Who was Monika Dannemann?
Monika Dannemann may be known as the ‘Girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix’ or the romantic interest of Hendrix, but there is more to her than simply her relationship status. She was a German figure skater and painter who won several competitions in the sport and earned quite a few medals and trophies. She also represented her country at the national championship. It was however, her relationship status with Hendrix that gained Dannemann attention. Though there was nothing official between the two except for Dannemann’s claims of Hendrix proposing her for marriage just days before his death, their relationship gained quite a limelight post Hendrix’s sudden death at her home due to asphyxiation. Dannemann since then remained surrounded around controversy—his sudden death, her inconsistent stories about his death, her house that turned into an eerie shrine for the singer, her marriage to Roth, her book ‘The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix’, her slanderous comments about Hendrix’s former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and finally her sudden and premature death.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Monika Dannemann was an accomplished figure skater and painter. She participated in a number of competitions early in her career, winning several medals and trophies. It was her brilliant skating skills that helped her represent club Dusseldorfer EG at the national contest. In 1965, she competed in the German Figure Skating Championships, finishing 16th overall. It was after her skating career ended that Dannemann turned to coaching. While Dannemann’s skating career earned her respect from the sporting circuit, it was her relationship with guitarist/singer Jimmi Hendrix that brought her nation-wide acclaim. If reports are to be believed, the two were in constant touch since 1969.
When Hendrix came to live in her apartment before the fateful night in September 15, 1970, little did he know that it would be the last four days of his life! On the eve of September 17, Hendrix took at least one amphetamine pill at a party. He then came back to Dannemann’s flat, where he took nine of her Vesparax sleeping tablets – note, the recommended dose was 1/2 to 1 tablet. As per statements by Dannemann, she found him in coma at her basement flat on the morning of September 18, 1970. She called for an ambulance and took Hendrix to St. Mary Abotts Hospital where he was declared dead. The cause of his death was asphyxiation through aspiration of vomit due to a barbiturate overdose.
After Hendrix’s death, Monika Dannemann made a career out of being Hendrix's fiancée. She was seen giving interviews to various newspapers, important magazines and books. She also made guest appearances at Hendrix conventions.
Dannemann was involved with German guitarist Uli Jon Roth. The two collaborated on several songs most popular of which was ‘We’ll Burn the Sky’. They also did a number of album cover designs and artwork together. She also penned a book, ‘The Inner World Of Jimi Hendrix’, in which she described her experience of living and working with Hendrix. Ironic as it may seem to be, the two hardly spent not more than a couple of days together in the two years of their relationship. However, the book wasn’t published due to slanderous comments about Hendrix’s former girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. In 1996, Dannemann was found guilty of contempt of court for breaching a British High Court Order against her not to repeat false allegations against Kathy Etchingham.
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Monika Dannemann was born on June 24, 1945 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Not much is known of her personal life including her parents or her educational qualifications. She first met guitarist Jimi Hendrix during his Dusseldorf concert in January 1969. She was so impressed by him that she not just spent the evening, but the night following and part of the next day with Hendrix. She also accompanied him to his concert in Cologne. Three months later that Dannemann moved to London with the intention of bumping into Hendrix again. And so it happened that the two met at the Speakeasy Club. During that time, hNEDRIX was already in a relationship with Kirsten Nefer. A year later, when Jimi broke up with Nefer he reconnected with Dannemann. They spent four nights at her flat in the Samarkand Hotel in Notting Hill Gate before his impending death on September 17, 1969. Hendrix’s fans abhorred her and called her ‘skater from hell’.
After Hendrix's death, Monika Dannemann became romantically involved with German rock guitarist, Uli Jon Roth, a German guitarist famous as the member of the German rock band ‘Scorpions’.
Much like Hendrix, Monika Dannemann too died a sudden death – she was found dead on 5 April 1996 in fume-filled Mercedes Benz near her cottage in Seaford, East Sussex. Her death was considered to be a suicide but Roth claimed that it was the result of foul play.