On this day : The 18th of September 1970

Jimi Hendrix dies in London

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Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as the greatest ever rock guitarist; a man who not only made the instrument sing and scream with dazzling finger speed, but used it as a stage prop, sometimes biting the strings or playing it behind his back. His catalogue includes the brilliant albums Electric Ladyland and Are You Experienced, and the stand-out songs Voodoo Child, Hey Joe, The Wind Cries Mary, and Purple Haze.
But Hendrix was also a heavy drinker who sometimes became violent with girlfriends and friends when drunk; and a drug user who was noted for his LSD and amphetamine habits.
Hendrix’s death has never been fully or convincingly explained. He had attended a party on the evening of September 17, his girlfriend Monnika Dannemann driving him back to her rooms at the Samarkand Hotel in Notting Hill. At 11.27am on September 18 police and an ambulance crew arrived having been summoned by Dannemann. She claimed he was still alive then and that she had noticed he was in a bad way at 9.00am, but the autopsy showed he had died far earlier having choked on his own vomit. Lyrics written recently pointed to suicide for some observers. At least one claim has been made that he was murdered, a theory given some credence by the extraordinary volume of red wine found in his lungs, on his hair, and in his throat. Dannemann suggested he had accidentally taken a huge overdose of her strong sleeping tablets. Whatever the truth, the guitarist and his music passed into legend that day.

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