I am neither “Ze Conspiracy Guy” who doubts anything and everything nor the guy who believes whatever is fed to him by media, official reports (“it has to be true man, it’s official!”) and the general public consensus. Thus the following article should only be considered as only an informative good read for the curious. You can check the sources at the bottom of this article for in-depth information.
The death of Jimi Hendrix, often referred to as the most iconic Rock guitarist of all time, was premature yet expected. After achieving huge popularity first in Europe then the U.S, Jimi was trapped in a managerial catch 22 from which he couldn’t easily escape. His manager Mike Jeffery was a suspicious character who was outspoken of his military intelligence expertise and ties with “the underworld” (the Mobs). Jeffery was literally every musician’s living nightmare, constantly stealing money from Hendrix and booking him to bad tour deals (particularly that one time where Hendrix toured with The Monkeys, a band whose fan base consisted of 12 year old girls) and stressful tour dates, spying and playing mind games to make Jimi understand that he can’t escape his grip – seriously, this was an evil man. The stress built up with time and Jimi suddenly found himself with no band to play with or friends to trust, as private conversations eventually found their way to Jeffery’s ears.
Hendrix’ professional career was also facing a major crossroad, as he wanted to follow his musical gut and further explore his creative fresh ideas, while his manager wanted him to make more of “what previously made him famous”, which Jimi considered as “previously done and repetitive”. At this point he started making arrangements to end his contract with Jeffery, a move that many consider as Jeffery’s main motive to kill him.
Feeling threatened and in danger of losing his life, Jimi went into hiding mode at the Samarkand Hotel in the UK with his final girlfriend Monica Danneman. She would later report that he was in a very happy mood just hours before his death, talking about his future in music, and how we wanted to contribute in other areas like films and art. So why would a happy man commit suicide?
The main conspiracy goes that Hendrix was in fact murdered by his manager Mike Jeffery, who’s believed to have collaborated with the FBI under a secret plan called “COINTELPRO” – short for Counterintelligence Program– in the 1960s to disrupt the activities of domestic groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Black Panther Party. But why were the FBI interested in Hendrix? Well he was definitely one of the main icons of the Hippie movement, but it wasn’t until he started supporting The Black Panther that the FBI took interest in him and considered him as a potential national threat (more about The Black Panther).
Death: The contradictions of the statements of Monica Danneman, the two ambulance men who drove him to the hospital and the doctors themselves are very strong. Monica said that Jimi was still alive when the ambulance men arrived, while the latter state that Jimi was already dead and no one was in the room. The doctors said they tried all they could to save him at the hospital, but if he had been already dead before he got there, the doctors wouldn’t have performed anything on Jimi, and he would have been taken straight to the morgue. So was he pronounced “dead on arrival” or what? Either way someone is not telling the truth here.
They found 9 tablets of Vesparax (Monica’s sleeping bills) in his system as well as 400 ml of free fluid in his left chest. The main logical interpretation of his death was the 9 tablets, where the recommended dose was 1/2 to 1 tablet.
The main conspiracy theory goes that the doctors say he died by “drowning” in red wine, a theory backed up by several of his friends who report that a gang led by Jeffrey traced his location to the hotel, went there in the early hours of morning and forced red wine and sleeping tablets down his throat until he drowned. There was also a talk that Jeffery would gain a million pounds from Jimi’s life insurance policy, and since Jimi already made arrangements to cancel his contract with Jeffery, he was more good to him dead than alive. The theory also speculates that the reason Monica’s testimony had gaps in it is because she witnessed the murder and was told that she would be next if she spilled the beans. Ironically, Monica Dannemann was found dead in 1996 in a fume-filled car; her death was officially listed as suicide, although she was a spiritual person who cherished life. Smells like the good ‘ol “cut off loose ends” approach.
However you look at it, Jimi Hendrix’s death is a big cloud of inconsistencies and ultimately sadness. Today, he is considered as the most influential Rock guitarist of all time and a cultural icon, his music and lyrics still relate to young and old music lovers worldwide, a true testament of his real legacy, instead of the media portrayal of “another Rock star who overdosed”.