Forty years after Jimi Hendrix’s death, his London pad is set to to open to the general public. Handwritten lyrics, clothing, photographs and memorabilia will be displayed in the house at Brook Street in Mayfair from Aug. 25 to Nov. 7.
The Hendrix in Britain Exhibition will be hosted by the Handel House Museum at 25 Brook Street. From 1968 until his death in 1970 the guitar legend lived at No. 23 — several centuries before that the house next door belong to the classical composer George Frederic Handel. Today both 23 and 25 form one single house.
Twin blue plaques above the entrance pay tribute to the musical “flatmates” who once lived there, the Guardian reported.
Handel, best known for his 1742 piece ‘The Messiah’ as well as ‘Water Music’ and ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ lived at the house for 40 years and died there, in his bedroom, in 1759. Hendrix, who shared the house with his English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, died at a Notting Hill hotel several miles away in 1970 in circumstances still shrouded in mystery but long suspected to be caused by an accidental drug overdose.
In 1968, shortly after moving in, Hendrix wrote of Brook Street, which he rented for £30 a week: “This is my first real home of my own.”
The Handel House Museum opened in 2001 but little was made of the connection between the composer and the guitarist — indeed many of the rooms Hendrix lived in were used as offices. However, after campaigning from fans, the museum is finally acknowledging its extraordinary double life and is opening up the rooms he lived in for seven days in September, to coincide with the exhibition.
Sarah Bardwell, the museum director, said, “After moving to Brook Street in 1968, Hendrix learned of the Handel connection with the building and headed to One Stop Records in South Molton Street and HMV in Oxford Street to pick up whichever records of Handel music he could find.
“Clearly, he was intrigued by the connection and we’re pleased to be celebrating his own legacy today. We are delighted to be opening up the flat, which was a true home base to Hendrix during his seemingly endless schedule of touring in the UK and elsewhere.”
Tickets for the September opening of Hendrix’s home cost £8 ($12) and go on sale from June.