Another story for the conspiracy theorists. This time it is a story made by a former roadie about a claim by Hendrix manager Mike Jeffrey, that he drunkenly revealed that he hired some men from the North of England, to kill one of the biggest stars in the world and make it look like an accident. The reason being that the contract between them was due to expire, and it was well known that Hendrix wanted to move on. Added, was the money factor. Hendrix had finished a US tour that grossed $1.300,000 - a huge amount of money in 1970. The claim is that Hendrix was worth more dead to Jeffrey than alive. Why? Because of insurance cover on him. Now, I am a huge fan of Jimi, but this is pure and utter bollocks, as far as I am concerned. The writer of the article about this claim is rather coy about details that any true Hendrix fan will know, or he simply has not researched details properly.
Hendrix was found dead in the basement flat of the Samarkand Hotel on September 18th 1970. Sharing the room with him was a strange German woman named Monika Danneman. Strange? All will be explained. Hendrix was dead having choked on vomit after taking sleeping pills and wine. Danneman`s story over the years, slightly changed, and she raced to the courts to instigate proceedings legally, against anybody that questioned her version of events. One man did. That was bass player Noel Redding, to which she threatened legal action. What he did next, led to the truth about that day, and Danneman taking her own life. Hendrix had two managers, Mike Jeffrey & Chas Chandler. Jeffrey handled business whilst Chandler handled the artist. Chandler used his experience in The Animals to creative purposes that helped Hendrix become a phenomenon. He also did a producers` job by keeping the artist focused on the music and keeping inside their budget. Without the guidance of Chandler, Hendrix would never have been the major star he became. But Hendrix later playing up to the crowd of hangers-on & gross self indulgence in the studio led to him walking away. This left Jeffrey in sole charge.
Much has been made about the early life of Mike Jeffrey. Was he involved in spying in the Army? Was he mixed up in covert operations? What is known came from his own mouth. But how believable is it? Because somebody goes into the Intelligence Corps does not automatically mean Bond - style actions. Probably a lot of hot air to cover up a possibly boring and mundane job. He was involved in clubs in Newcastle, and ended up managing the Animals.
Now the article says a former girlfriend "Fiona" started investigations. No need to be coy. This was Kathy Etchingham, JH`s longtime girlfriend, and she told all in her autobiography. Redding was being sued by Danneman, so she and Mitch Mitchell`s girlfriend investigated, to get the truth. They tracked down the two ambulance men that attended the scene, They stated Hendrix was alone in the flat, dead. There was no blonde German woman there. They traced the cops that were there, though only one was still alive. His story corroborated the medics story. They also traced a doctor who was there when Hendrix was brought in. There was no Blonde woman there. This rubbished the accounts Danneman had made for more than twenty years. She had also accused the ambulance men of causing his death by taking him sat up. This was contradicted by the witnesses Kathy spoke to. She presented this evidence to the Coroner`s Office, as required. That was all. Suddenly, the media went into a frenzy that an inquest will be reopened. Bullshit. Then came a court appearance for Danneman, for Contempt. Kathy had taken an injunction out on her, simply to stop her saying things about her, but Danneman breached it. Now, the truth was going to come out, and the fantasy world she had spent twenty five years cultivating - that she and Hendrix were to marry - was going to come crashing down. She decided to take her own life.
This article says that a celebrity claimed Jimi committed suicide. Again, no need to be shy. This was Eric Burdon. He was drunk when he said it and it was supposed to have been based on him reading a short lyric Jimi had just written called "In the wink of an eye." Now this roadie says a drunk Jeffrey said he arranged it. Somebody drunk, and especially at losing a cash cow, can say anything. This does not mean anything. It should be treated with reservation. A tale told by percussionist Juma Sultan claimed that when Jimi played four nights at the Fillmore East in New York, it was because the mob had made him "an offer he could not refuse." Explanation? Simple. In those days, artistes played where they were told. So, if any such "offer" had been made, it would have been to Jeffrey. There was an incident in the Autumn of 1969, when JH was supposedly kidnapped in Woodstock by villains but Jeffrey came to the rescue. This, no doubt in my mind, was a set up by Jeffrey, in order to unsettle his artist. The "mafia men" with him and target shooting, were probably actors used in films and tv as villains. Explanation? Since when would "Made Men" be taking orders from a civilian? As members of LCN, they are above other criminals, and do not become subservient? Especially to an Englishman.
This is the way I see it. Too many people want to put dirty deeds and conspiracies into tragic events. His death was an accident as far as I am concerned. I will always go on listening to and enjoying this visionary musician`s short but explosive musical legacy.