It was 43 years ago today (September 18th, 1970), that Jimi Hendrix died at the age of 27, about two months shy of his 28th birthday.
Over 40 years 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.
Eddie Kramer, who was the engineer on the Jimi Hendrix Experience albums Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland, recalled his memories of Hendrix’s death:
“We had just completed Electric Lady Studios, and we were halfway through a record which was going to be called The Cry Of Love. I spoke to Jimi a week before he died, and he was very positive, and was looking forward to coming back to America. His death was an unfortunate accident, there’s no question about that.”
Stephen Stills spent hours jamming with Hendrix and recalled that Hendrix turned him on to restringing lefty guitars for righties for a better sound: “Jimi showed me up close and personal, something about the positioning with the pickups made them sound better upside down. But I had a ’50s lefty Strat, and that went away. Somebody nabbed it.
Band Of Gypsies bassist Billy Cox was asked what he thinks Hendrix would have accomplished had he not died in 1970: “I get asked that question quite often, and we were gravitating toward more, like, The Rays Of The New Rising Sun. We were gravitating toward classical music, I think. We would’ve taken those modes into a classical vein. And then he had thought about perhaps maybe going to Juilliard, and there’s no telling. (He) always talked about it.”