
    girlfriend from West Germany living on Lansdowne Crescent in Lon
    don. Shuttling between his suite at the Cumberland Hotel and Dannemann's
    garden flat, Hendrix spent a skittish day running errands
    and making business calls, the most important of which, remembers
    Dannemann, was to his attorney, Henry Steingarten. Hendrix, she ex
    plains, had decided to reinstate Chas Chandler as his manager, and
    wanted Eddie Kramer to bring all of the tapes they had been working
    on to London. Jimi, she says, informed Henry Steingarten of this and
    instructed him to begin whatever procedures were necessary to en
    tirely eliminate Michael Jeffery from his affairs. "Steingarten asked Jimi
    if he had given the consequences of such an action enough consider
    ation," remembers Dannemann. "As he answered I had never seen
    him so determined. He told the lawyer that he was completely sure
    and wanted him to start proceedings right away. After he hung up he
    told me that if he [Steingarten] didn't do it, he'd just find another
    lawyer to do as he asked."
    Dannemann's details of the evening of September 17, as testified
    to Westminster City Coroner Gavin Thurston, are sketchy, but remain
    the only firsthand account of Hendrix's last hours:
    "He got up and had something to eat, then I took some photos
    of him for my work. We met some people at his hotel, where he
    A TRAGIC LOSS ♦ 285
    telephoned New York. He went to the flat of a person we had met and
    stayed for about one hour. We arrived home at about 8:30 in the
    evening. [There] I cooked a meal, and around 11 p.m. we drank a bottle
    of wine. I washed my hair and we listened to music. He told me that
    at 1:45 a.m. he had to go see someone at their flat, they were people
    he didn't like. I dropped him off in my car and picked him up an hour
    later. During the time we were apart, we spoke three times on the
    telephone. Just after 3:00 a.m. we went back to my flat. We talked and
    I made him two fish sandwiches. At 7:00 a.m., I took a sleeping tablet.
    I woke at 10:20 a.m. and could not sleep anymore. Hendrix was sleeping
    normally so I went to get some cigarettes. I came back and looked to
    see if he was awake and I saw that he was sick, [with] vomit around
    his mouth and nose. I listened to his breathing and took his pulse, it
    was no different than mine. I tried to awaken him but he would not
    and then I saw that he had taken some of my Vesparax sleeping tablets.
    I thought he had taken ten, but later I found one on the floor. He was
    still breathing and his heart was beating. I telephoned a friend and she
    advised me to send for an ambulance. I suppose this came about
    twenty minutes later."
    Unable to awaken Jimi, Dannemann became nervous. Wanting to
    consult with close friend Alvenia Bridges before she took any action,
    she dialed the flat of Dick Fontaine and Pat Hartley—then still on
    location in Hawaii filming Rainbow Bridge—where Bridges, Judy
    Wong, Andrew Coburn, Amanda Leer, Johnny Moke and Graham Bell
    were staying. Awakened by the ring, Judy Wong answered immediately.
    "Monika was looking for Alvenia," remembers Wong. "I told her that
    she had spent the night with Eric Burdon. She wouldn't tell me what
    was wrong but she did say, 'If I can't reach Alvenia, I'm going to need
    your help.' When Monika called back sometime later, she and Alvenia
    were at the hospital crying hysterically."
    Dannemann did reach Alevnia, but she had no idea who Hendrix's
    London doctor was. "I knew Jimi's doctor's last name was Robertson,
    because Jimi had taken Billy Cox to see him," she remembers. "I
    looked in his phone book, but there were too many Robertsons listed.
    I called Alvenia because she knew Jimi and had lived in London for
    some time. She didn't know Jimi's doctor's name either. Eric Burdon
    then got on the phone and asked what was happening. I told him Jimi
    was sick and wouldn't wake up, and that I wanted to call an ambulance.
    He told me to wait, and that maybe he would wake up on his own. I
    insisted and he said, 'Then call your fucking ambulance,' "
    Eric Burdon's account differs from Dannemann's. In his autobiog286
    ♦ HENDRIX
    raphy, he claims to have phoned Dannemann back, imploring her to
    call an ambulance without further delay. Dannemann, says Burdon,
    told him, "I can't have people around here now, there's all kinds of
    stuff in the house." Burdon insisted, saying, "I don't care, get the illegal
    stuff and just throw it down the toilet, do anything you can, but get an
    ambulance now, we're on our way over."
    Resting on his side, his head at the edge of the bed, Hendrix lay
    prostrate in his own vomit for nine minutes—the time it took for the
    ambulance to arrive. During this time, Dannemann again tried, without
    success, to awaken him. "I knew he hadn't tried to commit suicide
    because he had only taken nine out of the forty [sleeping pills] that
    were still in the cupboard."
    Notting Hill police sergeant John Shaw confirmed the grim details.
    Hendrix "had been found by Monika Dannemann at 11:00 a.m. to have
    been sick in his sleep, lying in a pool of vomit. The ambulance was
    called at 11:18 a.m. and arrived at 11:27 a.m. I went to St. Mary Abbot'
    Hospital where I saw the lifeless body of Jimi Hendrix at 11:45 a.m."
    If the testimony of Shaw is accurate, Hendrix went without medi
    cal attention for at least twenty-seven minutes (the time span beginning
    with Dannemann's return to the flat, estimated by Shaw to be between
    10:45 and 11:00), too much time for his overburdened heart. Hendrix
    clung to life until the ambulance reached the hospital: there, his heart
    swelled and spinal column congested, his system too slowed by the
    combination of alcohol and barbiturates to recover. At twenty-seven,
    Jimi Hendrix was dead.
    As Hendrix lay dead in St. Mary Abbot Hospital, Gerry Stickells
    was roused by a frantic phone call, instructing him to go there at once.
    Though he raced to the hospital from his Elgin Crescent flat, all he
    could do was identify the body for local officials.
    Dazed and saddened by Hendrix's unexpected death, Stickells
    slowly set about collating the morning's fateful events and informing
    his co-workers of the tragedy amid the fog of shock and disbelief that
    shrouded the hospital's emergency-reception area. Michael Jeffery was
    in Spain and had not left a phone number. Instead, Stickells reached
    Bob Levine, still asleep (because of the U.K.-U.S. time difference, Stickells's
    call was placed between 6 and 7 a.m. New York time) at his home
    in Manhattan. "I was stunned," recalls Levine. "I was wondering if I
    was dreaming. I wasn't."
    Though no member of Hendrix's management team was able to
    reach Jeffery, he still managed to learn of his artist's untimely end. "I
    was in Spain with Jeffery and we were supposed to have dinner that
    A TRAGIC LOSS ♦ 287
    night in Majorca," remembers Jim Marron. "He called me from his
    club in Palma saying that he would have to cancel. I said, 'Mike, we've
    already made reservations.' He said, 'Well... there is good reason. I've
    just got word from London. Jimi's dead.' I said, 'What!' He said, 'I always
    knew that son of a bitch would pull a quickie.' I was stunned. 'A
    quickie?' 'Yeah, look at that! He's up and done it!' Basically, he had lost
    a major property. You had the feeling that he had just lost a couple of
    million dollars—and was the first to realize it. My first reaction was,
    'Oh my God, my friend is dead.'
    "The next day," continues Marron, "I met with Jeffery to assess
    what exactly had happened. Being away from London, and having
    traveled in such shady circles himself, Jeffery didn't know if Hendrix's
    death had been a hit or just his own misadventure. He told me that he
    was going to conduct his own investigation and that I should trust no
    one."
    From Spain, Jeffery secretly flew to London in an effort to clarify
    the circumstances that had led to the death of his star client. First and
    foremost on his agenda was a confrontation with Devon Wilson and
    her cadre of Colette Mimram and Alan and Stella Douglas. On Septem
    ber 20, Jeffery phoned Alan Douglas and requested that he come to
    his hotel. "When I arrived, he was bent over, in misery from a recent
    back injury," remembers Douglas. "We started talking and he let it all
    out. It was like a confession. The one thing he said that I'll never forget
    was, 'Every time I had a woman I cared for, at some point I would
    realize that she was with me only to get to him.' In my opinion, Jeffery
    hated Hendrix because Jimi had slept with [Jeffety's girlfriend] Lynn
    Bailey. Being so open, Hendrix couldn't have understood why Jeffery
    might be upset."
