Tragic end for the woman who worshipped Hendrix

Rock 'n' roll death: Defeat in her court case this week may have proved too much for Monika Danneman

JAMES CUSICK

and NICOLE VEASH

On any corner of Greenwich Village in New York or Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California, strains of the Sixties can usually be heard, performed by an ageing hippy and his guitar. More often than not the song is Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changing." But for Monika Danneman, the archetypal rock chick and one time girlfriend of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, time just never did change.

In the undefined mid-1990s, with youth culture struggling for an identity, the retro-fashion of the decade of Timothy Leary and the Beatles, youth protest and freedom, looks appealing.

Then Jimi Hendrix was the resident atonal, psychedelic freak; a black musician become rock hero. Eric Clapton, for some, was his white equivalent, but with one crucial difference. Eric is still alive and ageing. Now both Hendrix and his final girlfriend are gone.

Hendrix's extraordinary technique attracted a cult following. On his first tour in London, he supported the Monkees, an industry-invented "Take That" troupe, loved by mums and dads.

German-born Monika Danneman was a champion ice-skater when she met Hendrix in 1968 in a Dusseldorf bar. As chronicler of her own legend, she claims she fell in love straight away. Then there was a gap of some years before the romance was rekindled in London.

In her book, The Inner Life of Jimi Hendrix, published last year to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Hendrix's drug-induced death, the couple are described as living anything but a life of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. There was apparent domestic bliss in a rented flat in Notting Hill Gate where Hendrix talked about "life and death for hours". She says they were engaged and she wore a massive golden serpent that wrapped round her finger.

She was wearing the ring at the High Court last week when she was convicted of contempt of court for continuing a libel against another of the rock star's women. The reality, for those who knew Hendrix well, was that Danneman only ever occupied three weeks out of the rock hero's short life.

The woman Danneman regarded as her rival, Kathy Etchingham, was the long- standing "Foxy Lady" girlfriend of Hendrix. She has moved on from her Sixties' days, and is now the respectable wife of a doctor and mother of two teenage sons.

Danneman in court looked the classic Sixties babe: long blonde feathered hair, tight black suit with bright red satin underneath, lots of rings, lots of jewellery, heavy mascara, and a mohair coat. Appearing every inch the rock star girlfriend, in her mind she remained anchored to the Hendrix legend.

Hendrix died on 18 September 1970, in Danneman's Notting Hill flat. Those who have examined the timetable of the death point to a missing five hours between Danneman's alleged first discovery of the body and the arrival of an ambulance.

In 1994, the Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell reopened the file on the death. The subsequent investigation cleared Danneman of suggestions that she delayed calling the ambulance.

After Hendrix's death, she turned him into a personal religion - worshipping by painting oil pictures of him "on the astral plane" and continuing to write about him. The painting and drawings covered her house which became a shrine to lost love.

By the end of her life she had become a virtual recluse. She recently said: "It is a lonely life. But if I'd not met Jimi, my life would have been very ordinary."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'