The Time Jimi Hendrix Was Kidnapped By The Mafia

Arguably the greatest instrumentalist in rock history, Jimi Hendrix, had a short but highly successful music career. Despite having less than five years, Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists and most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

Finding success at an early age, the guitarist had access to any kind of substance, much like any other rock star. He battled alcohol and drug addiction, which his inner circle has revealed. Hendrix regularly used cannabis, hashish, LSD, and amphetamines, which impacted his personal and professional life.

The legendary musician’s excessive substance addiction got him into countless troubles as he was often angry and violent under the influence. However, there was one time when the trouble found him and he was kidnapped by so-called mafia members. The guitarist was so high that he allegedly didn’t even realize he was abducted and kept hostage for two days.

Jimi Hendrix Was Abducted By Mafia Members

A famous cocaine trafficker and Jimi Hendrix’s friend Jon Roberts published his memoir named ‘American Desperado’ back in 2011. In the book, Roberts tells the detailed story of how he rescued Hendrix from the kidnappers, although everybody accused him of being an accomplice.

According to Roberts, Jimi Hendrix had his way of getting into trouble while looking for drugs and that’s what instigated the abduction. One day, the guitarist was trying to find drugs on his own at the club, and two Italian Mafia wannabes saw him as a prey, tricking him into thinking they were dealers.

After promising Hendrix drugs, the two kidnapped him and took him to a house out of the city. The kidnappers called Hendrix’s manager and demanded some things since they had him hostage in their place. The manager later called the club Hendrix was at, and that’s when Jon Roberts found the Mafia wannabes and threatened to kill them if they didn’t let Jimi go.

As a result, the Italian kidnappers let the guitarist go after two days of keeping him hostage. After a week or two, Roberts found the guys and beat them to teach them a lesson. According to Roberts, Jimi Hendrix was most likely so high that he didn’t even realize two strangers had abducted him.

In his book, Roberts penned:

“I got involved in Jimi’s so-called kidnapping after he was grabbed by some guys out of Salvation. Later on, some people accused me of being involved in kidnapping him. They said I was involved with kidnappers who tied Jimi to a chair and forced him to shoot heroin. Please. Nobody would have had to force Jimi to shoot anything. Just give him the heroin and he’d inject it himself. It was Jimi going out searching for drugs that got him into trouble. Andy and I were the ones who helped get him out of it.

Jimi had people who would usually buy dope for him. But sometimes he’d get so sick, he’d come into our clubs looking for drugs on his own. One night two Italian kids at our club – not Mafia but wiseguy wannabes – saw Jimi in there looking for dope and decided, ‘Hey, that’s Jimi Hendrix. Let’s grab him and see what we can get.'”

He continued:

“These guys were morons. They promised Jimi some dope and took him to a house out of the city. I don’t know if they wanted money or a piece of his record contract, but they called Jimi’s manager demanding something. Next thing I knew the club manager called me and said Jimi had been taken from our club by some Italians.

It took me and Andy two or three phone calls to get the names of the kids who were holding Jimi. We reached out to these kids and made it clear, ‘You let Jimi go, or you are dead. Do not harm a hair of his Afro.’

They let Jimi go. The whole thing lasted maybe two days. Jimi was so stoned, he probably didn’t even know he was ever kidnapped. Andy and I waited a week or so and went after these kids. We gave them a beating they would never forget.”

As crazy as it sounds, the ridiculous story was confirmed by multiple sources, including Rolling Stone. While many doubted if this entire kidnapping incident happened, Roberts actually shed light on one of the most unbelievable incidents in Hendrix’s career with his book.