Joplin, Morrison, and Hendrix: The Day Their Music Died

By Chris McDonald | Monday Monday Staff -    2016-08-16


Joplin, Morrison, and Hendrix:  The Day The Music Died

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were, and continue to be, three of the most polarizing musicians in rock and roll history; blinding lights that appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye. 

Sex, drugs, rock and roll.  Live fast and die young.  Two phrases coined following the deaths of so many musicians that were sucked into the black hole of addiction.

The rock legends indulged in the drugs that were a part of the culture during the 1960s, but with money and fame comes an endless supply of whatever you want.  

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all dead at the age of 27 years old.

Janis Joplin- October 4th, 1970

 Janis Joplin had only released “I Got Dem ‘Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama! in 1969 at the time of her death.  She had only released ONE solo album when she died, and not her best work by many accounts.

Janis had a long history of substance abuse, and in October of 1970 she lost her fight against addiction, after being found dead from an accidental heroin overdose in Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel.

In 1971 Pearl was released, “Me and Bobby McGee” skyrocketed in popularity, and in my humble opinion remains one of the great female rock songs (although written by Kristofferson) of all time.  

Now, her “Greatest Hits” albums have become staples of college dorm rooms.  Janis Joplin remains one of the most intriguing people in music history. 

Jimi Hendrix –  September 18th,1970

Interestingly, the circumstances regarding the death of Jimi Hendrix have not always been the certainty of drug overdose.

 Jimi was found unconscious by his girlfriend in a London flat.  At the scene, the cause of death “police, say it was a drug overdose. They say he took nine sleeping pills and died of suffocation through vomit.” –RS.

This has been the official statement concerning the death of Hendrix, but some believe that he may have committed suicide. 

In an article published by Rolling Stone, “according to Eric Burdon [The Animals, War], Hendrix left behind for the girlfriend in whose apartment he died what Burdon called a “suicide note” which was a poem several pages in length.

It was a note of goodbye and a note of hello. I don’t think Jimi committed suicide in the conventional way. He just decided to exit when he wanted to.”

Although those close to Hendrix believe that the singer was not in a place where he would have taken his own life.

There are conspiracy theorists that believe Jimi Hendrix was murders by his girlfriend, the mob, or unbelievably-the government.

Jim Morrison- July 3rd, 1971

 For decades the story regarding the death of Jim Morrison has been a little mysterious. Supposedly, Morrison was at a nightclub in Paris, felt sick, went back to his hotel, and was found dead in his bathtub from heart failure at the age of 27.

Heart failure at 27?  Heroin Overdose?  

In 2007 the former Paris nightclub manager, Sam Bernett, finally opened up about what exactly he saw the night the Lizard King Died in his new books “The End: Jim Morrison,” that he has held onto as his secret as to what happened that night all of these years.

According to an interview on Today, Bernett claims, “Morrison died in a toilet stall of his club after what he believes what was a heroin overdose.  He believes the two drug dealers carried his dead body out of the club and back to his apartment.” 

The bath may have been the final attempt in reviving the Lizard King.

Three rock icons whose mystique continues to keep their names and music within the walls of relevancy, popularity, and controversy.

-Chris McDonald

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