On September 18, 1970, American musician Jimi Hendrix died in London at the age of 27. One of the 1960s’ most influential guitarists, he was described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.
For some days prior to his death, Hendrix had been in poor health, in part from fatigue caused by overwork, a chronic lack of sleep, and an assumed influenza-related illness. Insecurities about his personal relationships, as well as disillusionment with the music industry, had also contributed to his frustration. Although the details of his final hours and death are disputed, Hendrix spent much of his last day alive with Monika Dannemann. In the morning hours of September 18, Dannemann found Hendrix unresponsive in her apartment at the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. She called for an ambulance at 11:18 a.m., and Hendrix was taken to St Mary Abbot’s Hospital, where an attempt was made to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m.
The post-mortem examination concluded that Hendrix aspirated on his own vomit and died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates. At the inquest, the coroner, finding no evidence of suicide, and lacking sufficient evidence of the circumstances, recorded an open verdict. Dannemann stated that Hendrix had taken nine of her prescribed Vesparax sleeping tablets, 18 times the recommended dosage.
On October 1, 1970, Hendrix was interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Renton, Washington. In 1992, his former girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, asked British authorities to reopen the investigation into Hendrix’s death. A subsequent inquiry by Scotland Yard proved inconclusive, and, in 1993, they decided against proceeding with an investigation.
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