Uli Jon Roth:
Surviving the Scorpions Sting
by Jeb Wright, April 2006
Uli Jon Roth rose to prominence as the lead guitar player of Germany’s
loudest export; the Scorpions. Roth’s experiments with the electric guitar
caught the ears of many younger players who heard passion and fire in his
playing. Both Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen have sited Uli as an
influence. With Uli, the Scorpions took Japan and Europe by storm. In America,
however, the band’s record company, RCA, did not see the commercial
possibilities and they remained very underground on this side of the pond.
Internal dissent finally saw Uli leave the Scorpions, citing mostly musical
differences. The band went into the studio to record what would become their
first gold disk Lovedrive without Roth. The Scorpions became one of the
top metal bands in the world and Uli Jon Roth slipped into obscurity in the
Music still pumped through Uli’s veins and he went on to record several
albums with Electric Sun. His playing continued to grow and he believes his best
playing can be witnessed on albums that were not part of the record companies
promotional machine. Therefore, many are not familiar with his music. In the new
millennium, Uli continues to push the creative envelope. He created the Sky
Academy and had released several albums of intense and emotional guitar related
music. His playing has now reached the level of mastery. He is one of the best
to walk the planet.
Uli has reworked Vivalidi’s Four Seasons for electric guitar and in
the meantime wrote a concerto of his own. He is going to return to the US with
full band in tow, including long time Scorpions bass player Francis Buchholz.
Uli will perform concerts and offer his legacy to students of music in the hopes
of sowing the seeds that may blossom and create a musical paradigm shift across
In addition, to keeping his own musical legacy alive, Uli continue to defend
and discuss the life of his friend Monika Danneman. Monika was a professional
artist who was with Jimi Hendrix when he died. Her version of Hendrix death has
fueled controversy since the day his lifeless body was discovered. In this
interview, Uli discusses the death of the woman he very close with and her side
of the events that led to Jimi’s demise.
In the end, this interview conjures up images of the past while it paints a
picture of hope for the future. It is a glimpse inside the soul of one of rock’s
most creative guitar players and gives hope that one day real music will once
again be easily heard.
Jeb: Uli Jon Roth is playing with his former Scorpions band mate
Uli: He has joined my band. We have already done a European tour and he is
going to be with us in America as well in May. This is the first time since
Tokyo Tapes that we have played together.
Jeb: Had you stayed in touch with Francis over the years?
Uli: I still have contact with virtually all of my friends from the past.
There was the occasional meeting between us but this time it was really quite
simple; we needed a bass player. I discussed the situation with my manager and
we both felt that it was a great idea to have Francis in the band.
Jeb: You are going to be coming to America soon.
Uli: We are coming in May. The first gig is on the 12th of May, on
the East Coast. After that we will go to the West Coast and finish the tour in
Los Angeles. This is the first time I have been in America with a full band
Jeb: You are basically introducing your Sky Academy to the United States.
Uli: At the end of May we are doing a seminar for the Sky Academy. It may be
a little different from what you would normally get from a guitar seminar. I try
to go beyond just talking about the technical aspects of playing guitar. Our
seminar is designed for advanced players, guitar or bass or other instruments. I
want to help musicians get to the next level; which is sometimes a hard thing to
do. I have worked with players who are very good but when they get to a certain
level they don’t progress as much. This gives me an angle to try and help them.
Sky Academy is a mixture of things that are connected to guitar playing. We
will also do a series of concerts where the students will get to play in front
of the students and myself. This will allow me to help them improve on what they
are doing. In the same concert hall, in the evenings, we are doing another
concert. These concerts will feature special guests of mine as well as the best
of the students.
Jeb: Do you feel very satisfied working and helping guitar virtuosos?
Uli: I always enjoy working with other musicians, particularly when they are
of a good caliber. I have always enjoyed teaching. Having said that, I have not
done it that much. When I was a kid I used to teach classical guitar lessons. I
had about 30 students but when I joined the Scorpions, I had to stop that and I
have not had any students since. For the last few years I have been
crystallizing the idea of the Sky Academy in my mind. This is really something
that I want to do. I didn’t really know what kind of framework would be best to
do this type of thing. It slowly grew in my mind and now we can make this thing
manifest itself. I am already looking into the future. If it goes as well as I
hope it will go, then we will make it an annual event.
