The death of Jimi Hendrix
I know, this site is a record guide but this subject needs attention.
The circumstancies surrounding Jimi's death have been subject to much speculation. Theories abound claiming that it was suicide, an accident and even that it was a murder conspiracy, instigated by his manager Michael Jeffrey and in collusion with Jimi's own road crew (Gerry Stickells and Eric Barrett), one of his girlfriends (Monika Danneman), Eric Burdon and his girlfriend Alvenia, hired hit-men, the New York mafia, the CIA, the British government, MI5 (or was it MI6?), Scotland Yard and not forgetting the freemasons! All teamed up to make sure Jimi was murdered and the whole thing covered up.
Utter crackpot stuff of course and the problem is, a lot of people have been duped by this nonsense.
All this "Jimi was murdered" thing stems from two sources.
- the fraudulent, struck-off the register Dr. Bannister, who either accurately remembered a different patient or made his entire story up (making enormous blunders along the way).
Bannister's story also didn't correspond at all with what the ambulance staff or the other hospital staff had stated, or with the autopsy and the coroner's report.
- the ex-roadie Tappy Wright, who invented a murder story and later admitted that he made the whole thing up in order to help the sales of his book!
Without these two sources, the conspiracy theorists have nothing whatsoever upon which they can base their ludicrous claims.
To see things a little more clearly (as clearly as I can make it for now, given the entire jumble of stuff that has been written about it - and hell, I have a life), here is a sequence of events in the hope that it gives a better picture of what actually happened on September 17th and 18th 1970.
After Fehmarn Island pop festival
While in London, after the aborted European tour, Jimi had checked into the Cumberland Hotel and spent a week flitting around London with his girlfriend Kirsten Nefer but from September 15th (when Nefer left for a film role with future James Bond actor George Lazenby) he was also using a basement flat (which had been rented by Eric Burdon for Monika Danneman, a friend of his girlfriend Alvenia Bridges) at the Samarkand Hotel. Jimi had no baggage there but as always, he had a guitar around - his favourite "Black Beauty" Strat. Jimi in fact often used his many girlfriend's places to escape from the pressure of fans or even his own entourage and management.
Jimi had met Danneaman in January 1969 while in Dusseldorf and had renewed contact with her on his return to Europe for the 1970 tour. Various reports state that Jimi had proposed marriage to at least two girls around this time - Kirsten Nefer and Danneman (or so she claimed). She seemed to have become totally infatuated with him.
The journalist Sharon Lawrence was a close friend of Jimi's and she recounts in her book ("Jimi Hendrix: The Man, The Magic, The Truth") that she met Jimi at Ronnie Scott's Club (on Turesday, September 15th) where Eric Burdon & War had a short residency. She describes him as being in a sorry state, not even recognising her at first. "His face was ashen and his brown eyes appeared exhausted and even frightened. Newer had I seen him like this. "Sharon..." he said. "Oh Sharon." He gazed at me and he muttered, "I"m Almost gone."
The following night Jimi jammed a little with Eric Burdon & War at Ronnie Scotts Club.
Here is the sequence of events during the evening of September 17, 1970 :
Scotch of St. James?
Eric Clapton said that he saw Jimi in a bar that evening but didn't join him. Very recently (June 2011), musician Meic Stevens stated that he was with Jimi at the Scotch.
Apparently, Jimi was intrigued that Stevens was drinking Louis St George Burgundy and wanted to try it. Stevens added: "[Hendrix] was drinking lager or some kind of beer and he just poured the wine in to the pint glass." So this at least shows that Jimi was in a festive mood.
The visit to Phillip Harvey's appartment
Phillip Harvey, the son of the late British politician Lord Harvey of Prestbury and member of the Parliament for the Conservative party, wrote a detailed affidavit describing several hours he and two female friends spent with Hendrix and Dannemann, on September 17, 1970, the day before Hendrix died. The affidavit, which emerged in 1995 after the death of Harvey's father, stated that Phillip Harvey and two female companions, Penny Ravenhill (then 16) and Anne Day (then 19), spent about five hours, from about 5:30pm until 10:40pm with Jimi Hendrix and Monika Dannemann at Phillip Harvey's home on the evening of September 17, 1970, the night before Jimi's death. Harvey's home was at 4, Clarkes Mews, London, just behind the King Edward VI Hospital off Beaumont Street.
Phillip Harvey was driving along in his 1968 Mustang with two young and attractive teenagers in the front seat with him. The girls saw Jimi and waved, and Jimi waved back. They came up next to each other and got to chatting. Harvey invited Jimi to his home for a drink, and Jimi accepted, but first they followed him to the Cumberland Hotel, where Jimi got his messages, and then Jimi, with Monika driving, followed Harvey to his nearby home. Monika parked her sports car in front of Harvey's fashionable town home. Harvey described most of the time spent with Hendrix as "remarkably pleasant" but Dannemann was anti-social and later became violently hostile. The following is an excerpt from Phillip Harvey's affidavit:
"With the exception of Monika who, as the evening progressed, appeared to me to become more and more upset, we had been having a remarkably pleasant evening, happy and interested in each other's company. Then about 10:00pm at a particular moment when Jimi had gone to the downstairs cloakroom, Monika quite suddenly, and for no particular apparent reason, got up and stormed down the four steps leading from the reception room, through the double glass doors, past the door to the cloakroom, down the hall and out of the front door into the mews [presumably a courtyard], shouting as she left, "I'm leaving! I'm leaving now! I've had enough!" Jimi who had obviously heard something quickly came out of the cloakroom and back into the reception room. I explained to him briefly what had happened. He looked at us in a most embarrassed way and raised his eyebrows to the ceiling. He said, "I'd better go and see what's wrong with her." He then followed her out into the mews leaving the front door ajar.
In the kitchen and the hall at the front of the house, I could hear Monika out in the mews shouting at Jimi at the top of her voice, even though the individual words themselves were indistinct. There was even some noise in the reception room at the back of the house. At one point, when Monika's screaming reached a particular prolonged high peak, I went to the front door to see what was happening. I was genuinely concerned that blows might be struck, and I was also worried that the loud screaming might provoke a complaint to the police from the management of the King Edward VI hospital on the other side of the mews directly opposite the house.
Jimi was just standing quietly there in the mews while Monika verbally assaulted him in the most offensive possible way. As I approached them, I remember hearing her shout at him, "You fucking pig!" I interrupted them and suggested that they should come back into the house as I didn't want the police called. Monika simply carried on shouting at Jimi, telling me viciously to mind my own business. She didn't seem to care less that she might be disturbing the neighborhood or, indeed, making a public spectacle of herself. In fact, Clarkes Mews is very quiet, especially at night, and I saw no sign of anybody else in the vicinity. I went back inside the house, leaving the front door open ajar so that they could come back inside the house if they wanted to.
