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Author: Subject: My Thoughts on the Death of Jimi Hendrix

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 05:46 PM
I don't know why this came to me today, but it just did. I was driving a short block down the road to pick up a pizza to go with NFL football. Had Jimi's "Band Of Gypsies" on in the truck. It's never been a favorite Hendrix selection of mine although I love the first cut, Who Knows. It's struck me recently how sad Jimi sounds on this record......particularly the second tune, Machine Gun. I've heard it's about the Vietman War. Band of Gypsies was recorded only 9 or 10 months before Jimi died. It's just not a happy sounding record at all, at least to my mind.

Which got me thinking..........wasn't Jimi completely BURNT OUT after his three years in the fast lane? If you've ever read Noel Redding's book, you get a glimpse at the incredible breakneck pace they were on, which would have killed many. What if someone who REALLY cared about Jimi had stepped in and said, "You need to STOP. Get away from it all for awhile, go to Brazil or the Caribbean maybe and lie on a beach for a few months." It seems to me that Jimi had too many money hungry leaches managing him and maybe no one who really cared. Redding's book certainly backs THAT up!! And it seems to me that a real vacation completely away from the rat race may have saved his life and we might have him around to this day. Hey, I'm not saying he couldn't have strummed an acoustic on that beach. It just seems that as much as anything else, the rat race killed him.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 06:18 PM
I thank you for your thoughts and regard for our beloved Jimi
2 thoughts:
-I was at the Band of Gypsies concert,dead center second row.Jimi was energetic and not in any way burnt out-Machine Gun live a powerful Anti-Vietnam war statement that took tremendous creativity and courage.It was astounding that night.
-From what I read in several accounts racism had at least something to do with the delay in and quality of medical help to save him that fateful date. I don't think he was burnt out or self destructive but rather on the cusp of a great creative period.None of us really knew the limits and/or dangers of mixing and using some substances back then .Since then we have all learned of folks being ruined by some of the things we were taking but it was not the case so much then.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 06:37 PM
I think I'm with Rob on this. I think Jimi....Janis....Pig Pen and Jim Morrison got caught up in the rat race of RnR in the late 60's early 70's. I think they all were not ready for the roller coaster ride. Maybe the response to Jimi's OD could have been quicker but the fact that he was experimenting with so many different drugs while being pulled in many different direction from people who were out to make a buck off him. As far as his Band of Gypsy's performance, lot's of performers step it up when it's time to hit the stage especially if you had access to the type of drugs going around at the time....Speed and acid will make you look energetic even if you're on you're last leg.

[Edited on 1/16/2011 by goldtop]

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 06:47 PM
quote:
I thank you for your thoughts and regard for our beloved Jimi
2 thoughts:
-I was at the Band of Gypsies concert,dead center second row.Jimi was energetic and not in any way burnt out-Machine Gun live a powerful Anti-Vietnam war statement that took tremendous creativity and courage.It was astounding that night.
-From what I read in several accounts racism had at least something to do with the delay in and quality of medical help to save him that fateful date. I don't think he was burnt out or self destructive but rather on the cusp of a great creative period.None of us really knew the limits and/or dangers of mixing and using some substances back then .Since then we have all learned of folks being ruined by some of the things we were taking but it was not the case so much then.


Wow, you were there? Which night? This album is deep for me; outstanding, intense, ferocius musicianship.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 06:52 PM
It's easy to look back 40 years later and speculate about anything and everything. People get caught up in stuff and in some cases, over their heads. He made the choices to put the stuff in his body, regardless of reason or circumstance. Very sad thing, that he died. It is amazing how a "feeling" can take you away to some other place. Jimi took that trip one too many times.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 07:24 PM
New Year's Eve
Incidentally my favorite color is purple

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 08:00 PM
I think Jimi was your typical person in his late 20's with the exception that he had to deal with being a celebrity. He had lots of ups and lots of downs with many demands (some not of his choosing) on his time. Sadly, he overdosed unintentionally on drugs. It's too bad because he created sounds out of a Strat that Leo Fender never thought possible.

Rock on Jimi wherever you may be. Hopefully you, Duane, Stevie Ray, Rory, Allen, Steve Gaines, Les, Leo and many others are enjoying plenty of jams and gigs together.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 08:36 PM
It is certainly a very sad story. I just read Street Player by Danny Seraphine, Drummer of Chicago. He writes about Terry Kath, and I came away thinking the same thing that I wished someone could have stepped in and stopped him from being drugged up a lot of the time. I thought Terry was an innovator and was a player that might have introduced new sounds whether it was via his guitar or his voice. Some of my top players, Jimi, Terry, Duane & Tommy Bolin left way too early. If all of these innovators, where would we be now??? The band in the heavens only knows and I'm sure they are bringing the house down each and every night. God bless them all.
 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 08:56 PM
the more I read about the way those guys lived ( and for some, still do), I'm actually amazed that so many have made it through.

regardless, every single person mentioned on this thread died way to young They are all sorely missed.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 09:22 PM
The 60's ans early 70's were all about finding out what the limit was, then pushing past.
Regretfully, free thinking seems to be a thing of the past.
Well in that case.
Long live the past.

 

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  posted on 1/16/2011 at 10:43 PM
The once who survived are very lucky. Gregg in particular is VERY lucky. And he knows it. Which makes his survival that much sweeter.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 08:00 AM
Jimi burned the candle at both ends. On top of all other demands, he would often go jamming at clubs or studios. Only drugs make a person try not to sleep for days at a time.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 08:10 AM
Too much, too early, too fast. God gave incredible talents to these people. The question is, why did the huge talents all die so young whether it be overdosing or motorcycle accidents when they had so much to give? Maybe it was meant to be that way. They came in, guns flaring, gave it all they had and that was all that was meant to be. Drugs and fast living took everybody out, one way or the other.
What was said about Gregg is so true. He is one blessed dude and he knows it. There but for the grace of God.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 08:33 AM
I think it's safe to say that Band of Gypsys was recorded at a time when Jimi wasn't at his happiest. The whole reason that album exists is to fulfill a nagging contractual obligation that had been an albatross around Jimi's neck for some time. Still, there is some outstanding work on there, especially Machine Gun. So soulful!

Jimi's manager Michael Jefferies was pretty much everything Rob suggests, a bloodsucking leech who overworked Hendrix and wasn't looking out for his best interests. The less said about him the better.

The real shame is that by the time Jimi passed away, he was actually in a better place than he had been. His studio Electric Ladyland was complete, and he was working on a new album called First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which contained a lot of great songs like In From The Storm and Ezy Rider, and he was feeling good about it. If he could have stayed with us a little longer, I think he was about to turn the corner.

Very sad, indeed.

 
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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 09:10 AM
I've read recently that the people managing Hendrix made sure he had access to all the drugs he wanted. One of his kin said that on his last trip to Seattle. He kept receiving phone calls from mgmt and wasn't really able to relax. There has always been a cloud of mystery surrounding Jimi's death, Electricladyland Studios, ownership of his likeness and royalties after his death, etc. However, he could have been just another casualty of the times. Drugs weren't seen as a dangerous addiction but sadly still as a means to obtain enlightenment or creativity. I remember reading where Hendrix among plenty of others would eat acid like it was chiclets. I mean can you even begin to imagine how permanently destructive that behavior is?

Some other recent pertinent articles to this particular subject that I've just recently read are: Acid Casualties (an old Guitar Mag sidebar) where several prominent rockers were listed as never making it back from one trip too many i.e. Syd Barret, Peter Green and Arthur Love to name a few.

Also in an interview (one of many) that Jas Obrect has so generously posted here with some of the folks who knew Duane personally. I can't remember the name of the guy but he described the last time he saw Duane. It was eeriely similar to the Hendrix's relative's account. Duane was extremely thin, bad hair and teeth. We seem to forget that Duane was just 24 when he died not only because of all that he accomplished at such a yound age but also the fact that from all the photos we have of him he could have passed for 40!

Very interesting post as always Rob with some very good responses. I know there was a time when I really and truely never thought I'd make 30 because I was running at my own high pace and of course most of my musical idols died young. Something to emmulate??? NOT!!! As for your comments on Gregg, Elizabeth ... maybe it's only the good die young. In my case its definately "God's grace."

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 09:17 AM
I forget the name of the book right now but it has a time line for each day and what Jimi did. Out every night partying and playing with little to no sleep at all. Unbelievable amount of jams and studio sessions. Plus the book is not able to comment on the hours he was at home or at a hotel. But you must account for sex and coming down off the drugs before sleeping.

