18 September

Remembering Jimi Hendrix

Rock 'n' Rye

So we are drinking a...

Rock 'n' Rye

Purple haze all in my brain... Lately things just don't seem the same... Jimi Hendrix, rock icon, style icon and probably the greatest electric guitarist of all time died just aged 27 in a Notting Hill, London flat in 1970 today.

Despite being fired by Little Richard and Tina Turner, Hendrix became the first ever rock guitar deity bringing sexuality, virtuosity and drama to his instrument.

Child of an abusive father, an insomniac, and a prolific user of both drugs and alcohol, Hendrix wasn't likely to have lived long and he most likely choked on his own vomit in his sleep after taking a lover's sleeping pills. Almost 30 years later, the woman whose flat he died in killed herself after a court case questioned her relationship with him. Conspiracy theorists claim he was murdered on the order of his manager, to cash in on a multi-million dollar life insurance policy. Hitmen, according to this theory, forced both red wine and sleeping pills down his throat.

Hendrix's music, unlike many of his era, has stood the test of time. And while his short life and unpleasant death make him, like Janis Joplin, an exemplar of the dangers of fame, booze and drugs, we still salute him. If Jimi Hendrix's music ever soundtracked your life, you might want to join us in toasting him, with a Rock 'n' Rye.

Greta Garbo was born this day in 1905

Stunningly beautiful Greta Garbo was born in Sweden on this day in 1905. Following the death of her father, she was obliged to leave school at the age of 14, to take a job in a department store.

Her beauty shone through and she was soon modelling for the company and winning a scholarship to attend a Stockholm drama school. From there, Hollywood was inevitable and she became one of the silent era's biggest stars. Later, her famously gravelly voice made her an instant success in the talkies. Garbo never married, though she came close when she left John Gilbert standing at the altar in 1927. She made her last film in 1941, aged just 36, and turned a little reclusive.

Tonight we'll be drinking a Greta Garbo cocktail, named for this cinema icon.

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