An Interview with Kathy Etchingham

by Michael Fairchild - page 2 of 2

Michael Fairchild & Kathy Etchingham

KE: It's very confused. We'll never find out what happened because I don't think she can tell us. Maybe she wasn't there and when she came back she found him dead. Terry Slater told me that Jimi was lying on the bed dead while they were cleaning the place up. All we know is what she told us, but the story that she told us doesn't make sense when you compare it with all the other evidence.

MF: Sometimes, in the mind's eye, people recall bad events a certain way that allows them to deal with it.

KE: There's a condition called post-truamadc shock syndrome, where people who have seen a really nasty accident, say a plane crash or something, they can see the crash, but they can't see the mangled bodies, the mind blocks it out and some gets into sort of cold storage, as it were, and only hypnosis will bring it out. She said to Tony Brown, "Well, if I find these ambulance men. I shall ask them to be hypnotized." So she knows about that too, see. Somebody might have said to her at some stage, her doctor possibly said, look, why don't you go through hypnosis and try and find out what happened that morning. Because she may not know what happened that morning. Maybe she was completely zonked out of it as well. Eric Burden said to me, "I think I called the ambulance."

Now, the other thing - apart from the forensic evidence, which you cannot argue with, because they're the experts - one of the other clinchers is, how come Gerry Stickles himself says that he was phoned early, 8 to 9 o'clock, by Terry Slater? Now, work that one out. Mitch Mitchell and Gerry Stickles say that they were called early. And Eric Burdon said that he got the phone call from Monika at the first light of dawn.

Gerry Stickles told Harry Shapiro that he went first to the Cumberland Hotel because he got a phone call from Terry Slater and Terry Slater said look, you better get over here, Jimi's in big trouble. And he went straight to the Cumberland Hotel thinking Jimi was in trouble at the Hotel and been busted. Gerry Stickles said that he thought that "the hotel" was Jimi's hotel; the Cumberland. He knew nothing of the Samarkand Hotel. Gerry Stickles said it was early - 8 to 9 o'clock - no later. Now, Terry Slater told me it was early. Eric Burdon told me it was early. Mitch Mitchell told me it was early. Gerry Stickles has said it was early. I'm sorry, I have to believe four separate people who said it was early.

MF: And the pathologist report supports what they're saying.

KE: Absolutely, completely dovetails right in there and said that he must have been dead by 5:30 a.m. at the latest. The doctors knew when he got to the hospital that he was dead, that was obvious. But the very fact that Dr. Bannister wrote that letter from Australia, quite independently, nobody interviewed him, he just saw the book ("Electric Gypsy") in a bookshop, read it, and wrote a letter of protest. And it completely dovetails with what Dr. Seifert has said, and they'd never seen each other since that day, dovetails with what the ambulancemen have said, and they'd never even met them (the doctors).

MF: What happened in all those hours?

KE: This is it, you see, we'll never find out, and that's the frustrating thing. She'll keep putting her own story forward, she'll never give up. Eric Burdon said to me, "She will never, ever give up trying to prove that she was his fiance," when in fact she wasn't. She was a one night stand in Germany, and a one night stand in London, or two nights at the most. She's not even trying to claim any more that she saw him in (February and March) 1969, not through her lawyers to my lawyers anyway. They met one night in Dusseldorf (Jan. 12,1969), and that was it (until 1970), because we've got Jimi on film the following night (Cologne Jan. 13, 1969) with somebody else.

MF: Nobody can place her in London during February and March 1969?

KE: No! Nobody can place her, and when she's been asked for her passport, which would have been stamped in those days because it was before the EEC, she said, "Well, I don't know where this is now." I've got mine. So much of her story seems made up. Like the claim that she walked into the Speakeasy and that I was there, around near the bar when they went into the restaurant, which is a different part of the nightclub. Now that could not have happened, because I had an account, which I shared with Jimi, we both could sign on the same account, and the account - the restaurant was run by different people to the club - so if I wanted to have a drink I would have to be in the restaurant to sign for it, do you understand? So I would never have been sitting around the bar. It was only groupies who sat at the bar. I would have been in the restaurant, because that's where we always went, that's where I held my account, that's where I was. I mean, it never happened, and it's bloody insulting. One of the things said in those manuscript drafts that bear her name, but which she now denies ever writing, is that Jimi told her, "I've got to go to Heathrow Airport to pick up my equipment at midnight." Heathrow Airport closes down at 11 o'clock, always has, and there's no way that you can pick up anything after 11 o'clock. Nobody ever went down to the Speakeasy before midnight, see what I mean? It wouldn't have been in mid-evening or anything like that. because we never went down there till very, very late - twelve, one o'clock. See? We'd go somewhere else in the evenings, and she's related nothing about going anywhere else in the evening. See, it's little mistakes like that.

MF: It seems that either her memory is very poor, or she's fictionalizing a lot.

KE: She must be fictionalizing, because the thing was that Jimi didn't go to restaurants, see that's another thing Look, when you live with someone, you know what they're like, and it's quite clear to me that she didn't know him very well, not like I knew him. Reading her descriptions of him. it becomes clear as a bell that this woman did not know Jimi Hendnx well at all, because he was a completely different character to the one she has portrayed. I did this interview for Q magazine (June 1992) and I said that Jimi had lots of girlfriends and it wasn't a particularly attractive part of his character. Then I turn the page and I see Monika Dannamann say "It is not true that he had many girlfriends." I mean, rubbish! Are we to ignore the photographic evidence? Her story would never stand up in a British court, nor in an American one, I don't think. I know of no pictures of her with Jimi at all, apart from when they met, and it was just like a fan pose, if you look at it. And it's been cut down and supplied it to everybody so it looks as if it's just the two of them. But the full photograph has all these other people as well.

Mind you, I don't know an awful lot of the photographic technicalities, but I certainly was there and there's enough evidence to show that I was, and there's enough people in the business that will say so. But nobody in the business knew Monika Dannemann.

MF: What about the post card that Jimi sent to her family?

KE. Only one! And he wrote it like he would write to a fan, and that was only on the 17th, the day before he died, and the way that he wrote on that card - "Hi. remember me?" you know, it means that he hadn't seen (Monika s brother) since they met at the hotel the previous year. And it was very formal for Jimi, hardly the sort of words that you would write to somebody that you knew very well, or a member of the family. No, the whole thing comes across like a complete set-up. History has been altered and everybody's fallen for it, because nobody s spoken up before. All the people over here know that. Her story's been worked on for twenty-two years You can make up all kinds of fantasy over twenty-two years. I mean the fact is that her story now completely contradicts what has circulated in the manuscript drafts which she allegedly wrote, or which have been attributed to her since 1973! As far as I know, the only public statement she's made recently is that she's the fiance of Jimi Hendrix, and then sort of passing this letter around from Al Hendrix (In 1991 Monika visited Al and asked him to sign a statement acknowledging Monika as Jimi's intended bride.) In none of those manuscript drafts is it claimed that she was his fiance. But now she is formally engaged, and denies having written those manuscripts, see?

A letter has suddenly surfaced which she says is Jimi's declaration of committment to her and she's now showing it to people after all these years. What a crazy thing to do, when she's written something in the region of six manuscripts. Look, if she's got absolute proof of her position, wouldn't she have used that in the very first instance?

MF: Could she have just put that letter together herself? Could it be a cut and paste job?

KE: Well, you can draw your own conclusions. I think she's been buying a lot of his handwritten stuff at auction. Until I can see the original letter, and not just a photocopy, I will remain skeptical.



[NOTE: A research thief called Mr. Rob(ber)y has appeard in a British documentary which credits him for the work Michael Fairchild did with Kathy Etchingham and Dee Mitchell about Jimi's death.

Also, please be aware that for years the owners and staff at the Yahoo search engine have artificially/surgically removed this website from all listings under the words "jimi hendrix." Following the example of Paul Allen, the owners of Yahoo are intent on concealing the insights and research of Hendrix scholar Michael Fairchild, out of sheer pathological jealousy.

- James Sedgwick]