Monika's haranguing of Jimi continued in my best estimation for about half an hour. I went outside one further time to try and cool things down, and to see if anybody else's attention had been attracted to the scene, but Monika's shouting was at such a pitch that I decided not to interfere again. While I did not personally see any blows struck and Jimi, on two occasions I went outside, looked remarkably calm given the viciousness of Monika's language, the violence in her voice and posture would suggest to me that she might well have struck him during the extended scene. I was actually quite worried that Monika might resort to serious physical violence, but Jimi appeared to me to be a fit man and I thought that, on balance, he was probably quite capable of looking after himself, and I had only just met them earlier that day and didn't know any details about their relationship.
At about 10:30pm Jimi came back into the house alone, and walked into the reception room where Penny, Anne and I were still wondering what was going to happen next. He apologized profusely for Monika's behavior and said he was very embarrassed. He said he didn't really know what was wrong with her but she had obviously had too much to drink. He said that Monika refused to come back into the house and that, as he couldn't abandon her, he would have to leave with her. He said that my house at 4 Clarkes Mews was the nicest scene he had found in London and that he would definitely visit us again when he got back from the USA which he thought would be in a few weeks' time…He thanked the two girls and myself for our generous hospitality. I saw him out into the mews and he left with Monika driving the car. Monika was still screaming at Jimi as they left and she did not say a word to me. The time was about 10:40pm."
Devon Wilson Stella Douglas Angie Burdon
The visit to Peter Cameron's appartment
Dannemann maintained at the inquest and in statements to the public and to writers and others that after the encounter with Harvey, Anne, and Penny, she and Hendrix went to her basement appartment at the Samarkand Hotel. But others maintain that he went on to a party at the home of Peter Cameron very soon after the visit to Harvey's. Jimi did not take Monika in with him presumably because his long standing American girlfriend Devon Wilson was there. Also at the party were Alan Douglas's wife Stella, Angie Burdon and several others. Dannemann maintains that Jimi asked her to pick him up after a short time, but those at the party indicate that Jimi came, ate Chinese food (including rice), hung out, and was cool until sometime later when Dannemann began ringing him on the intercom. He put her off but she persisted by coming back in half an hour. This became a heated thing. Stella got on the intercom and was extremely rude to Monika. This did not put her off. Pretty soon, Angie recalled, guests were hanging out the window yelling at Monika. They cried, "Fuck off" and "Leave him alone," yet Dannemann persisted. Then finally he went to the intercom, mumbled something, and then without saying anything, just got into the elevator and split. "That was around three in the morning by then," according to Angie Burdon. This may have angered Dannemann all the more since Jimi had stayed so long at a party where she was not welcome, and in fact had been ridiculed, insulted, and cursed. After this party, Jimi and Monika apparently went back to the Samarkand Hotel appartment.
To add to the mystery, the Daily Mail was given a very different version of Hendrix's death by a musician who was at the party. "I heard the next day that Jimi had asked for some drugs known as leapers but had been given sleepers instead. It was an understandable mistake, the music was so loud," the source said. "He started to go and people were slapping him, trying to wake him up, but with all those pills inside him it was doing no good. People were trying everything they could think of to get him back, but Jimi was gone. As far as I am aware from people who were there, Jimi died at the party - not in bed at his girlfriend's flat.'"
- This doesn't really fit with the account above that Jimi simply left promptly after talking to Monika on the intercom (unless he was out cold while the others were telling Monika to "Fuck off" and only came to his senses shortly before he left).
The Samarkand Hotel basement appartment
So after flitting hap-hazardly, around London Jimi decided to go back to Monika's basement hotel suite at The Samarkand Hotel at around 3:30 a.m. Jimi was in fact registered at The Cumberland Hotel, so everyone assumed that was where he was staying. Even his road manager Gerry Stickells (who always knew where Jimi was) didn't know he had gone to The Samarkend - when the tragic news came through, he had dashed to The Cumberland.
Monika Danneman's accounts of what happenned have been totally discredited over the years (thanks to the declarations that the ambulance crew made in the 90s), so it is not exactly clear what actually went on there that early morning. One clue to what happened at The Samarkand was recounted by Jimi's friend Buzzy Linhart, who was in New York when he heard of Jimi's death. He went to Electric Lady Studios to find out more and received a phone call:
"I picked up the telephone on the receptionist's desk and it was Dolly Dagger (Devon Wilson) telling me I had to believe her. What she told me was that Jimi had called her the day or so before and told her that he had been up for days. He had talked to his doctor in New York City and the doctor said "You've got to get some sleep" - the doctor said "Do you want me to call in some sleeping pills for you to a doctor I know in London?" Jimi said" No, that's OK, there's Tuinols in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom here." They agreed that Jimi- having a great tolerance to this type of drug -would need to take 3 capsules. But this turned out to be the German Tuinols which were the EQUIVALENT of three a piece, so they turned out to have the potency of 9 capsules." (from Inside The Legacy Of Jimi Hendrix by Joe Viglione and Buzzy Linhart)
This is strange. If we are to take Devon's account as being factual, Jimi's doctor (no idea who that was) gave Jimi the go ahead to take three tablets. The doctor perhaps had only Jimi's word that the pills were Tuinals. There is the possibilty that Jimi in fact had Monika's German Vesparex in his hand but recognised their listed contents and simply called them Tuinals (which was the brand name he was familiar with). It must be remembered that this whole "9 pills" thing comes only from Danneaman's statement that she had four boxes of 10 pills and that 9 were taken from one box. On the afternoon of that tragic September 18th, Monika told Sharon Lawrence that Jimi had taken her "prescription tablets". Sharon asked if Monika had given the tablets to Jimi and she said "No, he must have found them in the bathroom cupboard". However, Monika told Kathy Etchingham (when they first met at Kathy's house, along with Mitch and Noel, in the early 80s) that is was she who gave Jimi "some" of her Vesparex tablets and when they seemed to have no effect, she gave him some more! She also recounted the same thing to a German journalist but later tried to deny it. She said she thought he had taken "about nine" and that the pills were "very weak"! However, Danneman has since been totally discredited and we can not take anything she said seriously. So the amount of pills and exactly what type of pills were taken, remains unclear. Did the "barbiturates" found in his blood at the hospital represent the equivalent of 3 Tuinals plus the "sleepers" rumoured to have been taken at Cameron's home or 9 Vesparex taken at Danneman's? If Jimi had taken only 3 tablets, then we are far from a suicide attempt at least. Whatever, during her 90s investigation, Kathy Etchingham asked the opinion of a forensicdoctor (Dr. Rufus Compton) about the details on the autopsy report and he said that the barbituate reading in Jimi's liver was so high that he couldn't have survived.