Jeb: You have been creating the Sky Academy for some time. You are now making
it a reality. This has been very close to your heart. Now, it appears to be
growing faster. Do you feel this has come due to your hard work or is it more
spiritual than that?
Uli: The costs of this thing are enormous. If I break even then that will be
fine with me. The most important thing, to me, is to achieve a platform that I
think is needed at the moment. There is a certain vibe and wavelength in music
that is missing.
Over the last few years the sprit of music has been trampled underfoot. Very
few people seem to be holding that flag up high. I don’t mean that in the sense
that there is an absence of great players. There are a lot of great players who
are inspired in their own right but the music industry has become a ridiculous
nightmare for serious and gifted musicians. It is so bad that a lot of them are
beginning to question the very foundation of their existence, in terms of
actually being able to make a livelihood of what they love doing the most.
Speaking for myself, making records has become pretty much a hobby. The
production costs that we have are nearly as high as they used to be but record
sales have virtually collapsed for everyone I know. That does not deter me to
pursue this hobby but for a lot of people it becomes increasingly difficult to
even exist as a professional musician.
The music industry may have collapsed because of a certain drive towards
instant gratification within music. The music industry does not allow people to
have their own vision anymore. If you want to do something different then you
are stifled from the beginning. There are no large outlets anymore. There are
some smaller outlets who are trying to do the right thing but they do not really
compare to what it used to be. There was a time in the music business when it
was enough for a player to have real talent. A really good player who had
something to say would be able to go and make albums and find an audience.
Jeb: Are you saying that record companies want money more than creativity?
Uli: That’s a fact; of course they want money more than creativity.
Creativity is just a necessary evil to most record companies. Most of them do
not know what they really want. They want money but they are all floundering
right now. Unless you are a top selling act then you are here today and gone
tomorrow. A large part of why the record companies are struggling is of own
doing. In the 80's, music just became a commodity. There was no deeper meaning
or a spiritual aspect to music anymore. In fact, it probably got in the way of
what they were looking for.
Jeb: Did you see this type of activity in the industry clear back in the
70's? Is that why you walked away from the Scorpions?
Uli: I didn’t see it as clearly when I was still in the Scorpions. I was
totally occupied with different things; the business didn’t interest me then. It
was more in the background and I didn’t pay attention to it. I was more into the
artistic things at the time. I could see the trend at that time that eventually
led to the things we are discussing now; it was already in the making.
Jeb: Once you left the band, you were not known at all in America.
Uli: Electric Sun was completely outside of mainstream America. Most of the
bands in America were going in a different direction. Heavy Metal was getting
more popular and things were really going away from Rock. Big hair bands, who
wore spandex, were popular and the music they played went right along with their
image. There were some great songs that came out of the 80's Corporate Rock
scene. At the same time, everything was becoming more and more formatted.
I remember record companies becoming more and more obsessed with big drum
sounds. Record company executives would call each other over the phone and play
each other snare drum sounds. They would discuss certain producers and how they
could get great drum sounds. The drums got so massive that when you put a record
on all you could hear were the drums. It became fashionable and all the bands
started sounding and looking the same. It became a trend to look or sound like
that and if you didn’t look or sound like that then you would be passed over. I
refer to that time as the circus. If you didn’t have that slightly angry look in
your photo session then you would be ostracized by certain magazines and the
record companies wouldn’t touch you. I think at that time a lot of things went
horribly wrong. Some musicians survived but a lot more fell by the wayside. They
became so enamored with that trend that they never could find their way out once
the trend was over. People ended up laughing about that kind of music.
Sky Academy is not concerned about any of these things. Basically, we are
about playing music for music’s sake. We want to make it pure and real. We do
not talk about how to make a fast buck or how to become a star. We are about how
to be real.
Jeb: In your eyes, can you be a real musician without formal training or must
you be a virtuoso?
