Jimi Hendrix murdered by his manager?

Jimi murdered: just another conspiracy?
Jimi murdered: just another conspiracy?

Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager for the life insurance money, claims a former roadie in a new book.

According to UK newspaper the Mail On Sunday, In Rock Roadie, James 'Tappy' Wright alleges that Hendrix's then manager Michael Jeffrey drunkenly confessed to killing the legendary guitarist by stuffing pills into his mouth and washing them down with several bottles of red wine.

Wright says Jeffrey confessed to him a year after the star's death that Hendrix was "worth more to him dead than alive". Jeffrey had apparently taken out a life insurance policy on the musician then worth about £1.2m, with himself as the beneficiary. Two years later, Jeffrey himself was killed in a plane crash.

Wright quotes Jeffrey as stating: "I had to do it, Tappy. You understand, don't you? I had to do it. You know damn well what I'm talking about.

"I was in London the night of Jimi's death and together with some old friends... we went round to Monika's hotel room, got a handful of pills and stuffed them into his mouth... then poured a few bottles of red wine deep into his windpipe.

"I had to do it. Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive. That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I'd lose everything."

The official cause of Hendrix's death was 'barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit', with the coroner recording an open verdict.

John Bannister, the surgeon who tried to revive Hendrix at hospital, said he was convinced he had drowned in red wine, despite Hendrix having very little alcohol in his bloodstream.

Whether or not Wright's sensational allegations will be revealed to be nothing more than another conspiracy theory remains to be seen, but we're guessing that it won't do sales of his book any harm in the meantime.

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.