If Jimi Hendrix, his most famous client, was a preeminent symbol of the foreground of 60s art, culture and creativity, Mike Jeffery as his manager and monetizer, full-time womanizer and man-child, symbolized the ever-present background. Actually, Jeffery represented the more stable element of the mix. Indeed today in contemporary (late 2016) western culture he symbolizes both foreground AND background as evidenced by the popularity of a Trump president in America. Base conquers superstructure, commerce swallows creativity, coal fire consumes sun, wind, water, earth.
In Newcastle, Mike had a girlfriend named Jennie.
‘She was so loyal,’ he said. ‘When I had nothing, she used to sleep on the floor with me.’
Mike met a woman named Gillian in London. Her family was well connected in the theater and Mike drove her father’s Rolls Royce. When I walked into a restaurant with her, people’s heads turned.
When Mike told Jennie he was getting married to a woman named Gillian, Jennie asked him if he wanted to sleep with her again, ‘for old time’s sake.’
After several trips to the United States, Mike met Nancy, me, an artist.
Whenever he called London, he asked me to leave the room. He said he had to say ‘certain things.’
Mike invited me to London to stay at his flat. One day when he was at work, Gillian came over.
‘Isn’t this thick,’ she said.
One summer when I was in Woodstock and Mike was in Manhattan, he met a girl named Lynn, who was modelling a wedding gown in Central Park.
Lynn moved into Mike’s office apartment and started calling herself ‘Mrs. Jeffery,’ although Mike was married still to Gillian.
Gillian flew to New York to try and get Mike back. She cried and told Mike, ‘I thought we were going to get back together.’
It must have been due to ‘certain things’ Mike had said.
Gillian flew back to London.
After Jimi’s death, Mike started receiving letters from a girl named Melissa, whose real name was Karen.
Soon Melissa arrived and Lynn departed. I feel like I’m past my prime Lynn said.
Melissa adored Mike and wanted to have his baby. Mike met Melissa’s father. I think they were about the same age.
Meanwhile, ‘Tommy’ died, Mikes connections were drying up, his reputation was catching up with him, and his golden geese wanted some of their eggs back.
Mike had trouble “taming” Jimi, Nancy writes, and Nancy too for that matter, which probably caused him to respect both artists.
Jimi was playing the Fillmore. Mike and I were driving his car downtown for him.
As we neared the throng of people on the lower east side, pushing to get into the theater, Mike said to me:
‘They’re all out there, and I’m in Jimi Hendrix’ corvette.’
I looked at him.
He said “What??” “It’s normal, I can have feelings like that!”
I knew in a sense it was only human, what he was saying, but he was Jimi’s manager!
And he was ten years older than both Jimi and me.
And I thought he had his priorities all mixed up. And I didn’t think he knew it.
Maybe I took things too seriously.
On so many levels, Mike was so hard to get away from.
But he never had any trouble getting away.
I know he had trouble ‘taming’ Jimi.
And I know he had trouble ‘taming’ me.
Gerry Stickles, the late Jimi’s road manager, was called upon to identify Mike’s body after a certain mid-air collision.
But there was no body, so Gerry identified a ring.
Gillian, the widow, attended Mike’s funeral, as did Melissa.
Melissa later said that she had wanted to throw herself into Mike’s grave.
If she had, she might have been the only one in there.
Here’s one individual’s view on what likely happened to the corvette after Jimi’s death, from “Lost Star Cars” :
Hendrix died in London on Sept 17th, 1970 after an arduous European tour. The car was sold by his manager, Micheal Jefferys to pay off massive bills owing against the Hendrix Estate related to construction. Hendrix’s NYC apartment was whisked clean of personal effects within two days of his death. There is a strong chance this Corvette still exists today. His car would also have the Stingray script and 1969 door handles. To recap, it was Cortez Silver with automatic transmission, a/c, tinted glass 327 or 350 V8 engine molded steering wheel with gunmetal grey or black vinyl interior. The original windshield will have a parking permit dated 1969 and 1970. A good title search could turn up this car if you knew which company name it was registered under. It could be Bella Godiva Music, Yameta Music Corporation, Yameta Publishing or Micheal Jefferys. Seeing as to how quickly the apartment and personal effects were seized as well as the general murkiness of Micheal’s overseas tax dodge set ups, Jefferys likely owned the car on paper. Hendrix never got actual royalty checks when he was alive. He just contacted Yameta Corporation for cash on major purchases and sent all bills to same.
4 Replies to “Driving Jimi’s corvette”
Some of your details of Jimi’s 1969 Vette are not valid. This was the 2nd Hendrix Corvette…Jimi had bought the first one in 1968 while on tour in Cincinnatti. He had one of his assistants drive his blue vehicle back to NY…after the tour, Jimi took a vacation of sorts, staying at a house in Benedict Canyon…he had the blue Vette driven down to California….but within a day or two, he crashed the car…a few days later, he bought a 1969 Vette at an LA dealership…he then had it shipped back to NY a few weeks later…this vehicle was the one he owned when he died…Guitarist Jeff Beck–a car geek–rode in Jimi’s Vette…and described it as being a 427 big-block engine, no air, no power steering…very basic..it was Cortez Silver…and supposedly it was liquidated by Jeffery after Jimi died…some dude bought it at auction, not knowing it was once Jimi’s car! He eventually sold it to someone else, and that is where the trail grows cold. Univibes magazine provided this information, and Beck was interviewed on some auto TV show, and mentioned his riding around NY in the car…he stated that Hendrix was fascinated by the window wipers that would “disappear into the hood” when turned off!
Thanks for the details. Not surprised by the errors. My sister had quite a limited perspective, but ironically at the same time (and at other levels), quite an expansive perspective.
I want you to know, just how much I appreciate your venerating your sensitive, artistic sister!….I have been studying the life and times of Hendrix for over 45 years….but, by getting to know how your sister Nancy interacted with him, a new door has opened, getting us all a little closer to the truths of those unique times…We are all subject to whatever hurtful situations were given to us as kids..yet her inner flame of creativity kept burning…remarkable!..I have come across a few photos of Nancy and Jimi…She was with him during that Dec 69 trial, appearing outside the courthouse with another woman, identified as Jeanette Jacobs, yet another of Jimi’s occasional lovers!….Amazing to me now, how so many otherwise strong, intelligent women were so open to sharing manipulative men, like Hendrix, Jeffery, etc.
Jack, great to hear from you! I so much appreciate your spot-on reading of my (Nancy’s) blog, and your understanding of the times. Surviving her mother’s cruelty, plus her father’s rejection of her, with her creativity, humor and sensitivity intact is truly remarkable. The saying, “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” has a lot of truth to it. Your understanding of Jimi’s manipulative masculinity is also spot-on. Sounds like you are quite self-aware and on the path of awakening. I’m really glad my writing touched you. Your responses have made my day. Hopefully more to come. Be safe.