While searching for drugs in New York City, Jimi Hendrix was kidnapped by two young Italians looking for a quick ransom. When Jon Roberts, the mastermind mobster behind the Medellin Cartel heard about this, he quickly got them to release him by threatening to kill them.
Here’s how it happened.
While interviewed for his fascinating book American Desperado: My Life – From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset, Jon Roberts, most commonly known by his nickname ‘Riccobono’, told many interesting stories regarding the cartels of the 1980s. One of the stories, was the kidnapping of Jimi Hendrix. (the article continues after the ad)
Jimi Hendrix usually had people who would buy drugs for him but, sometimes, he’d get so sick, he’d go into clubs looking to buy his dope on his own. One night, at Riccobon’s Salvation club in NYC, two Italian “wiseguy wannabes” kids saw Jimi in there and most probably thought, “Hey, that’s Jimi Hendrix. Let’s grab him and see what we can get.”
They promised him some dope, took him out of the city and called his manager demanding money. Somehow the club manager was informed and gave Riccobono a call saying that Jimi Hendrix had been taken from their club by some Italians. It took them a couple of phone calls but, they eventually got the names of the kidnappers. And when they did, they reached out to them with a very clear message: “You let Jimi go, or you are dead. Do not harm a hair of his afro.”
And, of course, they did let him go. The whole thing lasted maybe two days. Riccobono says that Jimi was so stoned, he probably didn’t even know he was kidnapped. Andy (the bar’s manager) and Riccobono waited a week or so and went after the young Italians giving them, as he says, “a beating they would never forget.”
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Source: Rolling Stone
Photos: America Desperado, Huffington Post
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie