Why you should visit Jimi Hendrix’s London flat

December 4, 2019
jimi hendrix london flat

The Jimi Hendrix London flat is now open for fans to have a mooch around in. Being the nosey parker that I am, I couldn’t resist getting in his bed and pretending it’s still 1968.

Have you ever wanted to move somewhere to pursue your dreams?

You often hear of wannabe country singers moving to Nashville, artists moving to Paris and drunks to the nearest Wetherspoons. And back in 1966, a young Jimi Hendrix borrowed $40 from his mate and moved to London to pursue his rockstar dreams. We all know how that panned out.

But Why Did He Go To London?

At the time, London had a huge interest in blues music. And as a musician with a talent for playing the blues- where better to find his audience?

When he landed on the grey pavement of central London, he didn’t waste time sightseeing. He grabbed his guitar and began performing at all the trendiest Soho music bars instead. He blew London away by being the best guitar player they had ever seen.

It wasn’t long before those blues fans gassed about him enough to land him a record deal. From there, he formed a band and made millions with just three albums.

Inside Jimi Hendrix's London Flat

While I perched on the bed of his London flat, I was reminded of his journey. He went from Seattle boy to the guitar god that he’s still remembered as today. I was in the home that he had moved into after Are You Experienced? was released. And it was in this flat that he would sit on his collection of eastern rugs, practising his latest riff.

This was the place that he called “the only home I ever had” and, even after he died almost 50 years ago, it seemed like it still belonged to him. It was decorated with feathers that reminded me of the ones that hung effortlessly in his hat. There were psychedelic patterns on the lampshades and bedsheets similar to the pattern of his shirts.

Then there was the hard, shiny evidence that this guy was completely obsessed with music. There was a huge collection of LPs displayed in the record room next door. They were the ones Jimi owned and took inspiration from. He listened to everything; jazz, rock, folk, classical. Which reflected in his catalogue of bluesy, psychedelic and boundary pushing tracks including an electrical 60s Christmas song.

I assume he played them all on the state of the art Beogram 1000 Hi-Fi System that was sat in the corner of the room and played it loud through his Lowther speakers.

He had his guitar, his amp and countless ideas that turned that $40 into £5 million.

Now, this Brook Street flat serves as a shrine to how his dreams led him to London and didn’t stop practising his art, even when he had the successful record.

I felt surrounded by his genius in this flat, which was very accurately decorated according to Kathy Etchingham whom he lived there with. She said it was pretty much bang on to how it used to be.

Jimi hendrix london flat in brook street
Inside Jimi Hendrix's Brook Street, London Flat

Although Hendrix’s move to London was crucial to his story, do we still have to move to cities in a time where the internet exists?

I guess if you want to get a job at Vogue, then moving to your closest Conde Nast office is a good start. And if you want to open your own coffee shop, maybe setting up on a remote island is a bad start.

But if you want to be a writer/musician/artist/porn star, you can probably just start from wherever you are. But doesn’t moving to the city for your dreams make a great story?

Do you want to move somewhere to make your dreams happen? Or are you right where you wanna be? Tell me in the comments below! I’d love to hear them 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to share with your fellow Hendrix fans!

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