In the morning Monika panicked about Jimi being unresponsive. She tried to phone her friend Alvenia Bridges who she thought was at Pat Hartley and Dick Fontain's house. Judy Wong answered the phone and gave Monika the phone number of the Russel Hotel, where she knew Alvenia had spent the night with Eric Burdon. When she got through to Alvenia, Monika asked her if she knew who Jimi's doctor was. Alvenia, who answered the phone, recounted that Monika was hysterical, saying that Jimi wouldn't wake up and that he was vomiting. Alvenia screamed at Monika to turn Jimi over, so that he wouldn't choke. Monika did nothing except panic. On September 18th, a crying Eric Burdon told Jimi's close friend Sharon Lawrence that Monika had phoned "in the middle of the night". Eric had been playing at Ronnie Scott's club until the early hours of the morning and must have got to bed at around 2 or 3 in the morning, so "the middle of the night" would've been anything from 6 to 10 o'clock. In his autobiography, Eric says that the first call came in "at the crack of dawn... the first light of dawn was coming through the window".
Eric told Sharon (on September 18th) that he told Monika to call an ambulance. Then he said that Monika "rung up again later...she still hadn't done anything for him...she said she'd gone for a packet of cigarettes" (in the 90s, Monika told Kathy Etchingham that she had driven her car down Queensway to find somewhere open).
In a later interview, Eric said that when Monika first called, he told her that it was probably nothing and that she should just slap Jimi to wake him up, give him some coffee... and he hung up. He said he had second thoughts later and called Monika back, urging her to call an ambulance. So which is it Eric? He said that Monika refused to call an ambulance, saying that Jimi would be furious at all the upset and that the place was littered with drug paraphanalia. In Tony Brown's book "A Visual Documentary", there is a quote from Monika saying: "Eric Burdon came to the phone, telling me not to phone an ambulance and to wait and see. I said that I had to get an ambulance and he agreed, he just said - Well, fucking hell, then just do what you want". Burdon also once told Kathy Etchingham "I might have phoned the ambulance". Hell Eric, just be clear about things, be honest!
When Gerry Stickells first got the alert (from Terry Slater, one of Eric Burdon's roadies) that something was wrong with Jimi, he dashed directly to The Cumberland Hotel because that was where Jimi was booked-in that week. He had no idea that Jimi was staying at Monika's suite. From The Cumberland, he went directly to the hospital (see Scenario 3 below).
Monika later said that she phoned the ambulance at 11:18 (which fits the official hospital records) and that Alvenia had rung her back (from Eric's place) to ask which hospital was Jimi being taken to. Monika replied that she didn't know yet, but promised to call her from the hospital to let her know. It has been said that Alvenia took off ahead of Burdon to help Jimi. In his autobiography, Burdon says that Alvenia quickly drove round to the Smarkand to help (but in a hazy 2103 interview - link below - she said that she took a taxi). Alvenia said (in that 2013 interview) that when she arrived at The Samarkand basement appartment, she found the door of the suite open and nobody inside - so the ambulance had already gone. So this was without a doubt 11:30 - 11:40 a.m (the hospital records confirm the ambualance departure time). Alvenia had asked the taxi driver to wait and then asked him where the nearest hospital was. He told her that it was St. Mary Abbotts, so off they sped the hospital, where she found a distraught Monika sitting there in the casualty ward, waiting for news of Jimi. This doesn't mean that Monika was in the ambulance (denied bu the ambulance crew and P.C. Ian Smith. She must have followed the ambulance in her car.The Clean up at The Samarkand
This clear, no agenda account from the elderly Alvenia rules out Burdon's story of him arriving at the Samarkand very early and seeing "Love" in Jimi's handwriting in the condensation on Monika's car window.
Eric Burdon Eric Barrett Gerry Stickells Terry SlaterMonika had recounted to Alvenia that she had hidden the guitar that was there (Jimi's "Black Beauty" Stratocaster) and that she had Jimi's passport and other identification. She was afraid of all the fuss that would be created if the ambulance crew and police knew that the person needing assistance was a world famous rock star.
So this leaves the question of the cleaning up of the Smarkand suite. The visitors to the Smarkand basement appartment suite on the 18th were members of Jimi's crew: Gerry Stickels, Eric Barret, Terry Slater (Terry The Pill - a former Animals crew member and then War's road manager) and perhaps Eric Burdon (in the afternoon only?).
Earlier in the day of course, Alvenia had been on the phone to Monika and had jumped in a taxi to get to the Samarkend quickly. She was the first to know about Jimi's predicament (well, the second after Judy Wong) and first on the scene. She arrived at the flat, finding that the ambulance had already departed - so after about 11:40.
As it happened, the police who had been there when the ambulance arrived didn't know it was Jimi Hendrix (neither did the ambulance crew), couldn't be bothered to to any paperwork or lockdown and just left the scene, assuming that it was just another commonplace London drug death of some coloured bloke.
Version 1 - Clean-up after the ambumance had left (as recounted by the participants)
Scenario 1 - Clean-up before the ambulance came (as recounted by the participants)
In the 90s, Terry Slater told Kathy Etchingham that when he had arrived at the flat, Jimi was lying on the bed "knackered" (which doesn't necessarily mean dead). Slater said that he buried some drugs in the garden. The story goes that the crew got to the flat to clear away any incriminating drugs and grab anything essential of Jimi's, before the police came and locked the place down. It is hard to grasp why they would give a clean-up priority over trying to help Jimi. If that was the case, Jimi would have to have been so obviously stone-dead (from what they could tell) when they got there. Ambulanceman John Suau said something which might confirm this : " I didn't recognize him, don't know anybody would have recognized him, his mother wouldn't have recognized him.". However, Suau later said that Jimi was still alive when he arrived at the flat! Nothing makes sense here.
Eric Burdon (from a conversation with Kathy Etchingham in 1991) : "When I arrived there (at the Samarkand), I remember quite clearly the door being open...I think I saw Jimi on the bed...I didn't want to, you know, look at it, you know, I didn't want to look at the mess. We had to be there before. We got the guitars out, we got the drugs out of the place...she [Dannemann] didn't leave in the ambulance, she was with me." What? Eric "thinks" he saw Jimi on the bed? Something fishy there.
At one point, Burdon also said that after having cleaned the flat, they called the ambulance from a nearby phone booth. As they hid from site (with Monika), they saw Jimi's body being carried up the steep stairs in a special chair which was used for difficult access situations.
Scenario 2 - Clean-up after the ambulance had left (also as recounted by the participants!)
Eric Burdon initially said in his autobiography that when he arrived, he saw the ambumance leaving, with Monika and Alvenia left behind, crying in the street (not possible according to Alvenia's 2013 account)! So which is it Eric? In 2014, during an interview won TV with CNN, Burdon said "...walking into a room where my friend had been lying in this bed so long that I could see the indentation in the mattress..." . So was this once the ambulance had pulled away? He previously said "I think I saw Jimii on the bed"! Hell, it's one or the other Eric!
When Terry Slater made an official statement after Kathy Etchingham triggered a new investigation, he also said that he got there as the ambulance was leaving and that Monika was standing there watching it leave! This contradicted what he had previously said to Kathy (see Scenario 1). More lying somewhere. The ambulancemen had no memory of Monika being there at all (according to their initial accounts) and Police Constable Ian Smith stated that he was also at the scene in time to see the ambulance pull away. He made no reference to seeing Monika and Alvenia standing there, watching it leave. However, later accounts by John Suau implied that Moinika was in fact present! Suau said that his previously published comments were incorrect!
Scenario 3 - Clean-up in the afternoon!
I could never accept that the "clean-up crew" would've executed their task while leaving Jimi dead or dying on the bed. It just doesn't fit any logic whatsoever. So it really does look like this is what really happened.
Gerry Stickells had said that he got the alert about Jimi between 8 and 9 p.m. However, there is a quote in Caesar Glebeek's Univibes special edition from Gerry Stickells who says as soon as he got the alert that something was wrong with Jimi, he rushed to The Cumberland Hotel (he had no idea that Jimi was at the Samarkand) and found Jimi absent. He then got a call (from Alvenia apparently) and he went directly to the hospital where he discovered that Jimi was already dead. Caesar then informs us that the appartment "clean-up" in fact took place betwee 3 and 4 p.m. and that Eric Burdon wasn't present at all! This entering of the appartment was in fact illegal, which must explain why everyone was trying to cover their tracks and mix up their stories. Shortly after the quick cleaning up, three police officers arrived to interview Dannemann. They also took away bed linen for analysis. Monika and the crew were photographed by the press as they left the flat but no photos showed Eric Burdon (the photographers wouldn't have missed such a big star leaving the flat). The distraught Dannemann was taken to the Russel Hotel where Burdon was staying. The next day she returned to the flat to get some note paper, on which Jimi had written the infamous"Story Of Life" poem. It's quite possible that Burdon accompanied her and this was in fact the moment when he saw the imprint on the bed (as he describes it in the CNN interview below).
CNN interview with Eric Burdon (go to 4:30): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrlKKVsMnd8
"Interview" with Alvenia Bridges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXmx6w2IOZ8
The ambulance crew's accounts (later refuted by John Suau).
Danneman had always claimed that she was there when the ambulance crew arrived. However, in the 90s, the two ambulance attendants Reginal Jones and John Suau were interviewed by Kathy Etchingham and Dee Mitchell and they also proved that Danneman wasn't at the flat when they arrived. The ambulance reached the Samarkand Hotel at 11:27 AM. The following is Reginal Jones's description of what they found:
"It was horrific, we arrived at the flat, the door was flung open, nobody about, just the body on the bed. We called out for someone, loads of times, so we walked in. We went into the bedroom, it was dark because the curtains were still pulled, I mean the gas fire was on but you couldn't see anything, your eyes had to adjust. He was covered in vomit, there was tons of it all over the pillow, black and brown it was. His airway was completely blocked all the way down, his tongue had fallen back, he was flat on his back you see. The room was dark, we had to pull the curtains. Well we had to get the police, we only had him and an empty flat, so John ran up and radioed, got the aspirator too. We felt his pulse between his shoulders, pinched his earlobe and nose, showed a light in his eyes, but there was no response at all. I knew he was dead as soon as I walked in the room, you get a feel for it, I can't explain it, but you do and I knew he was dead. Once the police arrived which seemed like no time at all, we got him off to the hospital as quick as we could. See we just have to keep working on him and we did, my shirt was wringing wet. 'Cos the ambulances in them days, weren't equipped like they are now, we had them crazy Wadhams [type of ambulance] in them days, awful they was. We took him to St. Mary Abbots. That don't have a casualty ward now but in them days it did. That was our designated hospital for the day. There was a 'bed state' at St. Charles, you found out at the beginning of your shift what your designated hospital was."
However, Jones would later say "If there had been no pulse, then I would have attempted ressucitatation... I didn't on this patient, so there was obviously o eed to do so" - from Caesar Glebeek's Univibes special "Until We Meet Again".
The other ambulance attendant, John Suau, gave an account similar to Jones's. Saua had filled in because Jones's regular partner was off that week. Afterwards, the two men apparently never saw each other again. The following is Saua's version of events, as told the renowned Hendrix researcher Tony Brown:
"Well I remember we had a hell of a time trying to suck him out (with an aspirator). I mean the vomit was dry, and there was a hell of a lot of it. The aspirators in those days were all right but not like you have today, they couldn't shift that lot. I mean we knew it was hopeless, nothing would have worked. To tell the truth, I thought it was an overdose. It wasn't really my business to diagnose, I just had to keep working. There were no bed clothes on top of him. An ambulance crew by law just has to keep on working on him until we get him to the hospital. There was no pulse, no respiration. We got down to the flat, and there was nobody but the body on the bed. So we had to radio for the police from the ambulance. We couldn't touch anything in the flat. As I say, we knew he was gone, he was on top of the bed dressed, but I didn't recognize him, don't know anybody would have recognized him, his mother wouldn't have recognized him. He was in a pool of vomit, it was everywhere, but we are not doctors, it's our job to keep trying till we get him to the hospital, we can't proclaim him dead…I vaguely remember taking a sample of the vomit in a container, because we didn't know what he had taken. So as soon as the police arrived, we were off. I was in the back with Jimi, Reg drove. When we moved him, the gases were gurgling, you get when someone has died, it wasn't too pleasant. The vomit was all the way down, we couldn't have got an airway down. He was flat on his back, it's a shame he wasn't on his side because he probably would have pulled through."
Suau would later refute these statements saying "This patient was still alive...but he was pretty far gone" - from Caesar Glebeek's Univibes special "Until We Meet Again".
Also in Caesar's study is an extract of a letter from Mitch Mitchell's wife Dee (real name Dolores A Cullen - who conducted research ito Jimi's death with Kathy Etchingham) to Monika Danneman. Monika was tryig to get proof that she was at the Samarkand when the ambulancemen arrived. Cullen says in the letter that she asked John Suau three times about this and each time his story changed! Apparently he did say that a small blond girl was there and that she did leave with them in the ambulance - something which was denied in Kathy Etchingham's book! This thing just goes round in circles.
So what the hell to make of this? We appear to have seemingly clear eye-witness accounts courtesy of perfectly trustworthy researchers in the 1990s. Then in 2011, Caesar Glebeek publishes more recent accounts from Jones, Suau (and Dr. Seifert) which totally contradict the previous accounts! This makes it very difficult for us to confirm anything about what happened betwee the arrival of the ambulance and the arrival at the hospital.
Note that Suau's and Jones's accounts make no mention of wine at all. They speaks only of dry vomit which had blocked up Jimi's airways. If Jimi had been drowned in wine (as conspiracy theorists have claimed), liquid would easily have been evacuated by the aspirator. If he had been water-boarded with great quanitities wine filling his stomach and lungs then any food/vomit would simply have been flushed/regurgitated out. This shows clearly that murder theory is well and truly ruled out (though a manslaughter case could have applied to Daneman and gross negligence concerning her sleeping pills).
St. Mary Abbots Hospital
Jimi was brought here at 11.45am on September 18 1970. He was taken to the casualty ward and not to the morgue because the ambulance crew weren't qualified to pronounce him dead.
> Walter Price (Accident and Emergency admissios officer at the hospital) stated that when the ambulance arrived, the ambulacemen dashed into Casualty, then two doctors went to the ambulance ad tried to revive Jimi but couldn't. He said that Jimi was then taken directly to the morgue. "I heard them say later that he had died in the ambulance. They took him straight down to the mortuary. He never left the ambulance. That's definite.". No admission card was made out by Price, which would confirm what he said.
> Dr. Seifert, the Medical Registrar, also said that Jimi was't admitted to hospital but that he was take into casualty.
"Jimi was rushed into the resus* room. He was put on a monitor, but it was flat. I pounded his heart a couple of times, but there was no point in doing anything else as he was dead.... I never spoke to or saw anyone about Jimi — no woman in admissions.... No one would have been allowed to look at him or stand over him. That would never have been done. I would have done anything to save him, but it was too late, he was dead.... No nurse went out to say we'd revived him, because we didn't — that just never happened. We didn't work on him anything like an hour, just a few minutes — he was dead."
> Dr. Bob Brown (a resident doctor at St. Mary Abbott's Hospital and later an Aaustralian senator): "He had been dead for some hours,” Senator Brown said. “He’d had a bit too much to drink and whatever else and had inhaled vomitus.”
> Later in the day, press reporters on the scene were told by a "hospital spokesman" that Jimi died on the way to hospital rather than in admission.
> Jimi's friend Sharon Lawrence arrived at the hospital in the afternoon to get more details and was told that Jimi had been dead on arrival.
So again, conflicting reports. Jimi had bee "dead for hours" (Dr. Brown) or dead on arrival according to the other medical staff.
The Coroner's Office Report* stated that Dr. Seifert saw Jimi "before and after death" - this is perhaps a standard notation which means that the patient was handled by the doctor before and after the pronouncement of death. However in 2010, Dr. Seifert stated that Jimi was still alive when he arrived at the hospital - which is why they tried to save him. One simply doesn't do such a thing on a long-dead corpse. In that case, the ambulance men had got it all wrong, thinking that Jimi was already dead! They weren't doctors of course but one could argue that with all the cases that they had handled, they knew a dead body when they saw one. So confusion still reigns here. Note also that Caesar Gleebeek obtained statements more recently from ambulance man John Suau who refuted what he had said earlier! He now stated that Jimi was still alive when he got to the Samarkand Hotel. What the hell is going on here.
*That report makes no mention of a certain Dr. Bannister who later liked to put it around that he had worked hard on Jimi to bring him back to life, saying that he pumped pints of wine out of Jimi. This is utter nonsense as Seifert makes no mention of this and he has said in a letter to Univibes chief Caesar Glebeek that he had no recollection of anyone called Dr. Bannister working under him that day.
It is also important to know that it is forbidden for any medical staff in casualty to pump contents from a body before the post-mortem analysis. Bannister also said in his lusicrous account that the body that he worked on had been dead for hours. In which case, why would he work away like Dr. Frankenstein, trying to bring the person back from the dead? His account makes no sense whatsoever and yet conspiracy theorists believe in it (see more below about Bannister's whaky story).
Over the years, Dr. Seifert had given slightly conflicting accounts about Jimi's condition on arrival at the hospital. So I contacted Caesar Glebeek to get some clarity about this.
In 2010, Caesar Glebeek demanded an explanation from Dr. Seifert. For the first time ever, anywere (many thanks to Caesar), here is their exchange:
CG: "In reference to question #28: I am rather puzzled about two completely different statement you have given in the past. I now repeat these these two versions by you:
"Unfortunately because the monitor remained so inactive, it was obvious that we weren¹t able to resuscitate him, and I have always assumed that Jimi Hendrix was brought in dead.
Source: Radio interview with you for the BBC program The Wink of Any Eye: The Last Days of Jimi Hendrix, transmitted 10 September 1995."
"To say that he [Jimi] was dead when they [Reginald Jones and John Suau] got to the [Samarkand] hotel is probably incorrect. When they brought Jimi into the hospital there was still some life left in him which is why we worked so hard on him. We wouldn¹t have worked so hard trying to resuscitate him if he was already dead. There was some breathing going on whether you call that life or not is another story. I worked on him for about ten minutes, and when I couldn¹t get him to breath I then decided to shut down the oxygen and declare that he was dead. I personally couldn¹t find any sign of alcohol or anything like that on him when I examined him."
Source: filmed interview with you conducted by David Kramer in London, 23 February 2000.
In Version #1 you say, "I have always assumed that Jimi Hendrix was brought in dead and five years later you say in Version #2, "We wouldn¹t have worked so hard trying to resuscitate him if he was already dead".
I would like to think that when Jimi was wheeled into Casualty, the medical persons who triaged him (i.e. before you or Dr. Bannister attended to Jimi) would be fully qualified and would be able to spot a dead patient from a patent who¹s unconscious, and therefore if Jimi was dead that he would have been taken straight down to the morgue and not into Casualty for emergency treatment.
I would normally present both versions if and when I do not know which version is the fully correct one, but in this case your own two versions are so opposing to each other (i.e. dead vs. alive) that I prefer, if possible, to end up with one version and not two.
Dr. Seifert: "I would stick with version #2, the monitor was very inactive but obviously we needed to try to resuscitate him if possible and that is what we did."
So Dr. Seifert confirms his previous statement that Jimi wasn't quite dead on arrival. Curiouser and curioser!
In the 90s, Dr. Bannister remembers a different body from around the same time and confuses it with Hendrix - or he invents a story
Dr. Bannister, another doctor on duty that day came to the surface in the 90s, claiming all sorts of nonsense about a patient with wine all over him and in his lungs. This was invalidated by the actual evidence (Dr. Teare's autopsy) and other eye-witness accounts (ambulance crew and Dr.Seifert). Bannister had been present that day but didn't know who it was. It was afterwards that one of his aids informed that it was a famous rock star called Jimi Hendrix (Bannister had never heard of him!). He had said nothing after the incident and said nothing for over 20 years, then he popped up, implying that Jimi had drowned in wine!
Bannister said that "There was red wine all over him" and that his hair was soaked in it. However in a filmed interview in 2000, apparently (according to Caesar Glebeek) Dr. Seifert totally contradicts this, saying "I personally couldn't find any sign of alchohol or anything like that on him, when I examined him". However (yet again), there is said to exist yet another filmed interview where Seifert says that he does remember there being some wine on Jimi! That in itself is nothing extraordinary as Jimi had drunk a little wine that evening (according to Monika) and definitely had been vomiting!
Dr. Robert Donald Teare, who carried out the post-mortem examination of Jimi's body a couple of days later, made no mention whatsoever of wine on Jim's body, in his hair, in his stomach or in his lungs. No odor of wine either. Remember also that the ambulance crew also made no reference to wine all over Jimi or all over the bed - only vomit - and that his airways were blocked solid with unshiftable, dry vomit (which wouldn't have been there if Jimi had been "waterboarded" (his last meal was also still in his stomach at the autopsy).
So all this "bottles of wine" thing had nothing whatsover to do with the death of Jimi Hendrix and a close examination of Bannister's outrageous claims reveal that he made the whole thing up or was remembering a different casefrom around the same era. 20 years after his first statemets and capitalising on Tappy Wright's book of lies (lies thatt Wright himself admitted to, to Bob Levine) Bannister let it slip that the patient in question was an "unusually tall man" and that he was so tall that his feet were sticking out about 10" off the end of the gurney! This would mean a person who was around 7 feet tall - yes, unusually tall! Even a six foot three person wouldn't have their feet sticking out 10" off the end of the gurney! A doctor would see hundreds of pateints pass before him on hospital trolleys, so he would be in a good position to judge the height of a person lying on one. If Jimi had been badly positioned on the trolley, the doctor would have immediately recognised it and not been under the impression that Jimi was around seven feet tall. Note that Hospital trolleys are never less than 6 feet in length. Jimi was only 5'10/5'11.
Noel Redding in his book "Are You Experienced":"Jimi wasn't tall, but when posed with us flanking him, he photographed larger than life".So if Bannister was remembering another patient from around the same time, it could have been at any time during his service at the hospital. After all, can anyone really remember an event from 15 to 20 years past and assign it to an exact day? Bannister didn't even know who Hendrix was in 1970! In the time frame of Bannister's position at the hospital, any number of black patients would have been admitted for overdose emergencies. Kathy Etchingham's research tells us that ambulance man Reg Jones told her that the police officers at the Samarkand didn't call the CID (Criminal Investigation Department), thus declaring the appartment a crime scene because they couldn't be bothered with all the paper work! To them, the body was, to quote Kathy: "...just another dead junkie in Notting Hill". So very common-place at the time. London hospitals saw many victims of drug overdoses coming through their doors. It's not as if Jimi's arrival at St. Mary Abbott's was a unique occasion.
It could also be simply a question of Banister trying to further embellish a invented story which had been initially triggered as a pathetic attempt to boost his fast decaying reputation (i.e. being struck off the medical register for... fraud).
Also, there was no hospital documentation of wine being pumped from Jimi Hendrix in casualty. If doctors carry out such a proceedure it legally has to be documented for the medical record of the patient or the documentation concerning a death and especially documentation of the contents of a patient's stomach or lungs, if any was extracted (possible evidence of cause of death). As said above, medical staff are forbiddeen to carry out such an exercise on dead bodies before an autopsy - and Bannister said that the body he treated was long-dead!
Bannister carried out no such documentation of body content extraction simply because there was no extraction of fluid from Jimi Hendrix in casualty. When confronted with this, conspiracy theorists propose that MI6 and Scotland Yard suppressed the documentation and threatened the hospital staff with death if the came forward with information that might put their collective "plan" in jeopardy. They even consider the autopsy report to be fixed, a cover-up, with the coroner being threatened. To find further excuses and counter-arguments for their absurd theories, they even include Dannemann, Eric Burdon, Alvenia Bridges, Gerry Stickells, Eric Berrett and Terry Slater in the plot (all obeying orders for fear of being assassinated themselves), along with Jeffrey, his hit-men and the CIA! You couldn't make this stuff up - but yes they do!
Also, if Bannister had believed that Hendrix had been forcibly drowned in wine, why didn't he say something when he saw that Jimi was all over the newspapers and television the next day? Does this mean that he invented the whole thing to get some attention because he had been struck off the register for fraud? He had been deregistered in 1992 in New South Wales on several fraud charges. He in fact came forward after having read the renouned Shapiro/Glebeek book "Electric Gyspy", in which Monika Dannemann reckoned that Jimi died because of the incompetance of the medical staff that day. So this would have further degraded the reputation on the disgraced doctor, so it seems certain that the whole "long-dead", "wine in the lungs" thing was pure invention as he tried to save face.
It also later transpired that back in the 70s, he had been "let go" (meaning fired) from St Mary Abbott's hospital and that he had a reputation of being "sleazy".
Professor Robert Donald Tear's Post Mortem Report stated that Jimi's lungs were congested oedematous (swollen) and "vomited material could be expressed from the smaller bronchi.". No mention of wine at all. If Jimi had inhaled quantities of wine, as the conspiracy thorists claim some wine would have been detected during the autopsy. None was found at all.
Again, there were remains of a meal found in Jimi's stomach - which would've been impossible if it had been full of about 4 or 5 bottles of wine in the casualty ward, as the conspiracy theorists claim. They claim that Bannister pumped all the wine out before the body got to Dr. Teare. They don't realise that any food remaining in the stomach, swilling around in the wine would have been flushed out too. The FACT that the remains of a meal was found in JIMI'S stomach proves without a shadow of a doubt that no stomach pumping (pints of wine) had occured, so Bannister's story can go straight into the bin.
Bannister in a letter to Hendrix biographer Harry Shapiro on January 9, 1992: "On his admission, he was obviously dead. He had no pulse, no heart beat and the attempt to resuscitate him was merely a formality, an attempt we would perform on any patient in such condition. His mucous membranes in the larynx and pharynx were completely cyanosed...". Another interview (Tinta newspaper, December 18, 1993): "Jimi Hendrix had been dead for some time, without a doubt, hours rather than minutes. He didn't have any pulse. The inside of his mouth and mucous membranes were black because he had been dead for some time. He had had no circulation through his tissues at any time immediately prior to coming to hospital....I personally think he probably died a long time before. He was cold and he was blue. He had all the parameters of somebody who had been dead for some time. We worked on him for about half an hour without any response at all."
He says that they worked on this "unusually tall man" (obviously not Hendrix) for half an hour when they knew that he had been dead for hours? Who is this guy, Dr. Frankenstein? No doctor in his right mind would work for such an amount of time on long-dead corpse. Bannister had obviously got carried away with his self glorification and lied himself into a corner, rendering his own statements totally useless as evidence (though unbeleivably, conspiracy theorists, with their school playground level of judgment, swear by what he said).
