Friday, September 18, 2009

Jimi Hendrix

On September 18, 1970, the famed rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix died in London of "unknown causes," according to the New York Times obituary that ran the following day. As one account relates his final days:

"His final concerts were largely frustrating, as the aims of the artist and the expectations of his audience grew increasingly separate. His final UK appearance, at the Isle of Wight festival, encapsulated this dilemma, yet still drew an enthralling performance. The guitarist returned to London following a short European tour. On 18 September 1970, his girlfriend, Monika Danneman, became alarmed when she was unable to rouse him from sleep. An ambulance was called, but Hendrix was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. The inquest recorded an open verdict, with death caused by suffocation [...] Eric Burdon claimed at the time to possess a suicide note, but this has never been confirmed."

Source: "Hendrix, Jimi" in Encyclopedia of Popular Music, ed. Colin Larkin (London: Muze, 1998), 3:2489-2491.

New York Times, "Jimi Hendrix, Rock Star, is Dead in London at 27," September 19, 1970.

Armacost Library holds old New York Times articles on microfilm. If you already know what year you are looking for, just ask for it at the periodicals desk. If you're not sure what date your article was printed, try looking up the name of the person or topic you are researching in the New York Times Print Index, shelved on the study carrels by the reference desk.

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