Uli: You don’t have to be classically trained, if that is what you are
asking. Jimi Hendrix was not classically trained; far from it. Paul McCartney
was not classically trained, although he sounded very classical sometimes.
You don’t need to be trained at all. There are some great players who are
purely good. I would not be nearly the musician that I am if I didn’t have the
knowledge of classic music that I do. It is largely what makes me tick. It gives
me a very broad and solid foundation in music. To me, it is not a hindrance when
I play the blues. My classical foundation does not get in the way. I grew up
with the blues and nothing of that is alien to me. I feel at home in virtually
any style of music.
Jeb: Let’s talk about Metamorphosis. You play "The Four Seasons" note
perfect and then you have the other side of the album where you go off and do
your own thing. What inspires you to rework a great masterpiece? Where does it
come from for you to take that work of music and take it to another level?
Uli: That is an interesting question. It is a mixture of things that inspire
me to do that. I have always had the desire to get better at what I do. I don’t
mean just technically. I want to get a deeper understanding of things. From
early on I was attracted to classical violin concertos. I studied quite a bit of
that stuff and it gave me a deeper understanding as a composer and a player.
Playing-wise, it also gave me a lot of challenges. I have to get into someone
else’s mind and see where they are coming from and make it my own. You learn
somebody else’s language. It is like I am an actor playing a different role. I
love doing that. I don’t have the urge to only interpret songs that I have
written myself; far from it. There is such a wealth of music to assimilate and
study and listen to.
Part of the challenge of Metamorphosis was taking a work that was
solely written for the violin and doing it justice in our field. Over the years,
I have tackled stuff like that with or without orchestras. In the beginning I
tried to be as close as possible to how a violin player would interpret such a
piece and I learned a lot from that approach – translating the violin feel and
thinking to the guitar. Once I had that out of my system then I started to see
the guitar as a instrument that could rival the violin in it’s own right. It
could actually do something the violin could not do while using the language of
the violin. The vocabulary of the violin is very powerful and very
multi-dimensional. It is rooted in a tradition that is hundreds of years old.
The electric guitar is barely just a half a century old. This fascinated me and
that is why I tackled the "Four Seasons" piece. The more I got into it the more
interesting it became to me. I started to see all sorts of facets.
It was wonderful to get into the mind of Vivalidi, one of the best Baroch
composers ever. This is a masterpiece that has fascinated all sorts of people
since it was written back in the 1720's. That was one aspect of why I did it. I
also found it challenging to translate it into my own. I gave it a full score. I
tried to shine a new life onto the "Four Seasons" and that led me to write my
own concerto, which is the "Metamorphosis Concerto." It grew directly from the
"Four Seasons" and was even more transcendental. I was trying to look at the
"Four Seasons" through all sorts of different eyes. I wrote one piece that was a
variation in my mind of how Chopin might have interpreted Vivalidi’s "Spring."
Another one was how Jimi Hendrix might have looked at it. I just let it grow and
when it was finished; it was finished.
Jeb: How long did it take from start to finish?
Uli: For me this was a very vital step on my journey and I had to get it out.
It was quite a process. The first time I ever tackled a part of it was back in
1992. I did a TV show for Europe called Symphonic Rock for Europe. The "Four
Seasons" is actually four violin concertos, three movements each. You could say
it is almost like 12 songs in our genre. They are all interrelated. We did the
entire "Summer" back then. It was my first actual stab at it. In 2000, I had the
chance to do it again and I played the entire "Four Seasons" with an orchestra
in Germany. It was not quite finished but we played it regardless. Basically, it
didn’t have all the sections we have now but it had most of them. We recorded it
but I was not too happy with some of the sounds of the recordings. To make a
long story short, I re-recorded it in my own studio with the Sky Orchestra and I
finished it in 2003.
Jeb: Not many people would have the patience to do that.
Uli: It is just something that I had to do. There were certainly quite a few
struggles. I was looking for certain answers and I was not finding them.
Eventually, I did find them and that is when I released the album.
Jeb: You could have achieved more fame and fortune by not being who you are.
Does that ever bother you when you look back?