    Back in New York, the question of Jeffery's whereabouts remained
    unanswered. "We tried calling all of Jeffery's contacts—from [his club]
    Sgt. Pepper's to the Hotel Victoria in Majorca—trying to reach him,"
    remembers Bob Levine. "We were getting frustrated because Hendrix's
    body was going to be held up in London for two weeks and we wanted
    Jeffery's input on the funeral service. A full week after Hendrix's death,
    he finally called. Hearing his voice, I immediately asked what his plans
    were and would he be going to Seattle. 'What plans?' he asked. I said,
    'The funeral.' 'What funeral?' he replied. I was exasperated: 'Jimi's!' The
    phone went quiet for a while and then he hung up. The whole office
    was staring at me, unable to believe that with all of the coverage on
    radio, print and television, Jeffery didn't know that Jimi had died. He
    called back in five minutes and we talked quietly. He said, 'Bob, I
    288 ♦ HENDRIX
    didn't know,' and was asking about what had happened. While I didn't
    confront him, I knew he was lying because I had spoken to people
    who saw him at a patty Track Records had staged in London the
    night before Hendrix died. I knew everybody who had attended, from
    Douglas's pair—Stella and Colette—to Devon, as well as friends from
    Harold Davison's office. It was impossible for him to have slipped
    incognito into Spain without hearing about Jimi's death."
    Fleet Street press had a field day with Hendrix's death, blazing
    headlines informing readers of the "Wild Man of Pop" 's lurid personal
    life. So cleverly manipulated by Jeffery and Chandler during Hendrix's
    lifetime,.the newspapers, true to form, now seemed bent on destroying
    his memory. Tales of Hendrix's "last hours" and "lost days" were
    standard fare. One such article invented its own dramatic scenario:
    "I need help bad, man." These words, gasped into a telephoneanswering
    machine in an empty office, are the epitaph of Jimi
    Hendrix, idol of millions and prophet-in-chief of the drug
    generation.
    They were spoken at 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning and
    discovered on the tape when the office opened at 10:00 a.m.
    Charles Chandler of the Robert Stigwood show business
    empire and Hendrix's former manager, made a frantic phone call
    to the Notting Hill number the pop idol had given.
    But Hendrix, a cocaine addict, was already near death. "Call
    me a bit later, man," he groaned.
    Within hours he was dead. At 24. A victim of the pop-anddrugs
    culture he helped perpetuate.
    Further damaging Hendrix's reputation was Eric Burdon's bizarre "rev
    elation" that Jimi may have committed suicide. In an interview broad
    cast on September 21 with Kenneth Allsop for the BBC television
    program 24 Hours, Burdon described Hendrix's death as "deliberate,"
    adding that Jimi had "made his exit when he wanted to." Citing a poem
    Hendrix had allegedly crafted the evening before his death, Burdon
    surmised that Hendrix "had used the drug to phase himself out of this
    life and go someplace else."
    Burdon's comments caused a firestorm in Britain and abroad,
    increasing the already intense scrutiny and speculation over the final
    sketchy hours of Hendrix's life. In addition, Burdon's allegation tempo
    rarily jeopardized the Lloyd's of London insurance payout to Warner
    Bros. "We had a big insurance policy on Hendrix that covered the
    A TRAGIC LOSS ♦ 289
    money we lent him for the studio," explains Reprise vice president
    Joe Smith. "We were preparing to approach Lloyd's of London when
    Eric Burdon went on television saying that Hendrix had killed himself.
    I remember calling him and saying, 'You fucker, don't open your
    mouth again! That's our insurance policy!' "
    Burdon's evidence, a sensitive, albeit rambling work of original
    Hendrix poetry given to him by Dannemann, suited his purpose more
    successfully in part than in whole, as the poem-song's last verse seemed
    open to interpretation. Many fans and writers, searching to solve the
    riddle of Hendrix's undignified death, accepted it as Jimi's own ac
    knowledgment of his impending demise.
    The story
    of life is quicker
    than the wink of an eye
    The story of love
    is hello and goodbye
    Until we meet again.
    While Burdon would later repudiate his suicide claim, citing, in his
    own autobiography, the Allsop interview as a regretful, shameful exer
    cise, his initial claim ignited a destructive thought process that has
    dramatically shaped the posthumous Hendrix legend. "The Story of
    Life," his fabled "last" work, curiously, like "Black Gold," has emerged
    as a cipher of sorts, one of the clues or signposts that Hendrix enthusi
    asts are not to ignore should they wish to fully understand the true
    Hendrix. In the years following Hendrix's death—especially during
    Alan Douglas's reign as steward of the Hendrix tape closet—great
    emphasis has been placed on such ciphers while seemingly dis
    counting Hendrix's achievements with the Experience, creating a bi
    zarre dichotomy best described by critic Dave Marsh in 1980:
    [Hendrix] was a prophet who had known some honor, almost all
    of it exactly the wrong kind, a prolific and profligate creator who
    left almost everyone who heard or saw him with the distinct
    impression that the heartcenter of his work remained tantalizingly
    out of reach. So even today, as scraps of his music never intended
    for public consumption are steadily dredged up, each one is
    greeted with nervous anticipation, as if the right six hundred feet
    of tape might open up and clarify the dimensions and secrets of
    290 ♦ HENDRIX
    his ambition, recasting his music in comprehensible fashion,
    reducing it to something intellectually explicable.
