Rock roadie reveals secrets in new book
Was Jimi Hendrix murdered?
By Sarah Freeman, OF THE MORNING CALL
10:05 PM CDT, September 24, 2010
On a tour bus with The Who and The Animals, Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, turns to roadie James "Tappy" Wright and tells him they have to go back 20 miles to the hotel. When Moon returns empty handed, Wright asks what he forgot. Moon responds, "I just forgot to throw the TV out the window."
"That was the '60s," says Wright, author of "Rock Roadie: Backstage and Confidential with Hendrix, Elvis, Tina Turner and An All-Star Cast."
Wright spent 30 years on the road with a who's who of 1960s rockers — The Animals, Ike and Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, Carl Perkins, Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis. He also had professional encounters with Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis.
Wright's career as a roadie was born from his stint as a guitarist for a band called The Wildcats in early 1960s England. Before the band achieved success, its guitarist, Hilton Valentine, was stolen by another band searching for fame: The Animals. In exchange for breaking up his band, The Animals offered Wright the position of roadie.
Wright was with that supergroup fronted by Eric Burdon as it recorded its biggest hits, "House of the Rising Sun" and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place."
Now, half a century later, Wright says he felt a need to tell his stories about some of the world's most iconic musicians during their prime.
He says he wanted to write a book that was different from the "regurgitated lies" of other rock 'n' roll tell-alls, saying many of these books compile information from indirect sources and are not written from a first-hand perspective.
The result is "Rock Roadie," a funny, raunchy and sometimes terrifying look into the soul of rock 'n' roll during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. In collaboration with veteran music manager, film producer and agent Rod Weinberg begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, the book includes dozens of stories, such as helping to trap an egotistical Little Richard in an elevator and hanging up on Elvis Presley for impersonating himself.
Wright still recalls Michael Jeffery, Hendrix's second manager, clutching a glass in rage as he said, "I had to do it, Tappy. You understand don't you? I had to do it." "What are you talking about?" Wright asked. "You know damn well what I'm talking about," Jeffery said.
Jeffery was referring to the night of Sept. 17, 1970. Hendrix had retired to his girlfriend's flat in London. He took nine of her prescription sleeping pills because he was unfamiliar with the brand's strength. Wright says some of Jeffery's hired thugs then "waterboarded" Hendrix with red wine. "He was drowned … by professional killers," Wright says.
According to Wright, in a recent investigation sparked by his claims, reporters from The Times in London questioned the doctor who attempted to revive Hendrix hours after his death. The doctor said he found large amounts of alcohol in Hendrix' lungs, but little alcohol dissolved into his bloodstream or in his stomach.
According to Wright, the doctor said he had never seen so much red wine come out of someone's lungs. And Hendrix never drank red wine, which made the findings ever more suspicious.
"Wright says that Jeffery, who died in 1973, had a reputation of shady dealings and mob relations, like many in the industry at the time. He says Hendrix was preparing to let Jeffery go because of disagreements over money and Jeffery needed the $2 million insurance policy he had recently taken out on Hendrix to pay off his debts.
Why did Wright wait 40 years to reveal his theory?
"Who knew that Jimi was still going to be a legend after 40 years?" Wright says.
Wright says a fear of the consequences the truth might bring also kept him from telling his story. "Forty years ago, if I had told it I would have been dead," Wright says.
Today Wright splits his time between his native home of Whitley Bay in northeast England and Florida. He is a rock-memorabilia and guitar dealer. He plans to head into the spotlight in a tour telling the story of his life on college campuses across the United States.
And what about that nickname, "Tappy"? Wright, quite a player back in the day, jokes that he earned it "for tapping women." But really, he confesses, it was the results of his childhood love of saltwater taffy.
JAMES 'TAPPY' WRIGHT 'ROCK ROADIE' BOOK SIGNING
When: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Relish restaurant, Tilghman Square Shopping Center, 4686 Broadway, Allentown
How much: Free
The Crack - OCTOBER 09 BOOK REVIEWS
Book of the Month:
James 'Tappy' Wright, JR Books £16.99
When he was growing up in Cullercoats and Whitley Bay it's doubtful that
James 'Tappy' Wright imagined himself at the focus of an international media
storm, but that's precisely what's happened following the publication of
this memoir. In the book Tappy states categorically that legendary rock
guitarist Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager, and founder of
Newcastle's famous music venue Club A Go Go, Mike Jeffrey. Indeed Tappy's
version of events has been since deemed 'plausible' by the hospital doctor
who tried to revive Hendrix on the night of his death. Tappy got his start
as a road manager with local musical heroes The Animals, ostensibly because
he owned a Bedford van and was best mates with Animals' guitarist Hilton
Valentine. Tappy managed to eschew drugs, but had lots of sex - the book is
filled with his various sexcapdes, plus memories of his encounters with
numerous famous names.