Uli: If you are eluding to my leaving the Scorpions, I didn’t have any choice
back then. I wanted to go in the direction that I did. For me, artistic choices
are the ones that matter the most to me so in that way, I don’t have a choice
other than the artistic one. I work that way; my mind works that way. Sometimes
it is financially hard to go the artistic route. It would have been easier to
sell out. I would call it selling out if I didn’t do the artistic choice. On the
whole, my life has gone very well so far so I can’t complain.
Jeb: Do you have any contempt that you are remembered most for being a Hard
Rock or Heavy Metal guitar player over being a total musician?
Uli: When I first realized that it kind of annoyed me. The entire perspective
people had of me was for something I had done when I was basically a kid. All of
the things that I was most proud of came later but these things were not in most
people’s minds because they didn’t get the same type of circulation. Nowadays, I
have come to terms with it. It is just the way things go. I am now proud of
stuff I did with the early Scorpions. It is part of my history. It is what it
is. In fact, I have even rediscovered a lot of the old songs and I am playing
them live again and enjoying them again. In some aspects, I have come full
Jeb: With Francis being in the band I would imagine you all pulling out a lot
of the old songs.
Uli: We have pulled out a lot of the old music and we have rediscovered a lot
of songs. We play very long concerts so we have time to play what we want to
play. If we feel people want to hear some of the old Scorpions songs then we
have no problem giving them to them. We are playing some Electric Sun songs as
well. We can switch it up from concert to concert.
Jeb: Has your best work been done or is it yet to be?
Uli: I feel I am getting better all the time. If I didn’t feel I was getting
better then it would be time to pack it up. It would be a gut feeling from
within that would tell me that what I am saying is not relevant. I would not
want to be a museum thing where I just repeat myself ad infinitum. I have to be
able to say things that are new. Only then do I feel comfortable saying
something that is old. The thing that gives me the greatest thrill is to be
cutting edge. I feel the same way about the old stuff. I have to feel that it is
relevant or else I don’t want to play it.
Jeb: What is your ultimate goal for Sky Academy?
Uli: I don’t even want to limit it with an answer at this point in time. I
just go with the flow and let it develop. At the moment it seems like a lot of
good things are happening with Sky Academy and through Sky academy. A lot of
people are gravitating towards it. The response has been more positive than I
had anticipated. It is quite a daring approach that we are putting in front of
people and it could easily have been misconstrued. But so far, I am really
pleased with the response we have gotten.
Jeb: You have a live version of "Voodoo Chile." Many people have played
Jimi’s songs but few have been able to get into the spirit of Hendrix.
Uli: I do it slightly differently because I am trying to capture the essence
of what it is and I am trying to inject a new spark of inspiration there. I
don’t think it is needed but I think it is just what I am able to bring to the
Jimi’s music is full stock, fully spiritual. You don’t necessarily hear that
in some of his early music but the underlying essence of Jimi’s music is totally
spiritual and it is very powerful. The more he progressed on his brief but
intense journey the more his spirituality came to the forefront. Look at the
song "Machine Gun." It is an incredibly haunting painting of pure emotion based
on just a few notes. The song takes you through all these different levels,
right to the very core of music. It is totally unbelievable that he could do
Jeb: When you play music from the masters do you have to take a moment to put
yourself in the correct frame of mind?
Uli: No, I don’t have to go and get in that state of mind as I am in that
state of mind. It is like a light bulb; I can switch it on and off. I have to be
in the right mood to do music and to channel these emotions and capture them and
express them. I am not always in the mood for playing. Once I pick up the
instrument then it is just there. If it is not there when I touch the instrument
then I don’t want to play at all. When you have to play a concert you can’t
actually choose a frame of mind. You have to be able to switch on that light
These are the kinds of things that I want to transmit to the students at the
Sky Academy as it is not easy to do. I was not always able to do that. I
gradually learned to be able to always capture that spark when it was needed and
necessary – let me rephrase that. Almost always. There are days when I simply
don’t want to be on that stage and it almost feels like a torture but they are
very, very rare. I always play for the artistic success of every concert. It is
like a communion with the audience. When it happens it is like we are all one
and it is a very special type of thing. I feel very privileged to be on that
stage and to be able to create that kind of moment with the audience and the
music. On good nights, when you are able to capture the moments and capture that
essence and hold on to it for long periods on time – sometimes for the entire
concert – then a lot of people in the audience actually get into that same frame
of mind with you and something extraordinary happens and it makes it even
Jeb: We have talked a lot about what is going on now. I want to ask a few
about the Scorpions. Which Scorpions album do you feel shows your most creative
and musical expressions for that era in your life?
