Kathleen Mary “Kathy” Etchingham (born 1946) is a British/Irish personality known from the Swinging London music scene of the 1960s. She was born in Derby and was the daughter of Charles Etchingham, an Irishman who was originally from Dublin.
Her mother deserted the family when Kathy was ten years old and Kathy was sent to the Holy Faith convent boarding school in Skerries, Dublin. After returning to England, having been snatched from the convent by her mother, Kathy eventually made her way to London.
She fell in with the nascent music scene and was a DJ at the Cromwellian Club in Kensington and then at the Scotch of St. James club. She knew the up and coming musicians of the period including Brian Jones, The Animals, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Moody Blues, The Move, and many others. These became known as the “British Invasion” in the USA of the 1960s.
She met Jimi Hendrix on the day of his arrival in London in September 1966.
They became a couple during the time of his rise to stardom.
Kathy was the inspiration for many of Hendrix’ compositions including The Wind Cries Mary (penned after an argument between Hendrix and Etchingham), Foxy Lady (during one of the first performances of this number Hendrix embarrassingly pointed her out from the stage), as the Katherina in 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) and in Send My Love to Linda (the original lyrics of which were Send My Love to Kathy until Etchingham objected to being named).
They lived together at the Hyde Park Towers Hotel, Upper Berkeley Street, 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone and then 23 Brook Street, Mayfair.
In 1969 she and Hendrix drifted apart. She married her first husband and left the music scene.
Her first marriage broke up and she later remarried and had a family.
In 1997 she was instrumental in the erection of an English Heritage Blue Plaque for Jimi Hendrix’ home at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair.
In 1998 she wrote a book Through Gypsy Eyes, with Andrew Crofts, about her life, the sixties and Jimi Hendrix. The book was republished as an eBook in 2012.