The anecdotes are breezily told, and are not without humour and honesty, but
don't look for the nascent sixties rock scene to be put in any
socio-political context. Future rock historians will doubtless refer to the
revelations in Tappy's book whenever they discuss the death of Hendrix. MJ
Daily Mirror 22nd August 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Tappy Wright - Rock Roadie
By John Nicholson on August 22, 2009 10:31 AM in Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Ah ha! I was involved in a bit of news on Friday evening. We had all filed
in to see this grand old Geordie roadie Tappy Wright, tell us tales of being
on the road with The Animals, Hermans bloody Hermits and Hendrix, back in
the 60s. All was rollicking along well, with Tappy on fine form when Marsha
Hunt got up and declared it was all lies and a charade.
Now, if you don't remember, Marsha Hunt that's because you are not old like
me. Think Blue Mink - "what we need is a great big melting pot" - etc......(
UPDATE: actually, as a poster has pointed out, my memory is playing tricks
on me, that was Madeline Bell - she did have great hair though ) she had a
Jagger babba too, used to have a fine, nay, legendary 'fro and, according to
Tappy, was a brief girlfriend of Jimi. roackroadie.jpg
Tappy says Jimi was murdered by Mike Jeffrey - his manager and all-round
gangster type; that he was effectively drowned in wine in order to collect a
£2 million insurance pay-out which Jeffrey needed to pay off the mob, having
borrowed money from them to pay tax demands. Whether this is true of not is
impossible to prove but he made a convincing case that this was, at the very
least, a plausible scenario.
It was at this point that Marsha jumped up and said it was all lies. Had she
been waiting for this moment for weeks? If so, it didn't cut the mustard as
an intervention, though it was excellent theatre. When invited by Tappy's
interviewer - Roger Pomphrey - a man with a killer older dude's perm - to
justify her claims, she was unable or unwilling to do so and stormed out.
Hey, even if it nothing he said was true, who cares? It was a cracking hour
and all made perfect sense to me. And anyway, the truth is rarely revealed
by facts, Professor Existential.
It was all great fun, and very rock n roll. Tappy was not amused. He did
know who she was - maybe she's stalking his shows or something, it seemed an
odd thing to do really, after all, he was only talking to 60-ish people. But
hey, she can get up and shout at all the shows I go to see, its livens up
proceedings no end.
The hour with the Tapmeister was too short to ask him all the questions we
wanted to ask but this kind of oral history is fantastic if you're
interested in a specific era and if you have a chance to catch one of these
promo evenings for his book Rock Roadie, then you'll not be disappointed,
unless you're Marsha Hunt, of course. And I can categorically say, I am not
Star Rating * * * * *
Tappy Wright Supper Room Assembly@George Street 22nd only.
Autopsy, plays a key role in both the Hendrix and Jackson
Author: William Crockerham
With the tragic death of Michael Jackson, the world seems to be caught up in his untimely demise. Well, the jury of public opinion is still out on that one; but the death to a rock star by the name of Jimi Hendrix, is still in the realm of Ripley's Believe It or Not.
An autopsy plays a significant role in both deaths.
In the Examiner.com article, "Waterboarding is Torture and it Doesn't Work" it was pointed out that Hendrix died from being waterboarded with red wine. (http://www.examiner.com/x-2959-Flint-Community-Examiner~y2009m5d28-Waterboarding-is-Torture-and-it-Doesn't-Work)
It doesn't help the memory of the great guitarist much, that Hendrix recorded a song called 'Purple Haze' before a drug of the same name came out, and blew a lot of people's minds, from its use. There were also rumors of heavy drug abuse by Hendrix, but people close to him deny that he did that.
Hendrix was a guitarist who played with the Isley Brothers and also with people like Peter Frampton and others in England where he died. He also was a mainliner at the now famous "Woodstock Festival' in upstate New York in the 1969.
Hendrix was having problems with his manager, and foul play has never been ruled out in his manner of dying. As the world waits the autopsy in the King of Pop's case, there's no need to wait in the case of Jimi Hendrix. Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London under circumstances which have never been fully explained. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi-Hendrix)
When, a radio personality in Chicago, was waterboarded, he lasted just 6 to 7 seconds. Among victims of waterboarding, there is no debate about whether it is torture or not, it is. A, 9-11 suspect, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, has withstood the most applications of waterboarding while in U.S. custody, in one session, he was able to tolerate just 2 and a half minutes of this type of interrogation technique.