Uli: Virgin Killer, then In Trance.
Jeb: Which Scorpions album shows you struggling the most as a musician?
As a person?
Uli: I don’t think I was "struggling" as such, but I had certainly already
mentally disengaged from the band during and slightly before Taken By Force
(1977) to quite a degree and had already indicated my desire to leave to
some of the band members. The album has some great tracks on it, but as a whole,
I have to say that my heart wasn’t in it any longer.
Jeb: Is it true Michael Schenker got you the Scorpions gig?
Uli: It’s true that Michael asked me to take over before he left, but I
declined at first, because I was more interested in pursuing classical guitar at
the time. He didn’t tell me about the UFO thing, though – only said he wanted to
go to India and maybe quit the music business. But some time later Rudolf rang
and told me that Michael had left for UFO, and he invited me to do a gig with
the band, which they still had to fulfill before they completely disbanded. I so
enjoyed this gig that I said to Rudolf "let’s do something together!" At that
time – in 1973 - I was in a four piece band – Dawn Road, which included Francis
Buchholz and Jürgen Rosenthal – and Rudolf was the only remaining member of what
once was Scorpions. We then joined forces and a little while later I said to
Rudolf "let’s see if Klaus Meine wants to be involved again". Klaus then came to
our rehearsals and rejoined. This is how it all started.
Jeb: In a recent interview Herman Rarebell told me the Scorpions sound
changed after you left. He said when you were there the guitar was always turned
up to loud. What is your response?
Uli: Oh, well, Herman… He would say that, wouldn’t he? Musically, we are
coming from two opposing ends of the spectrum, rhythmically as well as mentally.
He doesn’t musically understand me and I don’t understand him, but otherwise
there are no problems between us. The problem was that the guitar wasn’t loud ENOUGH, particularly on
Tokyo Tapes. When the lead instruments have to struggle against the accompaniment, then
the music becomes a strain to listen to, because each band starts to sound the
I never want to have to strain to hear the vocals or lead and harmony
instruments getting buried under tons of drum and bass boom. That seems like the
death of musical enjoyment to me. I get bored with this kind of sonic approach,
which was the prevalent sound of the eighties. Today a lot of that sounds very
overblown and unnatural today and is plainly out-of-vogue. I just hope this way
mixing albums doesn’t return, but I don’t think it will.
Jeb: You had some wild album covers back then. Please share with me some
information about each. Fly to the Rainbow: Who painted the cover and
what does it mean?
Uli: Fly To The Rainbow – don’t ask me what that cover means… I
disliked it from the beginning. It looked ludicrous to me back then and looks
just as bad today. It was done by a firm of designers in Hamburg, who had
actually done a good job on the Lonesome Crow album before, but I think
that time they failed miserably. As for the meaning, I can only guess, but I’d
Jeb: Who is the girl on In Trance and is that your guitar?
Uli: She was a photo model from Hamburg, and the guitar was indeed my white
Stratocaster, which is the same one as the one on the Fire Wind cover. I
played it on all the Scorpions and Electric Sun albums from In Trance
onwards, and it was my favorite guitar in those days.
