Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest musicians of all time, burst onto the music scene in the middle of the 1960s with his renowned guitar solos and tunes. Aspiring young guitarists all over the world looked to him as an inspiration and motivator, and millions of people still lament his unexpected and premature passing.
On September 18, 1970, at the age of 27, while under the influence of barbiturates, Jimi Hendrix asphyxiated and perished. His lifelong friend, Eric Clapton, will never forget the emotion he experienced upon learning of Jimi Hendrix’s passing. After Hendrix’s passing, Clapton was so devastated and furious that he was unable to bear to hear any of his music for years.
Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix first became friends while playing music together at Regent Street Polytechnic. At the time, Clapton was a member of the band Cream, and he valued the opportunity to perform with Hendrix. The two continued to talk, drink, and have great times for four hours after their session.
Thus, it is clear that Eric Clapton felt both sadness and rage upon learning of Jimi Hendrix’s untimely and unforeseen passing. Hendrix and Clapton were supposed to meet that evening at the Lyceum, and Clapton reported that he had purchased a guitar for Hendrix but was unable to deliver it.
In Clapton’s words:
“After Jimi died, I was angry. I was incredibly angry. I thought it was, not selfish on his part but just erm, a lonely feeling—to be left alone. And after that, I kept running into people who kept shoving him down my throat ‘Have you heard this one he did, this one’s never been on record before.’
The night that he died I was supposed to meet him at the Lyceum to see Sly Stone play, and I brought with me a left-handed Stratocaster. I just found it, I think I bought it at Orange Music. I’d never seen one before, and I was gonna give it to him.“
Because of the painful loss associated with that left-handed Stratocaster, Clapton decided not to listen to Hendrix’s music for great many years. Clapton was constantly reminded of the loss of his dear friend by both Hendrix’s tunes and the guitar.