Just didn't take great care of himself.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 11:46 AM
when you are young, you think you are bullet proof...that will always remain the same. Jimis generation were the pioneers of the (illegal) drug culture & rock scene so there were a lot of unknowns. Plenty of folk did not make it past their 20's. However, that still appears to be the same today in the rock scene. Its a lethal mix @ times....some are just luckier than others to get a second chance. Humans are always gonna look for the next high.

Phil Lesh states after every concert he performs that he would not be alive today because of the young man that dontated his liver. He is forever grateful.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 11:53 AM
There was a show on TV sometime back. The theory of this show was that Jimi was murdered by his manager at the time. He had taken out a million $ insurance policy on him and Jimi had recently told him he was leaving him.They said that Jimi had wine basically poured down his throat and that he had drowned in the wine.It was all over him and it wasn't vomited up. I don't remember all of the show, but they made it sound plausible. I guess the manager was a pretty unsavory character and they made it seem like he could have murdered Jimi for the money.
 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 12:06 PM
very very highly recommend reading Jimi bio "Room Full Of Mirrors" by Charles R Cross.....

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 01:07 PM
I think it's important to know that the ambulance drivers claim that he was dead on arrival. Also that the autopsy states that there were massive amounts of red wine in his lungs and only trace amounts of alcohol in his bloodstream. Which would have made the cause of death drowning. One cannot drown themselves.

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 06:13 PM
quote:
....and while they think they play better, they play like heroin crazed junkies or they look like they are falling asleep on the stage and play in an un-present, apathetic manner.....


You're right about junk, but I would ask you to show me one single recording or eyewitness account that captures Jimi playing in anything but the polar opposite of the manner which you have described here.

[Edited on 1/17/2011 by scrambldybones]

 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 06:42 PM
I've also seen tv bio's and read many many articles that suggest Jimi was "frustrated and probably despondant" with all the different directions that all the many people were pulling him in at once. The beach escape would've been great; I think he took the 1 way trip unintentionally, but being Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof in his (Jimi's) own mind, he pushed the limits of escape a bit too far. Any way ya cut it, its very sad. I must also add that I've thought he was just 'tired' of all the people, including audiences, trying to impede his music in going in a different direction...everyone wanted the status quo. Probably all factors contributing to his untimely demise. Along with things we may never know for sure. RIP Jimi.
 

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  posted on 1/17/2011 at 11:28 PM
In July of 1970, Jimi didn't want to leave Hawaii. He loved Maui. He was there to relax and film "Rainbow Bridge". But he was forced by his manager to continue the breakneck pace, to return to the mainland, to finish the album and then to start the European tour that would turn out to be his last. I dearly wished he had stayed in Hawaii for an extended break, fired Michael Jeffrey, cleaned up his act and rehired Chas Chandler. He was the greatest electric guitarist- and always will be. People will always wonder where he would have gone with his music...
 

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  posted on 1/18/2011 at 12:08 AM
quote:

In July of 1970, Jimi didn't want to leave Hawaii. He loved Maui. He was there to relax and film "Rainbow Bridge". But he was forced by his manager to continue the breakneck pace, to return to the mainland, to finish the album and then to start the European tour that would turn out to be his last. I dearly wished he had stayed in Hawaii for an extended break, fired Michael Jeffrey, cleaned up his act and rehired Chas Chandler. He was the greatest electric guitarist- and always will be. People will always wonder where he would have gone with his music...
quote:

Now THAT one really blows me away because it sounds very factual and it backs up everything I said when I started this thread............

 

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  posted on 1/18/2011 at 08:14 AM
quote:
I think it's important to know that the ambulance drivers claim that he was dead on arrival. Also that the autopsy states that there were massive amounts of red wine in his lungs and only trace amounts of alcohol in his bloodstream. Which would have made the cause of death drowning. One cannot drown themselves.


I never had any kids but my sister's girls were like mine. When they were teenagers, I gave them the advice that if they ever fell asleep drunk they should make sure they were lying on their side so if they threw up they wouldn't aspirate and die like Jimi Hendrix. This was not said in jest.

On the verge of alcohol poisoning in the first year of college, one niece remembered this, rolled over, threw up and then called 911 on herself. Jimi saved her life. Just saying...

 

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