Jeb: Virgin Killer was banned!! Who was the girl on the cover and
whose idea was it to have a nude child with broken glass in that area? What a
Uli: Looking at that picture today makes me cringe. It was done in the worst
possible taste. Back then I was too immature to see that. Shame on me – I should
have done everything in my power to stop it. The record company came up with the
idea, I think. The lyrics incidentally were a take-off on KISS, whom we had just
supported on a tour. I was fooling around and played the riff of the song in the
rehearsal room and spontaneously improvised "cause he’s a virgin killer!" trying
to do a more or less way-off-the-mark Paul Stanley impersonation. Klaus
immediately said "that’s great! You should do something with it." Then I had the
unenviable task of constructing a meaningful set of lyrics around the title,
which I actually managed to do to some degree. But the song has a totally
different meaning from what people would assume at first. Virgin Killer
is none other than the demon of our time, the less compassionate side of the
societies we live in today – brutally trampling upon the heart and soul of
I can’t blame Tipper Gore for brandishing the cover on TV as offensive,
though. She was completely right in doing so and she’s a good person
anyway, although she probably didn’t make the effort to check out the lyrics,
which put a different slant on the whole thing – can’t blame her for that
either, because knowing what I know today, I would have possibly reacted in a
similar vein. Incidentally, I read Al Gore’s book – Earth In The Balance
– and I can only wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves this planet of
ours. His vision is strong, clear and inspired there. Shame not enough people
got to read it.
Jeb: What is the message behind Electric Sun's Earthquake album cover?
Who painted it?
Uli: It was painted by Monika, who did the artwork for all three Electric Sun
albums, which was a true privilege for me. She was a great artist. As for the
message – it is related to "Sun In My Hand".
Jeb: Electric Sun's Fire Wind: Where are you supposed to be in the
Uli: I think it is a stylized depiction of Niagara Falls. There was an
interesting version of the painting, which preceded the present one. An atomic
bomb was in the back ground – relating to my "Enola Gay – Hiroshima Today?"
song, which is on Fire Wind. But we decided against it and so Monika painted
over it. I still have some photographs of the first version, though.
Jeb: Please explain the spiritual message for the cover to Beyond the
Uli: It is modeled on the face of the Egyptian king Echnaton and is
symbolizing a space traveler. An amazing painting – it is one of my all-time
favorites by Monika.
Jeb: I recently watched a DVD that was sent to my house called Jimi
Hendrix the Last 24 Hours that said Jimi was killed by the American
Government. How do you feel about that? Have you seen the movie? If so, what is
your take on it?
Uli: I have not seen the movie. There are numerous conspiracy theories about
Jimi’s death. I am convinced that Monika’s version of events is the correct one,
although there was a small window of about ten minutes or so, when she was not
with him. It seems extremely unlikely that anything of that sort could have
happened in that short window.
Jeb: In the film they talk badly about Monika Dannemann. I understand you
recently lost her and if this is too personal please do not speak about it. But,
do you feel the media treated her in a mean way and led to her death?
Uli: These people don’t know what they are doing. They’ve got it so
hopelessly wrong. She was treated horribly by parts of the media and
undeservedly so. The media split into roughly two camps – those who supported
her - and those who were on the side of the camp, which followed her antagonist,
who was a master of propaganda and media manipulation. Monika, on the other
hand, never knew how to play the media. She was too innocent, too trusting for
that. She was not equipped for all that kind of stuff. She didn’t know how to
I have known Monika probably better than anyone, apart from her closest family,
for a period of 20 years. I can testify that her version of the events that lead
to Jimi’s death ALWAYS had the complete ring of truth to me. We spoke about it
quite often – particularly when I first got to know Monika. I quizzed her
thoroughly back then, because - of course - I wanted to know what had happened.
In all this time I never had the slightest reason to doubt her regarding this
whole thing. Everything had the complete ring of truth about it – and it was not
even a glamorous story.
Nothing sounded made-up or fabricated in the slightest. It just felt true and
very believable, particularly to those who knew Monika’s character and
personality. And what’s more – and this is important – the story NEVER changed
even one iota. It was always the same including all the minutest details. People
who make up stories always get entangled in the detail, which keeps changing.
