27 Club is a new podcast hosted by Disgraceland’s Jake Brennan, telling the stories of the brilliantly talented, tortured, wild rock stars and musicians who died when they were 27, like Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Jim Morrison. The first season focuses on the life and wild times of legendary guitar player Jimi Hendrix. He was such an incredible talent that Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck considered quitting after hearing him play. He had beautiful girlfriends all over the world; he released three iconic albums in less than two years; he was flying high, literally and figuratively. On this episode, Jake tells us about the time Jimi threw a bottle at his girlfriend, when he got busted for heroin in Canada, when Jim Morrison accosted him onstage, and when he took a joyride around Seattle in a junky VW.
Jake tells us these surreal stories with rhythm and detail, putting us right in the middle of the action, his trademark almost-whisper lending gravity to just the right moments. Jimi was playing with his band, The Experience, at The Scene club in New York City when Jim Morrison grabbed his leg; “the Lizard King groping the Voodoo Child.” He was “drunk, skunked….a hippie growth on Jimi’s leg.” Janis Joplin was near the front row, drinking Jack Daniel’s out of the bottle, disgusted with Jim; “Morrison, you drunk f**k!” she shouted at him. Jimi continued to play, hoping Jim would slide off onto the floor, but instead he got up – a “booze-soaked, histrionic messiah,” Jake describes – grabbed the microphone, pointed at Jimi, and said, “I want to suck your c**k.” Janis had had enough. She grabbed him by his shirtsleeve, clocked him upside the head with her whiskey bottle, and dragged him offstage.
Because Jimi was like a magnet, even for other rock stars, Jake tells us; “they wanted to rock with him, they wanted to smoke with him, they wanted to f**k with him.” One night, Jimi convinced a fan to drive him and his girlfriend Carmen, both tripping on LSD, around Seattle for a few hours, folding himself up in the crap car’s tiny backseat; when he got busted in Canada, it was with a vial of heroin he was sure was planted on him by a scorned groupie. Jimi wasn’t out to make trouble. But it seemed to find him anyway. Listen to the episode to hear more about the short and surreal life of Jimi Hendrix on The 27 Club.
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