In the 90s, Kathy Etchingham tracked down a Dr. Rufus Compton, Director of Phorensic Medicine at St. George's Medical school (who had worked with Professor Tear). Analising the autopsy report (with the help of a toxicologist as well) he stated that the barbiturate reading in Jimi's liver was so high that he wouldn't have survived and that the inhalation of vomited just hastened his death. He also said that at least four Vesparax tablets would've been enough to cause the readings from Jimi's liver. Remember that Monika told Kathy, Mitch and Noel that she gave Jimi "some" tablets, then "some more" when they didn't appear to work!
The coronor's report (by Gavin L.B. Thurston) stated that the cause of death was inhalation of vomit (not wine) due to barbiturate intoxication.
The time of death and rice digestion
The determining of the time of death is important if we are to get a clearer picture of what happened that morning of September 18th, 1970 and crucial evidence is at our disposal - from Professor Donald Teare's Post Mortem report! In the report, he says "The sample of stomach contents when examined microscopically was found to contain starch granules. Whole rice grains could be discerned".
Food can take from 30 minutes to 5 hours to be pre-digested in the stomach, before being pushed out into the small intestine. Differing foodstuffs have varying stomach digestion times. In normal circumstances rice digestion in the stomach is relatively quick, at one and a half to two hours. This process can be delayed due to the composition of other foods in the stomach at the same time, the presence of alchohol and the ingestion of certain drugs.
Recent studies have proven that alcohol dramatically slows down the digestion time, adding many hours onto the normal stomach digestion time. From the various accounts of people who socialised with Jimi on September 17th and into the early hours of the 18th, he was drinking pretty well constantly and including during his rice meal at Peter Cameron's appartment between 2 and 3 a.m.
The post mortem also found that Jimi had amphetamine in his system (a "brown bomber" taken at Peter Cameron's little gathering) and this type of drug also slows down the digestion process: "If intestinal activity is high, amphetamine may reduce gastrointestinal motility (the rate at which content moves through the digestive system)..." (Source).
We can pretty well assume that Jimi was a regular cannabis user and very probably during that busy night of socialising. Cannabis can also slow down the process of digestion and trigger vomiting! (Source).
The simple act of sleeping also slows the digestive system Source
So Jimi had been consuming all of the above digestion inhibitors that evening and night and pretty well constantly for months. This obviously explains why some rice grains were found in Jimi's stomach. He could very well have been still alive 7 or 8 hours after eating the vegetarian/chinese meal, with a few grains of undigested rice still in his stomach - taking us directly to the arrival of the ambulance and quite possibly to his arrival at Casualty.
Monika Danneman - part of a conspiracy?
Conspiracy theorists even believe that Monika was a cool, calculated agent working in league with Jeffrey as an agent in the plot to assassinate Jimi!
The supposed cool, calculated Danneman in fact threw a fit and in an utter state of panic, about Jimi's situation, she desperately tried to find out if Jimi had a doctor in London. Why would a conspirator do such a thing? All a conspirator would have to do is call an ambulance, saying that someone in her flat was unresponsive. End of.
In a 2015 interview, Alvenia Bridges states that when she phoned her on that September 18th morning in 1970, "...she was hysterical...hysterical". She completely broke down and I found the proof after an interview with ex-Animals guitarist Vig Briggs, which led me to being contacted by his wife Elandra Meredith who was summoned to help the hysterically out of control Danneman on the day of Jimi's death.
Did Jimi suffer from sleep apnea?
The reports are too conflictual and imprecise to form any accurate conclusion to all this mess. We are left with a multitude of questions. Was it an accident ? Danneman told Kathy, Mitch and Noel that she had given Jimi some sleeping tablets and gave him more. Was she in fact deliberately trying to knock Jimi out in order to keep him at the flat that night, after their very public argument? Did she under-estimate the strength of the tablets?
One must also take into account that Jimi's girlfriend Carmen Borrero recounted (source unknown) that on several occasions she found Jimi sleeping and choking! She said that she had to assist him and clear his windpipe when he started chocking in his sleep. Apparently Jimi's mid 60s girlfriend Fayne Pridgeon has also mentioned similar incidents. This is an important revelation and it could mean that Jimi in fact suffered from sleep apnea. So the incident with Monika, may well have been aggravated by this condition.
The invention of the murder story
This brings us back to Tappy Wright's book "Rock Roadie" and the account that Jeffrey told him that he "had to do it", that he "had no choice" but to kill Jimi.
HOWEVER, Bob Levine (who was Jimi's US manager and a personnal friend of Jimi's) questioned Tappy as to why he made such outrageous claims in his book and TAPPY WRIGHT ADMITTED THAT HE HAD MADE IT ALL UP JUST TO HELP SELL THE BOOK!
Bob Levine in a 2011 interview for musicradar.com:
"Jimi Hendrix was not murdered," says Bob Levine, who was the US manager of the late guitarist at the time of his death in 1970. "Despite the allegations that have recently been made, I need to set the record straight once and for all. Jimi died an accidental death, but he definitely wasn't murdered - not by Michael Jeffrey, his UK manager, and certainly not by anybody connected to him. The whole thing is one giant lie."
"I told Tappy, 'What are you doing making up this story? So you want to sell books - why do you have to print such lies?' And he said to
me, 'Well, who's going to challenge me? Everybody's dead, everybody's gone. Chas Chandler, Michael Jeffrey, Mitch Mitchell, Noel
Redding…they're all gone. Nobody can challenge what I write.'"
"It's totally unfair to Jimi," Levine says. "It's unfair to everybody who was around at the time. I just think it's really unfair to the fans, to anybody
who ever loved Jimi Hendrix. Yes, he died a tragic death, and he died much too young. But spreading these lies that he was murdered?
It's utter crap, and I've been silent about this for much too long."
The $1000 000 insurance policy claim
In that 2011 Music Radar interview, Bob Levine not only rules out the murder theory, he also lets the truth be known about the supposed million dollar insurance policy that Mike Jeffrey was supposed to have taken out, in case anything happened to Jimi. This is usually touted as being the motive for Jeffrey having Jimi murdered. As Levine points out in the interview, the insurance policy was taken out by Warner Brothers (who owned the subsiduary label Reprise Records) and not by Jeffrey at all!
Jeffrey, as manager, was obliged to sign the insurance policy, to validate it. This type of policy was very commonplace at the time, as Levine explains:
"Michael signed an insurance policy on Jimi that the record company took out, and Jimi was aware of this. But that's standard. Frank
Sinatra was insured by Reprise for millions of dollars. That's how business is done. Record companies take out insurance policies on
major artists all the time. But it was nothing ruthless or dastardly on Michael Jeffrey's part. This is Tappy rewriting history."
Of course, in the event of Jimi's death, the money would go to the record companny primarily (seeing as they had taken out the insurance policy!). Jeffrey and in all probability all those on the payrole would get a compensatory fee but this would be a feeble amount compared to the cash that Jimi was generating as a performing recording artist. As Levine says:
... Michael Jeffrey didn't have it out for Jimi in any way. I talked to him the day before Jimi died. He had major plans for Jimi. The future was very bright at the time.
