James “Tappy” Wright, one of Hendrix’s former roadie claims that his manager, Micheal Jeffrey, confessed to making Jimi swallow sleeping pills in hopes of collecting his client’s life insurance policy.
Whether it be real or not, many conspiracy theories illustrate Jimi’s death, and I for one had often heard of stories concerning his demise related to the relationship he had with his managers.
James Tappy’s book called “Rock Roadie: Backstage and confidential with Hendrix, Elvis, the Animals and Tina” is a collection of anecdotes he collected during his roadie years from the early 60’s to the late 80’s. It looks like a must read. Prologue starts as follows:
Jimi Hendrix was found dead on the morning of September 18th, 1970. The coroners report stated cause of death due to barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit. An open verdict.
1971, and I’m sitting in an old friend’s apartment. We’re working; doing what we are good at; doing what we’ve been doing for over a decade. A collection of glasses and ashtrays are propped up against sweeps of paperwork on the table in front of us. The hours pass by, the details are completed and we talk.
More than thirty years on I can remember that conversation; see, the man I had known for much of my life, his face pale, his hands clutching at his glasses with rage:
“I had to do it. You understand don’t you? I had to”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know damn well what I’m talking about”
And I did, though I didn’t want to believe it. I knew what he was telling me and now I’m going to tell you. Because of all the crazy stories that were about Hendrix’s death, there is one I know to be true. There are secrets I don’t need to keep anymore, and I’m going to tell them all”