The Mystery Surrounding Jimi Hendrix’s Passing, Did He Actually Overdose?
Widely recognized as one of the most influential guitarists in music history, Jimi Hendrix was one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Although his career was not very long, as it spanned only four years, the legendary guitarist is known for his iconic performances and his way of playing the guitar which he learned playing by himself.
Hendrix started to play the guitar when he was 15 and played gigs with several musicians such as Little Richard and Curtis Knight And The Squires. Moving to England in late 1966, he quickly earned three UK top ten hits with his Jimi Hendrix Experience titled ‘Hey Joe,’ ‘Purple Haze,’ and ‘The Wind Cries Mary.’
He then became recognized in the U.S. following his performance in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival. Hendrix released his third and final album titled ‘Electric Ladyland’ in 1968, which peaked at No. 1 in the U.S becoming his most commercially successful release. He then headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 as his final performance.
Hendrix is known to be inspired by rock and roll and electric blues. He was also accepted as one of the first guitarists to heavily use tone-altering effects in mainstream rock music including wah-wah, fuzz distortion, Octavia, and Uni-Vibe, along with being the first musician using stereophonic phasing effects in his recordings.
Hendrix received numerous awards during his music career and after his death, including being voted as the Pop Musician Of The Year in 1967 and being named as the Artist Of The Year in 1968 by Billboard. He was also declared as the Performer Of The Year by Rolling Stone and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2005.
Having his three studio albums named ‘Are You Experienced,’ ‘Axis: Bold As Love,’ and ‘Electric Ladyland’ ranked by Rolling Stone among 100 greatest albums of all time, Jimi Hendrix was one of the greatest and most influential guitar players. Although he was almost at the start of his successful career, Hendrix died on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27, and became one of the earliest members of the 27 Club.
Did Jimi Hendrix Actually Pass Away Due To An Overdose?
It is known that Jimi Hendrix’s tragic death took place on September 18, 1970, but the main reason for his passing is shrouded in mystery. One of the reasons behind his death, also the most accepted one, is that he died from choking on his own vomit after a drug overdose.
Apart from that, James ‘Tappy’ Wright, the former road manager who worked for Hendrix’s manager Mike Jeffrey, claims that a gang ordered by Jeffrey broke into Hendrix’s hotel room and then forced him to swallow painkillers along with wine which caused him to choke. Some of the Hendrix fans also believe that he died while having sex with his partner due to a heart attack.
It is reported that he spent his last day with Monika Dannemann, who is also the only witness of his final hours, in London. She told the authorities that they were at her apartment in the Samarkand Hotel, drinking wine and eating a meal. After she drove Hendrix to one of their acquaintances and picked him up and took him to her place, Dannemann claimed that they talked for hours and went to sleep. She then said she awoke and found Hendrix unconscious yet breathing, and called an ambulance. Hendrix was then transported to St. Mary Abbot’s Hospital and pronounced dead on September 18.
After a post-mortem examination performed on Hendrix on September 21, it was revealed that Hendrix aspirated his own vomit and died of barbiturate-related asphyxia. Although it was reported that there is insufficient evidence of the circumstances, Dannemann revealed later that Hendrix had taken 9 Vesparax tablets, 18 times more than the recommended dosage.
After Hendrix’s death, his body was embalmed and buried at Greenwood Cemetary, the same location as his mother’s grave. Over 200 people attended his funeral, and 24 limousines were used for the transportation of his family and friends. According to the claims, asphyxia-related drug overdose seems the most plausible cause of his death despite the wide skepticism towards the reason why the legendary guitarist died.