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Episode 51: Kathy Etchingham

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Jimi Hendrix and Kathy Etchingham in London, Photographer Unknown

This week is all about Kathy Etchingham! Packing her bags and leaving her troubled childhood behind her at only 16, Kathy moved to London in search of the fun, glamorous lifestyle she had always dreamed of. She immediately found herself immersed in the swinging rock ‘n’ roll nightlife, having fun flirtations, memorable interactions and lasting friendships with musicians such as Keith Moon, Brian Jones, John Lennon & many more.

When she met Jimi Hendrix on his first night in England the pair immediately fell for one another and began a 3 year relationship. Together they were each other’s constants, creating the home they both longed for as children. “Kathy is my past girlfriend, my present girl friend and probably my future girlfriend. My mother, my sister and all that bit. My Yoko Ono from Chester.” As Jimi’s career skyrocketed, touring became the norm and the pair grew apart, their relationship shifting from lovers to friends.

Jimi wouldn’t make it past 27, but Kathy was around to make sure his legacy would not be destroyed by vicious gossip and absurd myths. You’ll have to listen to hear the wild tale of how Kathy turned investigator and was instrumental in clearing up some of the false stories that plagued Jimi’s death.

In 1997 Kathy fought to have their old flat at 23 Brook Street receive a Blue Heritage Plaque and she worked hard with the Handel Trust to launch the Jimi Hendrix Museum in 2016. Visitors can now take a step back in time and walk through a recreation of their groovy pad.

Kathy wrote a wonderful book about her life titled Through Gypsy Eyes which you can purchase on her website http://www.kathyetchingham.com/ & you can plan a visit to the Hendrix museum at https://handelhendrix.org/