Jimi’s London gaff opens up
Jimi Hendrix’s former flat in Brook Street in Mayfair, next door to the gaff which George Frideric Handel called home, is now open to the public.
Your £7.50 entry fee gets you into the room where the rock star slept, caroused and played albums by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Band and Ravi Shankar. There’s also two telephones, an ashtray, pillows, cushions and other bits and pieces from the flat, which Hendrix rented for £30 a week.
There’s a definite market for this kind of thing. It doesn’t even have to necessarily be the musicians’ own stuff either. Look at The Ramones’ museum in Berlin, which largely consists of super-fan Flo Hayler’s collection of memorabilia, ticket stubs, posters and the like.
But you can’t tell the story with just artefacts and memorabilia. The music that was produced and the cultural shifts soundtracked tell a far more vivid and far-reaching tale – but that’s often a hard tale to tell given resources.
This may be why the David Bowie Is exhibition, currently on show in Groningen in the Netherlands, has had such resonance, even before his death last month. Here’s an exhibition that succeeds in showing some of the important pieces from the artist’s career, as well providing an excellent outline of how it all fits together.