Remembering Jimi Hendrix 46 Years Later

Author: Jim Johnson

It was 46 years ago Sunday (September 18th, 1970) that Jimi Hendrix died at the age of 27, about two months shy of his 28th birthday. Over four decades later, the events surrounding his death remain sketchy at best, with the only clear fact being that the coroner report stated that Hendrix had asphyxiated in his own vomit, which mainly consisted of red wine. Monika Dannemann, his girlfriend at the time, has long contended that he was alive when placed in the ambulance.

Hendrix fans are in for a treat with the September 30th release of Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69. The new collection from Experience Hendrix L.L.C., fully documents the debut performance of Jimi Hendrix’s short-lived post-Experience trio, Band Of Gypsys featuring drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox. In total, the band played four groundbreaking shows at the legendary Manhattan theater — two on New Year’s Eve 1969, and two on New Year’s Day 1970.

According to the set’s press release, “never before has the first of these sets been available in its entirety. The vast majority of the performances have never seen the light of day in any configuration.” Hendrix’s legendary engineer Eddie Kramer mixed Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 from the original one-inch, eight track master tapes.

The tracklist to Jimi Hendrix – Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 is: “Power Of Soul,” “Lover Man,” “Hear My Train A Comin’,” “Changes,” “Izabella,” “Machine Gun,” “Stop,” “Ezy Ryder,” “Bleeding Heart,” “Earth Blues,” and “Burning Desire.”


Hendrix aide JamesTappyWright claimed in his recent memoir Rock Roadie that Hendrix’s final manager Michael Jeffery confessed to killing the legendary guitarist a year after Hendrix’s death in September 1970. According to Wright, Jeffery claimed that he plied a semi-conscious Hendrix with enough pills and alcohol to kill him so that he could collect insurance money and not risk Hendrix breaking their management agreement.

Wright, who also roadied for Elvis Presley and Tina Turner, among others, said that Jeffery said in his confession: “I had to do it, Tappy. You understand, don’t you? I had to do it. You know damn well what I’m talking about. . . I was in London the night of Jimi’s death and together with some old friends . . . we went round to Monika’s (Dannemann’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. I had to do it. Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive. That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I’d lose everything.”


CHECK IT OUT: Jimi Hendrix & Band Of Gypsys on December 31at, 1969 performing “Power Of Soul” as featured on Machine Gun: Fillmore East 12/31/1969:

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