The whole thing about Michael taking out a life insurance policy and wanting to collect? That's in Tappy's imagination, too."
Even after Jimi's death and right up to Jeffrey's death in 1975 in a plane crash (near Nantes in northern France), he recieved no money from the Warner Brothers insurance policy.
It must be remembered that with Levine and Chandler, Jeffrey had helped Jimi rise from obscurity in 1966 to World fame. By 1968, Chandler grew frustrated with Jimi's relaxed approach and left themanagement to Jeffrey and Levine. Chandler was also fed up with all the drug scene around Jimi and in particular the fact that Hendrix and Jeffrey became "acid buddies".
Soon after, Jimi and Mike went into partnership (50-50) for the construction and exploitation of the Hendrix dream recording facility in New York, namely Electric Lady Studios. Also, Jeffrey agreed to book concerts only around the weekend, to allow Jimi to chill and record during the week.
Something Interesting that I came across in the McDermott/Kramer book "Setting The Record Straight" - comments by Concerts West manager Tom Hulett. "I give Hendrix credit for introducing a whole new way of doing business, where the artist made most of the money. ... All of a sudden, the middle man was cut out and Hendrix made more money." - "Hendrix was far more than the black marionette, as some have intimated, pushed on the stage, night after night for the benefit of his tyrant-like manager." - "Jimi Hendrix was not only putting up the money to stage his own concerts, but he was making more money than any other artist in the business." - "I would call up and clear dates with Weiss, who would clear them with Gerry Stickells, who in turn would let Hendrix know where we were going to play". - "We made the tours as comfortable as we could for him".
However, Jimi was displeased with Mike's possessive and dominating nature and was thinking about getting away from him. However Jeffrey still owned half the shares in the studio and royalties from the music and movies released (the Albert Hall, Berkeley and Mauii movies were in the planning stage), so Jeffrey would have continued to be a very rich man, whether he was still Jimi's manager or not. Jeffrey had no grounds whatsoever to kill Hendrix. Even if Jimi had shifted to somebody else to manage him, the two were inextricably tied together through their contracts with Warner Brothers which had been set up to continue well into the 70s, with Jeffrey recieving handsome advances on future recordings and releases and hefty percentages of revenue from album and film sales. The last thing Jeffrey would've wanted was to see Jimi get killed!
Also, by 1968, Jeffrey had had enough of Yameta and the money being tied up in the bank in the Bahamas. He decided to get as much as he could out of the accounts by sending members of his staff to craftily withdraw cash from the Nassau based bank and smuggle it in their clothing to New York! Jeffrey had his offices in New York and in 1968, with the advice and help of American lawyers and accountants, he managed to shift the business from being tied up in Yameta in order to create a new entity called Are You Experienced Ltd. which was better suited to U.S. tax laws and it helped channel more revenue to Jimi. So up in flames goes the lunatic theory that Jeffrey was secretly using rock band revenues (Animals, Hendrix and others) to surreptitiously feed cash to COINTELPRO organisations in the U.S.A., with MI5 in collusion! It's amazing, the junk that infantile, paranoid conspiracy theorists will come with.
Mike Jeffrey was never in MI5 - MI6!
> All about Mike Jeffrey
A very interesting site which lifts the veil over Jefffrey. No proof whatsoever that he was in MI5, MI6, Spectre or whatever. When in the army, he had temporary duties as "acting Corporal" and "acting Sergent' but actually never rose above the rank of Private! So much for him being a high ranking MI5-MI6 operative.
Jeffrey was known to be a guy who exagerrated, intimidated, bragged,... he liked to paint a picture of himself as a wise guy. The research also reveals that he spent years on the club scene in Newcastle, starting with a little jazz-themed coffee house and moving onto a more prestigeous Club A'Gogo and sometimes getting into trouble with the law about gambling on the premises. The details paint a clear picture of the man and show that he was just an ambitious entrepreneur with a taste for sports cars and certainly not an MI6/CIA operative using the "music business" as a cover to make and divert cash for illicit international operations, as some whacky conspiracy theorists like to dream. Little clubs in Newcastle were hardly ways of generating millions. Eventually he ended up managing Alan Price, The Animals and of course Hendrix - in partnership with Chas Chandler of course.
Jeffrey didn't fake the kidnapping of Hendrix!
Concerning the kidnapping (often touted as being a mind-game ploy orchestrated by Jeffrey), Jimi had been hanging out with The Salvation Club's Bobby Woods who was a cocaine dealer (Jimi was a customer). When Woods was found murdered ("gangland style") the night after a Gypsy Sun & Rainbows performance at the club's press party, Jimi was abducted by a group of young thugs who wanted to know what Woods might have told Jimi about his drug operations.
Jim Marron (who worked for Jimi, running Electric Lady Studios) is quoted in the McDermott/Kramer book Setting The Record Straight as saying:"It wasn't a hostile kidnapping, it was a house arrest.Jimi was missing and we couldn't find him. "Jeffrey was incensed that someone would actually steal his artist and question his power. It was a show of force against him. Though the entire affaire was really about Bobby Woods and cocaine, Jeffrey was determined to back them down rather than accept any of their terms." Jeffrey was quick to assemble his own heavies, find out where Jimi was being held and got him out of there. The guys who had taken Jimi got cold feet and took off.Apparently, Jimi found the whole episode silly. Marron: "He was kind of amused by it all. Jeffrey had backed them down, but Jimi saw right through that. Though Jeffrey had flexed his muscles and proved his own power, he had no control over Hendrix."
The Bob Levine interview:
So there we are folks. Tappy Wright made up a murder story to help sell his junk book. Bannister made it all up and described a body that wasn't that of Jimi Hendrix. Mike Jeffrrey was never in the British secret service, MI5 or whatever.
Watch out folks, "You can't believe everything you see and here can you".
All I can say is, poor old Jimi.
The Univibes special edition "Until We Meet Again - The last weeks of Jimi Hendrix" by Caesar Glebeek created a lot of swell when it appeared in 2011.
Caesar has played a major role since the 1970s in the meticulous archiving of everything Hendrix. His magazine Univibes has long been THE serialised bible for Hendrix information (along with the more recent Jimpress (from my hometown of Warrington, Cheshire!). The book he put together with Harry Shapiro "Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy" is also valued as an essential read by all Hendrix aficianados.
In Caesar's 2011 special Univibes edition about the theories surrounding Jimi's tragic death, some recent statements by key witnesses contradict their initial statements and interviews and are completely at odds with previous research by Tony Brown, Kathy Etchingham and others. So many facts are getting lost in the sands of time and a lot of confusion remains. It'd help if Eric Burdon could come forward and tell us more about what happened at The Samarkand Hotel.
Check out this excellent discussion at Crosstown Torrents