What makes the Hendrix case so suspicious is that he was killed by this technique before it had a name and before anyone knew much about it. That he was killed from too much wine is one thing, but the other is that little of this wine had been absorbed into his blood stream. The autopsy describes what was found in and around his body.
"I recall vividly the very large amounts of red wine that oozed from his stomach and his lungs, and in my opinion there was no question that Jimi Hendrix had drowned,” says the attending physician, Dr. John Bannister.
According to the attending physician’s when he reached the emergency (casualty) room his condition was dire: On arrival Jimi was immediately seen by Dr. John Bannister, a Surgical Registrar, and shortly after by Dr Martin Seifert, the Medical Registrar on duty that day.” His girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, of the time and in whose apartment he was staying, says she thought he had taken 9 of her sleeping pills the night before.
“It is curious that despite the copious (large) amounts of red wine that Jimi had in his body, his blood alcohol level was low. It is also curious that Jimi was covered in so much red wine,” this according to Dr. Bannister.
“His mucous membranes in the larynx and pharynx were completely cyanosed and prior to suction there was red wine and gastric contents exuding from his mouth. I recall vividly the very large amounts of red wine that oozed from his stomach and his lungs, and in my opinion there was no question that Jimi Hendrix had drowned, if not at home then certainly on the way to the hospital.”
“One explanation that explains the forensic evidence is that Jimi Hendrix was restrained, wine forced down his throat until his thrashings ceased. All of this must have taken place quickly, before the alcohol had time to enter his bloodstream. The post mortem report states that the blood alcohol level was not excessive, about 20mg over the legal drinking limit.
He died before his stomach absorbed much of the wine. Jimi Hendrix choked to death. That much of the general understanding of his demise is correct, and little else.” (Alex Constantine's Blacklist: Attending Physician: Jimi Hendrix was WATERBOARDED to Death w/Red Wine)
Crawdaddy magazine launched its own investigation and concluded that a death squad of some kind had targeted him: "Hendrix is not the only artist to have had his career sabotaged by unscrupulous sharks and leeches."
His girlfriend, in whose apartment he was staying when the incident which led to his dire situation, died not long after he did, under mysterious circumstances also. And, in both cases, no one has been caught, interviewed or given blame for either death.
In the case of the King of Pop, perhaps his father's suspicion's are to be proven true, that he was murdered. At least in his case, there are known individuals who may be at the top of the list. But in the case of Hendrix, there doesn't seem to be a list at all.
The Government Killed Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix’s death was most likely the result of an FBI-sponsored conspiracy which involved groupie-girlfriend Monika Dannemann, manager Michael Jeffrey, and record producer Alan Douglas.... Michael Jeffrey reportedly died in a plane crash on his way to Spain in 1973, about three years after Hendrix’s death. Monika Dannemann reportedly committed suicide on April 5, 1996, about a year after Phillip Harvey’s damning affidavit surfaced showing her as a prime suspect in Hendrix’s murder; Chas Chandler also died in 1996. Devon Wilson reportedly died under mysterious circumstances at the Chelsea Hotel in New York in 1971.51 Contrary to popular belief, Hendrix’s death was not heroin-related at all. He did not die from "inhalation of vomit due to barbiturate intoxication" as London coroner Gavin Thurston (deceased) wrote on the inquest report. Jimi Hendrix drowned in red wine. This is not wild speculation, it was disclosed by Dr. John Bannister—the physician who worked on Hendrix at the St Mary Abbot's Hospital—in an interview on December 18, 1993; later on September 10, 1995. If Hendrix was drowned in red wine, he must have been murdered. This leaves two possible scenarios. He was either strapped down, and red wine was poured down his throat until he drowned, or he was given a barbiturate which put him in a drug-induced coma, and wine was poured down his throat until he strangled, because he was unable to cough. In either scenario, he drowned from red wine and merely regurgitated as a final stage of drowning. Whether Jimi Hendrix was murdered or not is no longer a topic of serious debate. The question to ask about his death should be the same one asked by the Warren Commission regarding President Kennedy’s assassination. Was he killed by a lone nut or was it a governmental conspiracy? In both cases, the alleged lone nuts (Oswald and Dannemann) ended up dying unnatural deaths.