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On August 30, 1970, just under three weeks before Jimi Hendrix’s death, over 600,000 attendees descended upon Seaclose Park for the Isle of Wight Festival, unaware of the lasting impact this event would have. Among the festival’s primary attractions was Jimi Hendrix, accompanied by his bandmates Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums, collectively known as the “Blue Wild Angel” band.

Despite some initial equipment issues and radio interference, Jimi Hendrix maintains his composure, making jokes and engaging with the audience. As the performance progresses, Jimi Hendrix dedicates “Machine Gun” to soldiers in various locations, acknowledging the complexities of the Vietnam War.

The Isle of Wight was far from being one of Jimi Hendrix’s best live performances. After the conclusion of this festival, amidst the hustle and bustle of Jimi Hendrix’s life at that time, in less than 24 hours, he would find himself in Stockholm, Sweden. The concert Hendrix gave there was far better than the one on the Isle of Wight.

 

The Meeting of Jimi Hendrix With Eva Sundquist

 

It was backstage at the concert in Stockholm that Jimi Hendrix wanted to be with his favorite girlfriend in Sweden: Eva Sundquist. This meeting was not as joyful as in previous visits, as Eva Sundquist had given birth to James Daniel Sundquist, Jimi Hendrix’s child. She had written to Jimi Hendrix several times about the baby, but Jimi had not responded. Jimi never met James Daniel Sundquist, his only known son.

This news left Hendrix petrified by the possibility of parenthood, or perhaps because he was still recovering from the paternity suit, he was already fighting with Diana Carpenter, the mother of Jimi Hendrix’s oldest child, Tamika Hendrix.

 

Jimi Hendrix’s Last Festival: “Love & Peace Festival”

 

On August 29, just before Jimi’s performance at the Isle Of Wight Festival, Jimi told interviewer Roy Hollingworth:

It’s all turned full circle,” adding, “I’m back right now to where I started. I’ve given this era of music everything. I still sound the same, my music’s still the same, and I can’t think of anything new to add to it in its present state… When the last American tour finished earlier this year, I just wanted to go away a while and forget everything. I wanted to just do recording, and see if I could write something. Then I started thinking. Thinking about the future. Thinking that this era of music – sparked off by The Beatles – had come to an end…

The Experience, now named by Jimi Hendrix as “Blue Wild Angel,” went to Germany, to the island of Fehmarn, for another festival. However, due to inclement weather, Jimi Hendrix did not perform on the night of September 5th but instead took the stage on September 6th.”

On this day, the band finally appeared to the excitement of the crowd, albeit with mixed reactions. Boos and shouts of “Go home!” echoed alongside cheers. Undeterred, Jimi Hendrix responded defiantly, stating, “Boo, boo… I don’t give a f**k if you boo, as long as you boo in key… you mothers…!” Despite the initial discord, Hendrix went on to deliver a captivating performance, and as the sun emerged, the crowd seemed to forget their earlier frustration, enjoying a memorable show.

 

Jimi Hendrix’s Return to London: His Last Days Before His Death

 

Jimi Hendrix had a show scheduled for September 13 in Rotterdam and immediately started making calls to find a new bass player since Billy Cox had fallen ill in Germany. Jimi Hendrix even considered reaching out to Noel Redding again. However, this concert never took place.

Amid somewhat confusing interviews about his future, seeking refuge from the media, and dealing with his manager Mike Jeffery and a lawyer regarding legal issues with Diana Carpenter and Ed Chalpin, Hendrix found comfort in the company of women, including Linda Keith, Kirsten Nefer, Kathy Etchingham, and his most serious relationship at the time with Monika Dannemann.

On September 16, 1970, Eric Burdon and the band War were in a residency at the renowned London jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s. On that memorable night, Jimi Hendrix joined former Animals frontman Eric Burdon on stage. The collaboration between Burdon and Hendrix came after they had reconnected just a few days earlier. Burdon recalled in his autobiography, “I introduced Jimi to the audience. The typical London jazz crowd tried to show indifference as he took the stage, but a ripple of applause greeted the greatest guitar player in the world.

They performed extended versions of two covers released by Burdon and War on their debut album: Memphis Slim’s “Mother Earth” and a spirited rendition of John D. Loudermilk’s “Tobacco Road.” Burdon noted that Hendrix was “flying,” and his presence elevated War guitarist Howard Scott to new heights. However, Burdon described Hendrix as “reluctant,” more willing to play in the background than engage in the usual jams. Those songs were the last songs Jimi Hendrix ever played!

After leaving the stage, Hendrix ran into NME writer Roy Carr and discussed his reported plans to record with Miles Davis and Gil Evans, along with his ongoing sessions with John McLaughlin and Larry Young. Hendrix expressed uncertainty about classifying his work as jazz.

Later that night, Hendrix and Dannemann went for a late-night party invited by Devon Wilson before retiring to the Samarkand Hotel, where Monika lived. Dannemann discovered Hendrix unresponsive on the morning of September 18. He was pronounced dead at 12:45 PM, having choked on his vomit after taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

 

 

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FAQS

What was the significance of Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970?

Jimi Hendrix’s Isle of Wight Festival performance marked a pivotal moment in music history. Despite technical issues, he engaged the audience and even dedicated a song, “Machine Gun,” to soldiers, addressing the complexities of the Vietnam War.

Did Jimi Hendrix have a son named James Daniel Sundquist?

Yes, Jimi Hendrix’s only known son was James Daniel Sundquist. However, Jimi never met him, and the revelation of his parenthood left Hendrix perturbed.

What happened during Jimi Hendrix’s last festival performance at the “Love & Peace Festival” in 1970?

Jimi Hendrix faced mixed reactions at the “Love & Peace Festival” on September 6, 1970, with boos and cheers from the crowd. Despite initial discord, his captivating performance eventually won over the audience, making it a memorable show.

Why did Jimi Hendrix’s Rotterdam concert on September 13, 1970, get canceled?

Jimi Hendrix’s Rotterdam concert was canceled due to the illness of bass player Billy Cox. Hendrix considered reaching out to Noel Redding as a replacement.

How did Jimi Hendrix spend his last days before his death in September 1970?

In his final days, Jimi Hendrix grappled with legal matters, sought refuge from the media, and found comfort in the company of women, including Linda Keith, Kirsten Nefer, Kathy Etchingham, and his serious relationship with Monika Dannemann. His last public performance was with Eric Burdon on September 16, 1970, in London.

 

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