How Did Jimmi Hendrix Die?

Liz Filmer
18 Sep 2022

Jimi Hendrix is arguably the most innovative electric guitarist of all time, combining blues, hard rock, modern jazz, and soul into his unmistakable sound. September 17th marks the 52nd anniversary of his untimely death at 27. Jimi Hendrix is often portrayed as a tortured soul and longtime recreational drug user. 

 Some conspiracy theorists contend that Hendrix's death resulted from a government conspiracy involving his then-girlfriend Monika Dannemann. Other more reasonable explanations include that Hendrix committed suicide or asphyxiated after overdosing on barbiturates.

The 1960s is often associated with free love and drug experimentation. Along with his innate talent, Jimi Hendrix is known for his affinity for uncontrolled substances. 

Hendrix often drank alcohol and could be reckless when he drank, giving away money or becoming violent and getting into fights. Hendrix had a love for weed which was not much of a problem and, if anything, probably helped him with the creative process. According to legendary music magazine Rolling Stone, Jimi's 1967 album Axis: Bold as Love is considered the greatest stoner record of all time. 

But, when you consider that Hendrix mixed his weed with a cocktail of other drugs and alcohol, you can see how this could've had fatal consequences.  

Jimi Hendrix is known as one of the most prominent "acid rock" artists of his time. Jimmi was known to use LSD while touring. LSD is a psychedelic that causes hallucinations, altering your perceptions of reality and making it hard to think straight. Surprisingly Hendrix was said to be "more or less" functional when on LSD, explaining why he could take it and go on stage. Jimmi was known to use LSD while touring.

Whilst he was found in possession of heroin when landing at Toronto International Airport in 1970 and put on trial, Hendrix always maintained that he never touched the drug. He claimed in his defence that he had "smoked grass four times, hash three times, dropped acid five times, and sniffed coke twice but had since 'outgrown' drugs." 

Despite all the rumours about heavy drug use, some people close to the star believed it was all exaggerated. Hendrix's sound engineer for many years, Roger Meyer, is quoted as saying, "You can't play the guitar to that standard on stage or in the studio if you're stoned on drugs." 

The consensus is that the cocktail of drugs Hendrix consumed throughout his life led to his premature death. However, the circumstances surrounding his death are incredibly sketchy. 

His then girlfriend Monika Dannemann claimed Hendrix took nine Vesperax sleeping pills, which is almost twenty times the recommended dosage).

The doctor who first examined him said that he choked on his vomit, which could have led to his death. After a heavy night of mixing drinks and drugs, you may be sick whilst you are passed out, leading to the intoxicated person quickly choking whilst still unconscious. 

We may never know what exactly killed Jimi Hendrix for sure, or what he might have gone on to accomplish musically or otherwise in the rest of his life. In his short 27 years, he created a soundtrack for cannabis culture and creativity that is still so influential to many today.

Liz Filmer