It blows my mind that it has been 40 years since I was a teenager. It just seems like a couple of years ago. Life in this world is very short and as you get older you really realize how short it is. There are many times where I would give anything to go back and live those happy carefree times again. This is why it is critical to try to live every day to its fullest and create happiness for your life. Life ends much too quickly and there is no reason on earth not to make the best of each day. Granted not every day is going to be wonderful, but you do have a choice in how you deal with each day. All I can say is live fully now.
So much happened 40 years ago that affected my life for ever. On September 18, 1970 Jimi Hendrix died. I had seen him perform live ten times and no one ever blew me away like he did. I was a straight kid and did not use drugs, yet I understood completely what his music was about. People often associate those who like Jimi Hendrix with drugs; you don’t need drugs to appreciate his art. I wish I could help you feel the experience of him live because literally I could feel my body vibrate and move in what ever direction he wanted it to when he played his guitar. It was an amazing experience and no one else ever was able to do that for me.
I lived in Los Angeles and I saw most of the major groups in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I am so grateful I lived through that amazing time. People have tried to capture that time period today, but unless you were there you will never really understand or experience it. The news of Jimi’s death came on a Friday and I spent the weekend feeling the loss of such a beautiful person and the greatest guitar player ever. It was hard to believe because he was so young, only 27 years old, and to be gone and to lose what could have been. He died from suffocation (in his own vomit) after taking too many sleeping pills. I had my own private goodbye to Jimi that weekend.
Just a few weeks later on October 04, 1970 Janis Joplin died all alone in a cheap motel from a heroin overdose, she was also only 27 years old. To me she was the greatest female singer to grace this planet. She used her entire soul when she sang. I always preferred male singers, but Janis was different than any woman I had ever heard sing at that time. She arranged all of her own music and wrote some of her songs, a true talent. Unfortunately I never got to see her perform live, but I followed everything about her as she lived. She struck me as an extremely sad and lonely young woman. I had always been intuitive and for some reason her death was not as surprising, she was a known heroin user whereas Jimi was not into heroin. Jimi’s death was more of a surprise because this man was always up beat, whereas Janis seemed to wear her sadness on her sleeve, but it was still so close to losing Jimi, that it left me feeling who was going to die next? Once again I said my private goodbye to Janis. Her latest album, which she was recording at the time of her death, was released right after her death and I played it all the time. It was such a beautiful album, Pearl, and she finally had a top hit with “Me and Bobby McGee.” No one ever did that song better than her.
For those of us who lived during this wonderful creative time we can never forget these two great artists that changed the world then quickly left. Their influence is felt even to this day and will continue to be felt for centuries to come. What if they never would have truly lived and expressed what they felt? The world would have missed out on so much. Let their lives not their death, be an inspiration to you to let go of all inhibitions and live your life freely and fully. We are supposed to live not just exist. Live today!
“Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” Mark Twain
“It's funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead, you are made for life.” Jimi Hendrix
“On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.” Janis Joplin