“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”.
“I believe the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious and I think he was murdered.” — Ed Chalpin, Proprietor of Studio 76
“I feel he was murdered, frankly. Somebody gave him something. Somebody gave him something they shouldn’t have.” — John McLaughlin, Guitarist, Mahavishnu Orchestra
He didn’t die from a drug overdose. He was not an out-of-control dope fiend. Jimi Hendrix was not a junkie. And anyone who would use his death as a warning to stay away from drugs should warn people against the other things that killed Jimi—the stresses of dealing with the music industry, the craziness of being on the road, and especially, the dangers of involving oneself in a radical, or even unpopular, political movements. COINTELPRO was out to do more than prevent a Communist menace from overtaking the United States, or keep the Black Power movement from burning down cities. COINTELPRO was out to obliterate its opposition and ruin the reputations of the people involved in the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, and the rock revolution. Whenever Jimi Hendrix’s death is blamed on drugs, it accomplishes the goals of the FBI’s program. It not only slanders Jimi’s personal and professional reputation, but the entire rock revolution in the 60’s.
—John Holmstrom. “Who Killed Jimi?”(1)
As the music of youth and resistance fell under the cross-hairs of the CIA’s CHAOS war, it was probable that Jimi Hendrix—the tripping, peacenik “Black Elvis” of the ’60s—should find himself a target.
Agents of the pathologically nationalistic FBI opened a file on Hendrix in 1969 after his appearance at several benefits for “subversive” causes. His most cutting insult to the state was participation in a concert for Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale and the other defendants of the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial,(2) “Get [the] Black Panthers,” he told a reporter for a teen magazine, “not to kill anybody, but to scare [federal officials]….I know it sounds like war, but that’s what’s gonna have to happen. It has to be a war….You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread….You have to fight fire with fire.”(3)
On tour in Liesburg, Sweden, Hendrix was interviewed by Tommy Rander, a reporter for the Gotesborgs-Tidningen. ” In the USA, you have to decide which side you’re on,” Hendrix explained. “You are either a rebel or like Frank Sinatra.”(4)
In 1979, college students at the campus newspaper of Santa Barbara University (USB) filed for release of FBI files on Hendrix. Six heavily inked-out pages were released to the student reporters. (The deletions nixed information “currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive Order 11652, in the interest of national defense of foreign policy.”) On appeal, seven more pages were reluctantly turned over to the UCSB students. The file revealed that Hendrix had been placed on the federal “Security Index,” a list of “subversives” to be rounded up and placed in detainment camps in the event of a national emergency.
If the intelligence agencies had their reasons to keep tabs on Hendrix, they couldn’t have picked a better man for the job than Hendrix’s manager, Mike Jeffrey. Jeffrey, by his own admission an intelligence agent,(5) was born in South London in 1933, the sole child of postal workers. He completed his education in 1949, took a job as a clerk for Mobil Oil, was drafted to the National Service two years later. Jeffrey’s scores in science took him to the Educational Corps. He signed on as a professional soldier, joined the Intelligence Corps and at this point his career enters an obscure phase.