Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jimi Hendrix and ME Part 2

This is Part 2 of a personal story about Jimi Hendrix and myself please read part 1 below first. This is an excerpt from my book called "I Just Happened To Be There," which my agent is about to shop.
Jimi Part 2
Talk about sensory overload! Perhaps an hour or so later, it’s difficult to know, I heard a footfall behind me. When I turned to see, I just about freaked. It was Jimi. I thought I was hallucinating. He came by the hotel asking for me and was directed up to the roof. He wanted to know more about this powerhouse drug I’d given him.
“Jesus, man, what is this shit? I’m still peaking!”
When I told him it was STP, he seemed relieved. He smiled that great smile of his and giggled, as he often did, then gracefully slid down into a sitting position.
“Might as well get into it and ride it out.” He lit a cigarette. “It’s nice up here.”
He was excited about plans for his own recording digs. Apparently, he spent large sums renting studio time, and someone figured out he’d save money by having his own. He believed it was the first commercial studio owned by a rock recording artist, and had ambitious ideas for its use. He was told an underground spring ran beneath the building and spoke in very trippy terms of how that would affect the music, that the natural presence of water would have a creative influence.
At times, the intensity of the drug made it necessary to maintain some distance. In effect, we took communication breaks, one of us moving across the roof.
In a separate conversation, he shared how burnt out he felt.
“They’re workin’ me to death.”
He didn’t say who “they” were, and I don’t mean to accuse anyone of anything, I don’t claim to know, but he felt “used.” He enjoyed his drugs, but he also believed he needed them to accomplish what was expected of him.
For me, his words hit home. I was a guitar player with aspirations, and here was the best in the world, having the kind of huge success the rest of us dreamed about, and he was unhappy. There were moments where he seemed almost despondent (the drug could have been partly responsible. Hallucinogenics could easily set off mood swings, although often they simply amplify what is already there, hidden beneath the surface).
Finally, the edge came off this mega trip, and we began the journey downward. Jimi thanked me and we said our goodbyes.
“At least we won’t need any more drugs for a while,” he said on his way out, meaning the STP was so strong, who needed to get high again anytime soon?
That was the last time I saw him. His Electric Lady Studios finally opened its doors. Then came the awful news. He had overdosed and died in London. One of the greatest talents ever was gone.
At least we won’t need any more drugs for a while. His parting words still ring in my ear.

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