Jimi Hendrix’s death has long been one of the few rock demises to lack a well-publicised conspiracy theory.
Over the years his death has been overshadowed by tinfoil-hatted conspiracies attached to the deaths of the likes of Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones and Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Indeed the popular perception of Hendrix’s demise seems to be that when he accidentally inhaled his own toxic vomit and passed away in 1970 at the age of 27, everyone just kind of murmered “woah, that’s heavy”, dropped a quaalude, and then continued tie-dyeing their kaftans.
But there have always been disagreements about how Jimi Hendrix popped his psychedelic clogs, and now an ex-roadie of his – who just happens to have a book to pimp – is claiming that the guitar genius had pills n’booze shoved down his gullet by his own bloody manager
James “Tappy” Wright writes in his startlingly-titled tome Rock Roadie that Jimi Hendrix’s manager, Michael Jeffrey, once confessed to having offed the star. The motivation? He stood to collect $2 million in insurance if Jimi died.
Michael Jeffrey himself died in a plane crash in 1973, meaning his alleged confession is now over 35 years old, but that does not apparently diminish the author’s ability to quote him:
I was in London the night of Jimi’s death and together with some old friends … we went round to Monika’s hotel room, got a handful of pills and stuffed them into his mouth … then poured a few bottles of red wine deep into his windpipe.
A few bottles? Down his windpipe? Yeah, that’d do it.
Impressive powers of recall from James “Tappy” Wright, then. One can’t help wondering, however, if the credibility of his claim may be harmed somewhat by the fact that he’s kept it to himself for over a quarter of a century, wheeling it out only as his book prepares to hit the shelves.
And let’s not forget this guy was a roadie, and his book’s about being a roadie – it’s probably fair to imagine that the remainder of the pages revolve around:
a) lugging amps
b) lugging instruments
c) lugging staging and lighting rigs
d) lugging the back of his jeans up to hide his arse cleavage
Oh, I’m sure there’s at least one story about taking advantage of a young Foxy Lady who hoped she’d get close to Jimi Hendrix if she flashed the hairy old guy with the tool belt. But the chances of Tappy coming up with an autobiography as interesting or entertainingly depraved as the many rock biographies that have gone before him must surely be slim.
The sequel, however, could be an altogether more fascinating read, telling the story of an ageing accessory to Jimi Hendrix’s murder as he lumbers across the globe attempting to escape the clutches of the police.
This was a guest blog by Stuart Waterman from the wonderful My Chemical Toilet. It’s wonderful.