    Douglas's initial foray into the Hendrix legacy was principally based
    on two such ciphers—his attempt to remodel Hendrix as a frustrated
    jazzman mired amid the trappings of psychedelia, and the promise
    of "Black Gold," described by Douglas as "a kind of musical auto
    biography."
    Burdon's suicide claim further cheapened Hendrix's already frag
    ile legacy. Though touted initially by Burdon's supporters as the miss
    ing link, "The Story of Life" is remarkably similar to a number of other
    Hendrix compositions—released and unreleased—in which themes
    of God, love and death are frequently prevalent. In fact, his boasts
    within "Voodoo Chile" and "I Don't Live Today," namely, "I'll see you
    in the next world and don't be late" and "I don't live today, maybe
    tomorrow I just can't say," could both be interpreted as foreboding
    and perhaps even more menacing than any verse within "The Story of
    Life."
    Casting aside Burdon's claims, Michael Jeffery concluded his pri
    vate investigation unable to find any evidence of foul play. Gnawing at
    him was the notion that Hendrix's death had resulted from a reckless
    oversight that could have been prevented. Says Jim Marron: "Jeffery
    found Jimi's death hard to accept. As his personal manager, the image
    of his million-dollar rock star drowning in his own vomit was ugly and
    hard to dismiss. Though he knew Hendrix had neither committed
    suicide nor been murdered, he never went public with his feelings
    because they would have hurt his record sales. Jeffery didn't want to
    tell the truth—as ugly and simple as it was—because he was afraid
    that it would pop the bubble. He believed in mystique; it was the basis
    of his entire management-marketing technique. When people didn't
    know the answers, they created mystique, and Jeffery felt that to keep
    them interested, you always had to keep them guessing."
    In New York, a New York City Surrogate Court approved Al Hen
    drix's request that Henry Steingarten be named the administrator of
    his son's estate, conservatively estimated to be worth some $500,000.
    Because Jimi had died without a will outlining the disposal of his
    assets, Al Hendrix was named sole beneficiary. While in Manhattan, Al
    Hendrix also tried to take account of his son's possessions, visiting
    Michael Jeffery at Electric Lady Studios and Jimi's modest 59 West 12th
    Street apartment. "Jimi's dad was a proud, gentle man," remembers
    Jim Marron. "Jeffery and Stickells were being as polite as they could,
    A TRAGIC LOSS ♦ 291
    a 'Yes, Mr. Hendrix, no, Mr. Hendrix' type of thing. They took him to
    Jimi's apartment and Al Hendrix was horrified. He said, 'Where is
    everything?' Instead of this monumental Hollywood or Las Vegas style
    of wealth he had envisaged, all he found were tapestries on the wall
    and Indian pillows on the floor. Inside the vault at Electric Lady, where
    we had stored Jimi's guitars and tapes, Al saw them and asked if he
    could take them back to Seattle. Jeffery offered to package them up
    and ship them to him." (Shortly thereafter, Marron alleges, when the
    cases arrived in Seattle many were empty—the guitars had vanished
    and were never found.)
    In keeping with New York state law, Henry Steingarten began
    converting all of Jimi's known assets to cash. This process, set in place
    immediately, included a blind auction of many of Hendrix's personal
    possessions. His Corvette and a number of Stratocasters were among
    the items unceremoniously sold to the highest bidder. In all, Al Hen
    drix was presented with some $21,000 in cash, a pittance considering
    the Experience's recent U.S. and European tour revenues. Jeffery had
    taken Hendrix's share of the European funds and funneled it back into
    Electric Lady Studios, which, although nearly completed, was in dire
    need of operating capital. Though Al Hendrix now controlled his son's
    many valuable publishing and recording contracts, as well as a 50
    percent share in Electric Lady Studios Inc., Jimi's personal finances
    were in shambles.

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