Paris, France (June 9, 2014)—Alan Douglas, best-known for his work as a producer (and subsequent caretaker) for Jimi Hendrix’s music, passed away peacefully on June 7 in his home in Paris. He was 81.
Following Hendrix’s death, Douglas assumed stewardship of Hendrix’s music, and was responsible for producing and remastering any recordings, films, and promotional materials for over 20 years.
While sometimes criticized for how he handled Hendrix’s music following the guitarist’s death in 1970, Douglas also gained fame through his encouragement for many musicians to explore new directions, including Hendrix and jazz legend Duke Ellington.
Douglas was also heavily involved in the jazz scene, taking charge of the United Artists Jazz division in 1962, and recording jazz artists including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Kenny Dorham and Ellington.
Douglas first met Hendrix after Hendrix’s headlining performance at Woodstock, and working with Timothy Leary and the Last Poets (a Harlem street poetry group later credited for inspiring the hip-hop movement), pushed Hendrix to experiment with more adventurous recordings.
“I got a lot of heat for showing people this different side of Jimi, but it didn’t matter,” Douglas is quoted saying on Ultimateclassicrock.com. “It was what he wanted to do. So, together we tried out all kinds of things—but tragically, he died before we could do anything super special.”
Douglas describes his working relationship with Hendrix and more in this half-hour interview: