Savage Roads

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jimi the last day 17/09/1970

Today is the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix last day on earth. What a tragic night it was. He does look tired and worn out and even somewhat sad in this picture taken by Monika Dannemen who took a series of photos of him in the garden behind her apartment in London this morning 43 years ago today. This rare image marks the last photo ever made of Jimi Hendrix. 

The extremely sensitive Hendrix was unraveling under an unprecedented amount of personal and professional stress and was particularly vulnerable to negative elements during these two weeks in London. Hendrix spoke of suicide and death frequently during this period. He was essentially surrounded by sharks and sycophants and had no real support network to help him through this rough time in his life.

On the night of his death, he had a bad argument with his German girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, that was recounted by several witnesses. Sometime after retiring, Hendrix apparently took a deliberate overdose of extremely-powerful sleeping tablets. Dannemann, for whatever reason (anger/vengeance is implied) seems to have poured wine down his throat as he lay choking on his vomit.

The coroner recorded an "open verdict," since a verdict of suicide would have invalidated the million-dollar insurance policies held on Hendrix by his manager and record company (evidently standard practice in the music business). Thus, Hendrix's suicide has gone down in history as an "accidental overdose."

Fast forward to 1996, Dannemann committed suicide when her version of events was blown apart in a court case brought by another of Hendrix's ex-girlfriends, Kathy Etchingham.

RIP Jimi. You were and remain my biggest influence as a guitarist and writer.

Pat Savage

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