This was absolutely NOT the case with Monika. Some people have pointed to
alleged inconsistencies in the story by saying that she told different versions
in different interviews. NOT SO! I have been present during at least 20
interviews of hers over the years, and I can testify that it was always the
People just don’t realize how inaccurate a lot of interviews are once they
appear in print. I can tell you from my own experience that many interviewers
back then and, in fact, also still nowadays, are actually only scribbling down
notes while conducting the interview, and then they are trying to paraphrase
what has been said from memory later on when they write the article. Some
interviewers are so notoriously inaccurate at transcribing that it annoys me no
end when I see something in print that I supposedly said, but is clearly someone
else speaking (the interviewer), while trying to make sense of things in
hindsight and getting it horribly wrong. Let me tell you, that this happened
several times in Monika’s case as well, and the probably unintended bungling of
a journalist, who just wants to get the job done without much fuss, can lead to
all sorts of confusion later on. Don’t ever believe what you read in print
without having at the back of your mind the possibility of a misunderstanding or
misrepresentation of facts. A lot of journalists these days have a very
lackadaisical attitude about accuracy.
Jeb: If I may press, do you feel her story about Jimi was true?
Uli: Monika’s story was true. But one has to put into perspective THIS: Jimi
was multi-facetted – a complete creative genius, if there ever was one - but he
certainly showed Monika his so-called chocolate side. She saw all that was good
and spiritual in him. She did not understand his more earthly and his weaker
side, which was an undeniable reality and which caused him (and his reputation)
- and those who outlived him - no end of problems later on.
But that is fine – I, for one, am not interested in all the juicy revelations
– I’m fascinated by Jimi the great artist, Jimi the musical innovator, the
messenger. And that goes for a whole lot of other people, too, who are tired of
seeing Jimi painted in One-D only by the media.
At least Monika emphasized the most valuable and precious aspects in Jimi’s
persona and legacy, which without her wouldn’t really have been presented in a
decent way. In my mind she single-handedly kind of saved Jimi’s spirituality in
the eyes of the public – at least for those who believe in those things. By
doing that she preserved perhaps the most important aspects of Jimi – other than
what is in his music anyway, which can speak for itself. She pointed to the
deeper meaning of it all – the metaphysical Jimi Hendrix. A man whose essence
got buried under all these mountains of trash and gossip by the vast majority of
the people who were around him, but who did him no favors and clearly did not
understand him. While a lot of people talked about sex and drugs – Monika spoke
of the message – a message whose existence some people deny – but good for them.
We are all entitled to our own opinion. I, for one, am convinced that there was
and is such a message – and that Monika is to be thanked for shining a powerful
and clear light on it.
Monika left all the earthy stuff to those who were better equipped for all that.
She didn’t really have a lot of understanding for all these earthly things in
the first place – she was too pure and spiritual in herself. She was
a great artist, and Jimi sensed and recognized that in her immediately. She was
his soul mate. And I firmly believe she was the only one who could have
strengthened him to sort out the mess he was in towards the end. And, by the
way - this how I see it – these are MY words – not Monika’s – she was never as
presumptuous as to say this: Jimi needed Monika, because she had tremendous
inner strength, and loyalty towards him. This was coupled with courage and
spirituality galore. But, sadly – she came too late. They simply didn’t have
enough time together to make it all work out. What could have been, what SHOULD
have been, was not to be…
At least Monika left us all these amazing paintings and her beautiful books.
We - that is all her friends – totally still miss her. She was unique, but too
good-natured to be understood by the world. I don’t know why and how, but I have
a feeling that one day Monika’s position will be totally vindicated. Apart from
that, posterity will realize the tremendous value of her own legacy, which is in
her paintings and writings. All the others, who have adorned themselves with the
sparkle of Jimi Hendrix will just fall by the wayside, because they have left us
little more than an assortment of superficialities and trifles about the legend
that was Jimi Hendrix. Posterity will see through that.
Sometimes it takes a distance of a hundred years or more for people to get a
more truthful and complete picture of events which at the time seem
incomprehensible. Out of the entire circle around Jimi – many of whom have
already died in sometimes mysterious circumstances - Monika is the only one, who
– phoenix-like – did something really positive, deeply meaningful and
constructive based on Jimi’s message – and precisely because of that she was the
Jeb: Lastly, you two shared such a love for Hendrix music it is a testament
to the power of his soul. Is it any accident that the two of you were soul
Uli: If Jimi and Monika were soul mates does that make me a member of the
same tribe? Let’s say ‘brothers in arms’ - Destiny works in mysterious ways.